An education in the field of communications encompasses key elements of public relations, marketing, writing, publishing, new media, and interpersonal skills. Obtaining a communications bachelor’s degree requires course work in understanding and implementing these various written, spoken, and visual communication tools in order to become eligible for high-level careers in radio and TV broadcasting, advertising, sales, and journalism, among many others. As a widely-accepted minimum education requirement for employers in communications-related industries, an online bachelor’s program is intended to demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of communication principles and techniques, as well as a mastery of professional and interpersonal skills.
Why a Bachelor’s Degree?
For many mid-to senior-level jobs involving communications, a bachelor’s degree is the minimum degree required. Online bachelor’s degrees in communications are especially convenient and cost-effective, even sometimes combined with accelerated master’s curriculum in a “fast track” online degree option. Graduates of a four-year bachelor’s degree program are eligible for top jobs in a variety of exciting industries including PR, entertainment, advertising, and new media. The wide world of careers available to qualified candidates with communications skills is expansive, and provides a range of potentially lucrative occupations with longevity. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), public relations managers and specialists, for example, are expected to see jobs in this area grow by 21%, which is faster than average for all occupations, by 2020.
Getting Into a Bachelor’s Degree Program
As the field of communications is broad in scope, requirements to enter a bachelor’s program are typically minimal, although admissions procedures vary by school:
- Associate’s degree from accredited institution, or minimum transferable college credits (varies by school)
- Minimum GPA (varies by school)
- Application including statement of intent and/or application fees (as applicable, according to school)
Inside a Bachelor’s Degree Program
Students typically are required to take four years of comprehensive study in this field in order to complete a bachelors degree in communications. At this level, students are introduced to in-depth study of the core concepts of public relations and communications, and how they are used in the modern world. As bachelor’s candidates are also likely preparing to begin or advance their careers in this field with this widely-accepted degree, they may also enhance their professional skills through targeted practical curriculum. Bachelor’s courses often include communication principles, theory and models of communication, research methods, speaking techniques, business communication, and fundamentals of journalism, among others.
Enrolling in a communications bachelor’s degree online is an efficient option for those looking to explore a high-quality yet flexible educational program. While an online degree may provide education through unconventional means, the standards, courses, and often the expert instructors are identical to those offered through on-campus learning. E-learners often reap the benefits of additional research software tools and online libraries, fully online email correspondence, and the ability to complete assignments at their own pace. Students focusing their studies on new technologies or digital media in relation to communications may also have the added advantage of learning on an innovative Web platform and using fully integrated technology to complete their degree.
What’s Next for Communications Bachelor’s Degree Holders?
The majority of jobs available in the field of communications are within the reach of bachelor’s degree-holders with qualifying skills. Graduates may be eligible to become social media managers, journalists, publishing executives, advertising managers, policy analysts, or even documentary filmmakers, among many others. Salaries vary, ranging from modest to generous, according to individual occupations. For example, writers and authors made an annual average salary of $69,025 in 2010, while advertising, promotions, and marketing managers made an annual average of $103,940 that year, according to the BLS. Some candidates may choose to go on to extend their education to pursue higher-level jobs in their field.
Some bachelor’s degree-holders may opt to pursue higher education in communications and may even decide to seek education in a closely related field or a concentration area of study to hone specialty skills. Many schools offer online master’s degrees in this field, and may even offer graduate-level course work in addition to undergraduate courses for students who want to pursue a “fast-track” degree option. Students with a master’s degree in communications, public relations, or journalism may be eligible for a career in public relations management, technical writing, political science, or business administration, among others.