Online Communications Degree Programs

Effective communication is the key to success for all business, organizations, and industries. An online communications degree provides students with a well-rounded education to build a solid foundation in communications. Communications degree programs enable students to develop essential communications and critical thinking skills to pursue a meaningful career in a wide variety of fields. Communications programs also teach students to effectively deliver a message by combining a convincing argument with appropriate methods. Read more about online communications degree programs.

Some Stats

In 2006, there were 78,420 bachelor degrees, 7,272 master degrees, and 480 doctorate degrees conferred in communications and communications technologies. There were 74,783 bachelor, 6,773 master, and 479 doctorate degrees in communication, journalism, and related programs; 32,535 bachelor, 2,164 master, and 277 doctorate degrees in communication studies/speech communication and rhetoric; 7,752 bachelor, 634 master, and 92 doctorate degrees in mass communication/media studies; 12,045 bachelor, 1,432 master, and 8 doctorate degrees in journalism; 5,890 bachelor, 321 master, and 17 doctorate degrees in radio and television; 3,938 bachelor and 193 master in public relations/image management; 4,581 bachelor, 262 master, and 7 doctorate degrees in advertising; and 3,637 bachelor, 499 master, and 1 doctorate degrees in communications technologies/technicians and support services (1).

Employment Outlook

Career outlook for communications jobs vary greatly among degree, field, and position. A report by MSN states that communications majors have a wide variety of career opportunities and the beginning annual salary for graduates with a communications degree is around $30,921 (2). Employment of public relations specialists is expected to grow faster than average from 2006 to 2016, increasing 18% and adding 43,000 new jobs (3).

Specialties

Communications is a large field that enables students to pursue a variety of specializations. Communications specializations include corporate communication, public and media relations, broadcasting, advertising, mass communications, journalism, radio and television communications, internet communications, global communications, speech communications, organizational communications, visual communications, political communications, health communications, digital communications, non-profit communications, technical communications, business communications, and social interaction. There are a variety of choices and students interested in a particular area should select a school that offers a strong program in the desired specialty.

What to Expect

Communications degree programs offer a wide range of coursework depending on the program and specialty. Undergraduate communications programs provide students with a broad liberal arts education and require general education courses in areas such as English, science, mathematics, and humanities. Undergraduate programs also enable students to learn basic communications skills and choose a specialty area. Majority of communications programs require courses in public speaking, communication theory, rhetorical theory, and mass communications. Graduate level communications degrees involve more in-depth study and allow students to look at specific issues.

The End Result

Communications degrees provide students with an abundance of career choices in a variety of fields such as human resources, public relations, advertising, healthcare, government, and many more. Graduate degrees prepare students to transition into higher level communications positions in many different areas. Career opportunities for communications degree graduates include:

Communications Specialist
Public Relations Specialist
Internal Communications Specialist
Technical Writer
Publicist
Public Relations Manager
Public Information Officer
Communications Director
Foreign Affairs Specialist
Communications Coordinator
Healthcare Communications Specialist
Telecommunications Manager

A communications career will be rewarding for individuals who have a natural curiosity and creativity to seek accurate information and present it to a variety of audiences. Communications professionals apply their knowledge and expertise to relay messages in a variety of ways.

(1) SOURCE: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics
(2) SOURCE: MSN.careers, What Your College Major Plays, CareerBuilder.com, 2008
(3) SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition

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