An Intro to Communications

From the moment that a person is born, communication is the leading resource for learning new skills, language, and building relationships. This incredible tool for learning has transformed into an influential career field that can change the way that people do business and organizations function.

The field of communications can potentially lead learners into different branches of business, social services, criminal justice, or even counseling-related career fields. Gaining skills that can increase your influence of others can make you a great addition to teams interested in changing society for the better or connecting people with resources or products that can change their lives.

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What to Expect in the Online Bachelor's Program

The online Bachelors in Communication can be an intriguing option for students that wish to increase their public speaking or media-based skills. Most online programs have interactive tools that can allow learners to participate in virtual speeches and take part in live instruction via the internet.

Like a lot of other bachelors programs, students can expect to complete a set of prerequisite general educational courses as part of their program. This requirement takes around 60 credit hours to complete - which translates to about 2 years of learning at full-time enrollment. The remaining 2 years of the online Bachelors in Communications program is spent in course work that pertains specifically to communications.

Considering this type of online degree program for your education can make a remarkable assumption about your skills and desires as a professional. This field calls upon people with great interpersonal skills, confidence, and dedication to influencing others. If you have these traits within your repertoire, you could be a great addition to the communications community.

Our team of educational experts has provided a guide below to run you through different online degree levels and what they can provide for you. Read through to see if this field may be the right option for you.

Coursework Common in Online Bachelors Programs

At the bachelor's level, students may often see a lot of general educational courses at the onset of the program. Learning more about standard educational topics such as English and mathematics can assist you in brushing up on some common skills that can be useful when working in fields such as business, as well as when developing relationships in the workplace. The general educational component is fairly common in most undergraduate programs and can work as a great transition to major-specific courses.

Classes that pertain directly to the field of communications may begin with courses such as the ones listed below this section. Introductory courses in general public speaking can be a great way to introduce students to general communication skills and what it takes to properly address a target audience. From this course on, you can learn more about how communication is achieved with different types of target audiences, as well as the different types of communication methods that can be used in fields such as business and marketing.

Public Speaking

One of the most common courses found in undergraduate communications programs focuses on one's skills in public speaking. This course can teach students more about proper dictation, posture, and use of voice. Part of student responsibility in this course may be to deliver a speech without supporting resources, which encourages memorization and practice.

In this course, students may be responsible for writing, rehearsing, and presenting their own speech to the class. The purpose of this course is to create better public speakers for communications careers of varying natures.

Organizational Communications

After learning some of the basic fundamentals of public speaking and communications, students can take courses that are more aligned to their career goals. Students in business-related programs can use what is provided in this course to develop better relationships with the people they work with.

This course outlines both verbal and non-verbal language and communication skills, interpersonal relationship building via communication, and even modification of current communications techniques to fit the times.

Careers at the Bachelors Level

One of the most fascinating aspects about online communications degrees is that they can help you gain skills relevant to many different types of careers. Some communications graduates can seek out careers in business, since communication is so important to training employees and partnerships between organizations. Communication can also be a great tool for success when working in fields involved with patient care, education, and public services.

Each of these fields could potentially benefit from the skills of great communicators. In order to show you the benefits of this online degree program, our team has researched some of the most common career positions to show you what the earning potential could be at this degree level. A lot of online bachelors earners can obtain entry-level positions within many diverse fields, which can be a great way to start a fruitful career or even fund higher education programs. Check out some of the example careers below.

  • Public Relations Specialist: $59,300 on average per year (BLS).
  • Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners: $48,290 on average per year (BLS).

Online Masters in Communications

The online Bachelors in Communication can be a great start to an incredible career. However, if you are the type of person that wants to get the most out of your investment, you might even consider progressing to online masters programs after your bachelors. The online Masters in Communication can be found at universities all over the country and can provide you with even more expertise within this field.

Some students may find the master of arts or the master of science program available at their school, with slightly different curricula but similar degree outcomes. In some programs, you might find the Masters in Communication partnered with other degrees – such as Business Management or Business Administration.

Another important aspect of online Masters in Communication degree programs is that it can often be modified to meet your specific career goals. At some universities, specializations can be chosen in order for you to take courses relevant to the field you plan to work in. In the list below, you can see some of the most commonly found concentration options for this program.

  • International Communication
  • Media and Journalism
  • Healthcare Communication
  • Corporate or Business Communication
  • Political Communication

As you can see from the list above, you can potentially move your career in many different directions as a result of your online program. Once you are enrolled, you may find that online masters programs can provide you with the flexibility and convenience you need to manage a busy work or personal schedule. Online courses typically involve research, discussion, and testing components that can allow you to express you knowledge through diverse methods.

Contact with instructors and other students within online Masters in Communication programs can also be a breath of fresh air for students that have experience in traditional learning environments. Multiple communication tools such as discussion boards and course email make reaching out for assistance an easier experience for students enrolled.

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Coursework for Online Masters

Since the online masters program was designed to help strengthen your skills within a specific field, you might expect to take course work that specifically pertains to your major throughout the program. The online bachelors programs typically involves the integration of general education components, while the online masters follows a more designated path towards subject mastery.

Courses in the Online Masters in Communications may also be geared towards a particular aspect or field in communications in order to give you a preferred outlook on what you might be doing in the field. Depending on whether or not you choose a specialization for your degree, you may find courses that interrelate communication skills to this area.

Some online programs provide you with a breakdown of courses by topic, such as 15 credit hours of general topic courses, 15 specialization credit hours, and 15 elective hours. This can allow you to blend your specialization with other general and elective topics to help expand your knowledge and learn more about your degree area.

