A degree in communications is very versatile – one that studies in this field will find that he or she can enter into myriad career areas once graduated. With the bachelors’ degree, the areas of media, law, journalism, and public relations become a possibility. A communications education is based in speech, language and rhetoric and how they used to work within society.
Communications Degree: What You’ll Study
To acquire a job in the communications area, attaining at least a bachelor’s degree in the study is key. According to WorldWideLearn, the online directory of education, students of communications will learn presentation, speaking and discussion tools – all necessary for work in many fields. Many companies require that their employees have excellent speaking and discussion skills. This allows people to strike deals, argue in court and debate ideas for growth of a company.
A student will study public speaking, media criticism and courses that involve looking at the ways groups and societies function. For many students, a Bachelor’s degree will be a combination of communications and other liberal arts courses.
For those interested in sending messages to the public, speaking, debating and informing, a communications degree could be a strong choice.
The top communications universities are listed at Education Portal. According to the portal, “Students looking at the top communication colleges in the U.S. should find one that offers several majors and minors within a communication school. For instance, the communication school may offer programs in photography, public relations, journalism, media studies, graphic design, advertising, documentary film and media management.”
Communication Degree Jobs: They’re out There
With a communication degree, graduates are able to venture into many fields. The degrees are often considered for politics, law, journalism, public relations and marketing. Specializing or minoring in economics, sociology or another field is smart — especially for those considering a career with a specific company or organization.
Working in Public Relations, Media and More
A communications employee can also work in the corporate field — with major companies in various departments interacting with many people. This may also lead to working in public relations and marketing, where research and analysis of public trends will take place, along with working with clients.
Students may also work as public information officers in government or education, where they will deliver a specific message and work on the brand of that particular company. This is similar to working in publicity, where they can promote, carve and better the image of a product or company. A communications officer is also a job available to those who study communication. This person works with an agency or company by relaying messages to the public and getting the public involved with the agency or organization.
For those seeking employment, Media Bistro is a great place to find communication jobs with organizations, newspapers, magazines and public relation companies.
Bachelors Degree in Communications
A bachelor’s degree is necessary for most of the jobs mentioned, though a person will also need to supplement their degree by attaining volunteer or internship positions. Any four-year college will grant a communications degree. You will study journalism, media and communication courses involving speech and writing. Working at a newspaper, magazine or public relations company will also boost the resume.
Top Journalism Universities with Online Programs
The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) is an independent organization which grants accreditation to the most professional journalism college programs in the United States.
This article reviews some of the best journalism programs available online (including those with ACEJMC accreditation), and details how their online learning systems work.
Accredited Journalism Programs – University of Missouri
The University of Missouri, which has an ACEJMC-accredited Master of Arts in Journalism degree program through the Missouri School of Journalism, offers an online master’s program.
Students must choose one of two specialization areas – media management or strategic communication – and are required to take a minimum of 37 credit hours in core journalism and mass communications courses. Along with the academic courses, students must create a capstone thesis composed of original research and qualitative conclusions.
Additionally, students are required to visit the physical campus twice during the program, once for a weekend summer seminar in June, and once for a thesis defense.
Online journalism college courses are delivered on an asynchronous schedule, giving students the flexibility to log in and attend archived lectures whenever they choose.
For more information on tuition and requirements, contact the Missouri School of Journalism, which is one of the best journalism universities in the United States, at (573) 882-4256.
Accredited Journalism College – University of Memphis
The University of Memphis, which offers ACEJMC-accredited Bachelor and Master of Arts in Journalism degrees, also offers online bachelors and masters programs, the latter of which is intended for professional journalists who are actively engaged in journalism careers.
Students in the undergraduate online journalism program are required to complete a total of 120 credit hours which include general education courses and core major courses. Students in the online graduate program have three options: a thesis option with 30 credit hours of coursework, a professional project option with 33 credit hours of coursework, and a degree option with no culminating thesis or project which requires 36 credit hours of coursework.
All of these journalism programs have online courses which are set on a synchronous schedule, meaning students attend classes online in real-time using web-conferencing technologies (from Wimba software). Students have access to assignments, learning materials, and library resources via the online platform.
For more information on tuition and requirements, contact the Department of Journalism at 901-678-2401.
Journalism Universities – University of Massachusetts
UMass offers an online Bachelor of Arts with Journalism Studies concentration. This program, which is not accredited by ACEJMC (though the University of Massachusetts is a fully accredited institution), is unique in that it allows students both credit reductions for professional journalism experience as well as the ability to transfer up to 75 credits into the program.
This journalism college program, offered through UMass’ University Without Walls, provides students with asynchronous courses.
For more information, contact UMass at 901-678-2401.
Journalism Universities – Online Benefits
Professional students often are unable to attend traditional, on-campus programs due to a number of outside work and personal demands. Online journalism programs provide students with the opportunity to maintain active careers while pursuing an academic degree.
For information on additional ACEJMC-accredited programs, see their accreditation listing.