The all-encompassing field of communications utilizes public relations (PR), writing, marketing, advertising, multi-media, and interactive skills to connect users with information. The communications industry is best-suited to those interested in growing their journalism, PR, technical, and interpersonal skills into a career with longevity in a communications-related field such as broadcasting, journalism, or even HR, among others. Candidates may choose to complete a vocational certificate in communications to gain training in a specialty area, which is often attractive to employers looking for candidates with exceptional qualifications and above-and-beyond career skills.
Types of Communications Certificates
Vocational Certificate in Communications
A vocational certificate program in communications covers basic principles and techniques of communication, as well as industry-specific career training in this subject, and is often focused on a practical concentration subject, such as publishing or technology, among other minor subjects. Some candidates working toward the communications certificate online are looking to improve their skills and entry-level job prospects before pursuing a degree in this subject, while others may already be working in communications but simply want to gain specialty training to help advance their career. Whatever your career goals are, a vocational certificate in communications may help emphasize your qualifications to potential employers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that while the minimum requirement for jobs in this field is typically an undergraduate degree, employers appreciate additional professional training in communication and PR-related concentrations. Admissions requirements vary according to school, but are typically minimal:
- High school diploma or GED (or equivalent)
- Minimum required score on basic academic placement testing (if applicable)
- Completion of pre-requisite basic communications courses (if applicable)
- Transferred college-level course credits from previous education, if applicable
- Application including statement of intent and/or application fees (as applicable, according to school)
A vocational certificate in communications is typically a two-year program comprised of 18-24 course credit hours of practical ethics, communication principles, writing, ethics, and Web-based and multi-media curriculum. In addition, students may also be encouraged to gain work experience through an internship, as well as expand their education through electives courses in arts and humanities. The online communications certificate is especially accommodating for students who are already employed full-time, as it allows for students to complete all of their assignments online, at their leisure. Online certificate programs utilize a special Web platform designed for e-learning that enables efficient communication via email and chat between professors and students.
What’s Next for Certificate Holders?
Although the field of communications offers many entry-level opportunities to degree-holders, communications professionals holding a vocational certificate may find even more job prospects in the working world. In this popular and competitive field where a bachelor’s is the minimum requirement, there seem to have additional diverse career possibilities for those with specialty skills. For example, the BLS reports that communications professionals with the practical skills obtained from a vocational program may find work in a variety of unique jobs, ranging from religious, grant making, and civic organizations, to health care and social services.
Students may arrive at admissions for this program from various stages of prior education. Some have completed a few college courses and are contemplating pursuing a degree. Others may have completed an undergraduate program, and are simply looking for course work to supplement their practical skills and work experience in the field. The vocational certificate is ideal for all students hoping to improve their current professional standing with additional communications training. Depending on their career track after graduating the certificate program, students may choose to go directly into an entry-level career, or pursue a bachelor’s or higher degree in communications.