Communication for Leadership

As a leader in the field of business, communication skills may be important in determining how well you develop relationships within. This course can teach you more about leadership communication, encouragement, and interpersonal skills that can help you effectively lead a team. Communication among partnerships and contractors may also be discussed, as well as the presentation of training or new information for the improvement of a program.

Communication by Design

Marketing of products and services in the field of business is heavily reliant on the communication of goods in the public domain. Students in this course can learn more about effectively communicating messages via television advertising, the internet, and more specifically – social media. Students can also learn the value of imagery in advertising, as well as influential video and audio resources.

Careers for Master’s Graduates

Your online degree program can help you prepare for an incredible career in the field of communications. Graduates of these degree programs can potentially become influential parts of businesses in various fields, as well as work as advocates for specific social messages or agendas. There can be multiple possibilities for your degree program, depending on the type of specialization you choose from your degree program.

Some students may choose to pursue a career that involves working with the media, such as situational reporting, broadcasting, or even in entertainment. Other graduates may be more interested in working for government agencies or even in political fields. A specialization for your online degree can help mold your skills based on the needs of professionals in your field. Some students considering entry into this degree field might wish to learn more about the earning capabilities of professionals that choose this program.

In order to learn more about this aspect of online degrees, our team has researched some of the most common careers for professionals with online degrees in communication and provided some data from that research below for you to review.

  • Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts: $40,910 on average per year (BLS).
  • Technical Writers: $70,930 on average per year (BLS).

Online Doctorate

After the online masters degree, some students may feel like they can go even further with their desire to excel in their field. In the field of communications, students can progress through to higher graduate-level programs at the doctorate level. Online Doctorate degree programs in Communications can be a great way to expand your capabilities beyond the standard applied field of communications and integrate leadership and research-oriented aspects into your learning experience.

If you have taken the time to research any online doctorate programs in this field, you may be aware of the different types currently available. Students interested in obtaining higher tier positions in their current agency could consider online Doctorates in Communications in order to gain skills relevant to leading others in their field. Other skills that might be covered in this program may pertain to the general financial management of communication agencies, as well as some standard business courses relevant for management professionals. Employee management, conflict, and team-building are some common topics covered in these programs.

Another form of the online doctorate is the Ph.D. in Communications. This degree program could be a great option for professionals concerned with improving their field or even specific programs throughout the United States. The Ph.D. program can provide you with insight into the ideation, creation, and implementation of research projects concerning communication, as well as the process of reviewing the efficiency of various communication methods. Fundamentally, online Ph.D. earners can create the tools in which Doctorate learners apply while working in the field.

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Doctorate Courses in Communications

In order to dive deeper into what the online doctorate might look like for you, our team has extracted a couple of courses from an online program for you to review. Gaining better insight into specific topics from a degree program can help you better prepare for and understand what could result from these programs.

As you can see in the courses listed below, students can have the opportunity to learn more about both the applied aspects of doctoral level communications, as well as the basics of research in this field. Some online doctorate programs may also require students to engage in some in-person or on-campus experiences.

Different colleges may provide different recommendations for your specific program, so it is always important to be aware of these requirements before enrollment. It might be helpful to identify 100% online programs if your schedule would not allow for weekend or short-term practicum requirements throughout your program.

Theories of Communication

This course can help you dive deeper into the historical foundations of human communication through theory and research. This course looks at theories regarding communication in marketing, the internet, and on smaller personal scales in order to address the many different dimensions and applications of this field.

Students may also analyze various situations in order to apply what they have learned throughout their programs in a productive way. This course seeks to further develop a student’s knowledge of different forms of communication and how they are applied in the real world.

Methods of Communication Research

At the doctoral level, students in communications programs may look closer at the use of research within their field. This course specifically reviews some of the different types of research methods available for professionals within this field.

Qualitative research such as interviews may be discussed, as well as quantitative methods such as surveys. Students may also be responsible for developing and conducting their own personal research project as part of their course grade.

Careers for Doctorate Earners

It can be an exhilarating feeling to complete a higher level degree. When you indulge in a degree program online, you can work towards career success without having to set aside the things that are most valuable to you in life. Once you have made it through your entire program and have a grasp on the type of career you would like to pursue in the field, it may be time to start your search.

Since communication is such a vital aspect of society, relationships, business, and entertainment, career options may be widespread in your area and beyond. Our team knows how important it is to pre-plan when it comes to your education. You should always review and be aware of the career opportunities that might be available to you after graduation, so that you make the best possible option for your degree.

Online degrees in communication can lead you into careers that influence others, education those around you, and develop relationships and skills for different purposes. Our team of educational experts has provided a few of the most common career options for graduates at the doctorate level below for you to familiarize yourself with. Take a look to see if any of these options would be a great fit for you.

  • Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers: $129,380 on average per year (BLS).
  • Training and Development Specialists: $60,360 on average per year (BLS).

Professional Organizations

As you make your transition into the field of communications, you should seek out support from other professionals within your field. There can be many options for you to consider when networking with others in your field, the most common being membership in professional organizations. These types of groups may allow students and professionals to become a part of their team, access current research and case studies in the field, and participate in group gatherings and conferences that support their purpose.

If you want to learn more about what types of professional organizations might be available to you in this field, read more in the list below. Our team has located some of the most popular organizations available and provided you with a snippet of their message for you to consider.

The International Association for Business Communicators (IABC)

Students pursuing a communications degree to obtain a career in business could benefit from joining professional organizations such as the IABC. This agency can provide supportive resources, methods, and research for upcoming and current professionals interested in being the best professional they can be.

The Society for Technical Communication (STC)

The STC is a professional association that works under the assumption that professionals are constantly learning. This organization can provide you with tools and methods for communication in the workplace, ways to connect with people via communication skills, and advocacy throughout your career.