The Communications Major: What to Expect

Communications Professionals

Majoring in communications can be a smart and versatile decision. The field of communications is diverse enough to offer a number of jobs and almost every school offers some kind of communication program. It is also a degree that offers skills and knowledge that can be used in a number of jobs that aren’t strictly a communication or media jobs. Based on a student’s interests, a communication degree can open up several possible doors, and be a great educational investment.

The Degree

While every degree program at every institution is different, there are plenty of core classes that are similar. At the beginning of any degree, there are the usually general education classes that prepare students for a liberal arts education – classes in math and English and the humanities. As students move into the later part of their communication degree, the classes become more focused and geared towards the communications field. There is often a speech, debate, or journalism component and several more English classes. It’s common to have classes in interpersonal communication, cross-cultural communication, business communication, and persuasive argument or rhetoric. There are also language or social and communication theory classes that are often included on the syllabus. Many schools are adding new classes in social media and digital communication as well to continue to explore how today’s technology effects relationships and businesses. Usually, some mixture of these makes up the core elements of a communication degree.

Many programs have tracks students can choose from under the umbrella of communications, and students may choose to focus in a narrower curriculum in such as theatre, journalism, public relations, or advertising, which will have its own set of requirements. Some of those requirements might be very specific to the track; for example, classes like Media in the Global Context, Advertising Strategies, Visual Communication, and Research Methods are often found on the degree requirement lists for the advertising track at some schools. These tracks, of course, lead to other distinct potential career paths.

The Jobs

It’s clear, then, that a communications degree can offer students several different career paths. People who major in communications are often qualified for jobs as editors, writers, broadcast and radio journalist, speech teachers, and even translators. Of course, communication degrees don’t limit people to careers in media – it’s assumed that a degree in communication qualifies someone as an analytical thinker, logical, creative, and resourceful. These are all good skills that carry over into plenty of other jobs in business, science, and administration – sometimes even lawyers start by getting their communication degree before going on to law school because it’s a valuable foundation to start from.

The Overall Advantage

Communication degrees are highly accessible, but also challenging enough to teach real-life skills and proficiencies that companies are looking for in employees. Students have the opportunity to be on the cutting-edge of emerging global communication trends and communication technology. They can also be placed as the go-to person within a business for their established interface, writing, and social skills.

There are also a wide array of concentrations available for communications majors – students who are interested in anything from theatre to advertising to digital media will be able to find engaging coursework within the communication major. It is a great major for someone looking for a degree full of interesting topics, as well as the possibility of high job placement.

Also, being a communication major brings you in a field that has a highly-networked community. Professors of communication often have relationships with those who work outside of academia, and those who work in one part of the industry sometimes have contacts in other communication fields.

Guide to Online Communication Master Programs

University of Southern California If an engaging student life, peer-to-peer interaction, and flexibility are appealing to you, then an online degree from the University of Southern California can be an excellent choice. USC is a large school, home to almost 40,000 students, but you can earn your degree online like the Master of Communication Management with no campus time required.
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American University American University has an MA in Strategic Communication available online that follows a two-year plan, but you can schedule classes on a pace comfortable for you. This is a Strategic Communication program designed for working professionals and requires a bachelor degree or higher for enrollment.
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Southern New Hampshire University The Southern New Hampshire University is a highly-rated college based in Manchester, New Hampshire, placing it in a city field with a vibrant culture and history. However, you can obtain an MA in Communication Administration or specialize in Public Relations or New Media & Marketing through online classes without having to spend time on campus for completion, cutting down on commuting and living expenses.
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Full Sail University For over 100 years, the Full Sail University has provided quality education by integrating engaging exercises and career-oriented curriculum. This is apparent in their online BS in Media Communication degree that prepares graduates to take on high-level positions and responsibilities and gain a global perspective on various business and technology situations.
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