Communication is vital to all of our social and business interactions. The accessibility of social media creates instant access to friends and business associates. In business, effective communication is one of the most sought-after skills that employers look for in a candidate. The ability to create and/or edit written documents is among the top ten skills when hiring new college graduates. This information is from a recent National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook Survey. Therefore, graduates with a degree in communication may satisfy an employer’s need for these skills.
The study of communication covers areas as theory, health, international, interpersonal, legal, media, organizational, and political communication, and more. A typical Bachelor of Arts degree may begin with General Education (GE) requirements. Upon completion of the GE courses, the program will examine the facets of communication, including fundamentals, research development, conflict, and advocacy, public relations, organizational and small group communication. The major courses usually grant the student an overview of all aspects of communication including business, public speaking, social media, journalism, technical, and public relations writing. Through the examination of these areas, students gain an overall understanding of the principle points of communication.
There are programs that offer the option of concentrating on a particular area of interest. For example, a Bachelor of Science in Communication with a Public Relations concentration will prepare you for a career in employee relations, media planner, marketing coordinator, or public information officer, to name a few. A major in public relations may include courses in Electronic Public Relations, Writing for Public Relations, Media Ethics and Law, and the Public Relations Campaign Planning Seminar.
You may opt for a communication program offering a major in professional writing. This concentration typically has courses in Editing for Media and Publication, Writing for Public Relations, Technical Writing, Creative Writing, and Writing for New Media. Within this major, there could be sub-specialties, for example in editing and publishing. You would learn about publishing in digital and print mediums. Courses may entail designing, illustrating, marketing, social media and event planning. On the other hand, broadcast media production teaches marketable skills in video and audio applications.
Additional possibilities are in telecommunications that involve the use of electronic media. Examples are the internet, radio broadcasting, cable and satellite transmissions, as well as wired and mobile phones. Artistic individuals may choose graphic communications. You learn to create graphic images with colors, textures, contours, and shapes that communicate not just messages but also emotions, attitudes, experiences, lifestyles, and concepts.
A degree in communications is highly regarded in business, marketing, education, politics, and public relations. The ability to develop a targeted message and deliver it effectively is fundamental to success in most professions. Due to the diversity of job prospects, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not indicate a specific occupation for the field of communication. However, the BLS reported that a public relations specialist earns a median salary of $58,020 (2016) with the job growth projected to be 9% or a change in 23,300 jobs through 2026. An advertising, promotions and marketing manager has a median salary of $127,560 with a Bachelor’s degree. The BLS projects this job growth to be 9% also.
For further details on this degree, we invite you to read our article on Why You Should Pick a Degree in Communications.