Earning a Master’s in Communication
Opportunities in the communications arena are growing due to emerging subfields and subject areas. It’s an interdisciplinary field with ties to psychology, journalism, and government or politics. It’s also a very important field, as communications is an essential component of business and workforce planning. You’ll find a communications department in both corporate and non-profit business sectors.
Types of Master’s in Communication Programs
There are many different types of graduate-level programs in communications studies. Because of the diverse nature of this field, options are both varied and highly-specific. For example, you can enroll in one of the following degree programs, depending on your academic and career goals:
- Master of Science in Communication: An M.S. in Communication is a graduate-level degree designed for students who are interested in science communication, technical communication, and public communication. These programs are typically very comprehensive, focusing on many approaches to communication, but incorporate more science instruction into the curricula.
- Master of Arts in Communication: Earning a M.A. in Communication prepares graduates to enter the field as innovative, effective, and highly-skilled professionals. You’ll receive a more liberal arts-centered education with a focus on media structures, policies, and new communication technologies.
- Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication: This graduate-level program focuses on editorial, critical, and feature writing for a variety of media outlets as well as the study of communication behaviors in institutional, social, and cultural life.
- Master of Arts in Managerial Communication: For students interested in managerial careers, this degree offers a unique combination of practical skills and academic reflection that prepares graduates to assume leadership roles in the communications field. You’ll learn how to covey thoughts and ideas effectively in a variety of forms to a variety of professional audiences.
- Master of Science in Health Communication: The healthcare industry is in need of trained professionals to fill positions in a variety of capacities, including communications professionals. If you’re interested in working for a hospital, government agency, or nonprofit organizations, obtaining a M.S. in Health Communication will prepare you for a wide range of jobs.
Jobs in the Communication Field
Jobs in this field are diverse and continue to become broader as the media and communications industries advance. Depending on the degree you earn, you can pursue such job titles as:
- Communications Editor
- Media Relations Manager
- Public Relations Account Supervisor
- Investor Relations Manager
- Communications Director
- Public Relations Account Coordinator
Social media has radically changed the field in the past few years, creating new and challenging roles for communications professionals. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment of public relations managers and specialists is expected to grow 21 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.” The BLS also notes that competition for entry-level jobs will likely be strong, so obtaining a master’s degree will put you ahead of other applicants.
The salary outlook is also promising, with a median annual wage of $91,810 reported in May of 2010 for public relations managers. Media and communications workers reported median annual wages between $45,000 up to $91,000. With an advanced degree, you might earn even more, depending on where you work and the experience you bring to the table.
Online Master’s in Communication Programs
Technology has made it possible to earn a graduate degree entirely online. You can even take classes online and on-campus by enrolling in a hybrid program. The hybrid model combines both types of instruction into one cohesive program. If you need as much scheduling flexibility as possible, taking all of your classes online allows you to work around your lifestyle. You can continue to work, take care of a family, and fulfill other obligations while earning your master’s degree.
Other benefits of distance learning include:
- Save money! By taking classes online, you’ll save on commuting costs, room and board, and other tuition-related expenses.
- Customize your learning experience: Many online programs allow you to learn at your own pace and on your schedule.
- Learn new technology: By taking classes online, you’ll learn valuable computer and Internet skills that are transferable to work and life outside of the classroom.
- Networking opportunities: Another added benefit of online learning is the networking opportunities. You’ll meet other professionals in the field both nationwide and worldwide!
These are just a few of the many reasons why online learning is advantageous. It’s a smart solution for working professionals looking to advance their careers and increase their compensation. What’s more, online learning offers immediate access to student resources such as help desks, digital libraries, and other useful information. Our list of graduate-level programs will help get you started on finding the right program that meets your unique academic and career goals.