Is a Communications Degree Right for You?
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This degree program involves the study of how human beings communicate with one another, both one on one and in groups. As a communications major, you will learn about the methods through which we communicate, such as written and spoken word, body language and technology. You will attain the knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective public speaker, develop solid arguments and make persuasive presentations. Students in these types of programs are often required to analyze issues and think critically, as well as examine language usage. Communication bachelor's degrees can be used in careers in various industries. As a result, many undergraduate programs allow for students to concentrate on a particular area, such as business or media.
Other specializations include advertising, film and video, broadcast journalism, print/online journalism, government, marketing communications, media studies, telecommunications, communications equipment operations and public relations.
Advice for Earning Your Communications Degree Online
The key to earning a useful bachelor's degree in communications is pursuing a focused area of study that matches your career goals. No matter where you choose to concentrate, communications degrees are online friendly. In most cases, the required courses and assignments in these programs can be successfully completed over the Internet. There are a wide range of high quality communications programs available from accredited online schools.
Communications majors take courses that develop their oral and written communication skills and further their ability to understand how humans relate to and understand information. Common classes include communication theory, persuasion, argumentation and debate, intercultural communication, public speaking, rhetorical criticism, communication psychology, interpersonal and group communication, and mass communication. Specialized courses can include business communication, advertising and marketing communications, organizational behavior, managerial communication, information design, media studies and sports communications.
Common Career Paths
A communications degree is easily adaptable to a wide range of positions and can be beneficial in variety of career fields. Earning a bachelor's degree in communications could lead you to a business-related position involving developing marketing campaigns, handling public relations crises and dispensing company information to the public or media. Common careers include:
Public Relations Specialist
Public relations specialists help companies and organizations develop positive relationships with their targeted clients or constituents.Often, public relations specialists organize media functions, such as press conferences, community events, political campaigns and conflict mediation programs. They also solve conflicts that arise between organizations and the public. Competition for entry-level public relations jobs will be stiff, but employment will increase 23 percent from 2010 to 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Public relations specialists' median annual salary was $57,550 in 2010.
These managers market products or services. They examine potential markets on which the company or organization can focus, develop realistic price points and collaborate with promotional staffers and advertising teams to put together a marketing plan. These managers also evaluate the success of a marketing plan, examine customer satisfaction and look at trends to help them decide whether there is a need to update the product or service or to create a new one.Employment of marketing managers is forecast to increase 14 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Marketing managers earned a median annual salary of $108,260 in 2010.
Journalists can work in a variety of capacities in news organizations. They can be news anchors or analysts who broadcast via television or radio. They can be correspondents focused on reporting on a specific market, region or subject area. They can also be reporters who write for newspapers, magazines and websites. Some journalists earn a communications degree before joining the profession, but it alone is not enough to make you a satisfactory job candidate. Because the world of journalism is so complex and competitive, graduate school and work experience are important factors in successfully marketing yourself. Employment of correspondents and reporters is projected to decline 8 percent from 2010 to 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual salary for reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts was $36,000 in 2010.