Pursuing communications as an educational discipline develops eligibility for a variety of professional objectives. This highly fascinating discipline has widespread applications. After completing the preferred coursework, you can compete in diverse fields like print media, television, filmmaking, online communication, lectureship, hermeneutics, semiotics, political analysis and corporate communications. You can also use your skills to pursue a career in writing. The salary varies greatly and there are no set limits. You can also work as an independent author. You can eke out a convenient lifestyle as journalists, media specialists, professors, esoteric researchers and public relations managers. The degree can also be an added specialty for applying to human resource jobs. The earnings as a writer also vary. You can work as a content writer, scriptwriter, translator or author novels and short stories. Super established writers earn in billions even!
Best Schools For Communications Degree
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The various types of communications study
It all starts with finding the right coursework. At the very basic, you can complete an associate’s program in communications. This offers you the basic eligibility in developing communications skills and you can find a host of good entry-level jobs. You can apply for any basic job that requires interacting with others. You can work as a customer service executive in any organization following an associate’s degree. You can work at front desks and receptions of a variety of offices. The associate’s course usually completes in two years. Online associate programs can stretch the course duration to some extent.
Next in line is the undergraduate bachelor’s in communications. This program would take a minimum of four years to complete. This is the commonest kind of communications persuasions. A bachelor’s program would impart a comprehensive understanding about the art and science of communication. Journalism, media studies, moving image studies, communications with children, political communications, and controversies in the discipline compose the bachelor’s curriculum.
Although course structures vary from one university/college to another, more or less these are the various aspects of studying the subject. Students also gain expertise in extensive creative writing skills that can assist them to work as writers in a variety of positions. The expertise in handling interpersonal communications and in explaining complex matters can be crucial in your role as a corporate communications manager. You can also veer into filmmaking through screenplay writing. You also learn other aspects of the profession like communication ethics, sports communication and laws pertaining to communications. You get to learn about developing effective sociological communications skills. Some courses also include a fundamental program of foreign language communication. Well-established bachelor programs also offer internships at various reputed organizations.
Then, there is the master in communications degree. This postgraduate degree is best for students who want to further their understanding of a focused field in communication. Usually, students study journalism and media relation in details at the university. People looking for advanced expertise in communications also complete the doctoral program. Doctoral programs may consist of developing an elaborate research paper on the study of symbols in communications. It may also cover diverse aspects in social, economic, and cultural interpretation of communications. Interpretations of communications psychology and study of communication laws offer great scope for researchers.
Candidates can combine various elements of the discipline. You can develop a comprehensive understanding of the language of different genres and subgenres of the film media and work as a film critique. You can cover political communication, journalism ethics, and public speaking in detail and consider a career in politics. Interpretation of social media communication can also be an interesting field to complete a doctoral thesis.
Choosing the right school
Several colleges and universities offer the degrees in communication. You need to check certain critical parameters for selecting the right program. Start by making a list of preferred schools based on location. You can look for an appropriate education program in your state universities. You can also look for programs in other states, if you can find a good curriculum. A critical evaluation of the program curriculum is necessary. Most universities make the course structure available online so that you can make an informed decision. In case you cannot find it, contact the course administrator with your enquiry.
When you are selecting an associate program, see whether the course covers fundamental aspects of developing communication skills in a particular field. In fact, most associate programs are available in specialization formats. You can choose an associate degree in media communications. You can choose a program that makes you an associate of corporate communications and so on. Besides looking up the universities, you can also select from available online programs. However, always confirm the accreditation of the program, whether online or campus coaching.
Follow the same approach in selecting the bachelor degree course. Besides analyzing the details of the program, check whether the course offers the facility of internships at reputed organizations. Verifying the affiliations of the program is a good way of ensuring that you can do your internship from a reputed organization. The Association of Business Communication (ABC), the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the national Communication Association, the International Communication Association, the International Association for media and Communication Research, the Public Relations Society of America and the Society for Cinema and Media Studies are the major accrediting bodies.
Also, confirm the faculty eligibility is choosing a suitable communications program. Many universities enlist the faculty qualifications on their site. You can also ask about the faculty salary to get an idea about the eligibility of the instructor. Consider calling up the preferred universities and discussing your issues with the course counselor. Besides asking about the program focus and career opportunities, talk about your expectations from the program. If you have a preferred field where you need to specialize, discuss whether the bachelor degree covers it. Also, you need to enquire about the course fees. Bachelor degrees are more expensive than the associate programs. You may need financial assistance. See whether the university has scholarship programs. Check whether the school can arrange for financing facilities.
By the time you complete the bachelor degree, you would have sufficient insights into selecting a suitable master’s program. You need to find the master’s degree course specializing in the field where you want to develop your expertise. For doctoral programs, you need to find the right guide. Conduct your research to find the right university to complete a doctoral thesis.
Communication degree salaries
The communications degree can assist you in procuring salaries over a wide range. The huge flexibility of the degree allows you to work as professionals in various fields. A recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers reveal that a major in communication is one of the best degrees in terms of salaries. The average starting salary of a communication degree holder is $43,000. Another report notes that salaries in corporate communications positions are also highly lucrative.
The average salary of a public relations specialist is around $60,000. You can earn around $69,000 as a marketing research specialist, which is also a job that requires using communication skills to design effective surveys. Advertising and promotions managers earn around $96,000. You can also apply at various managerial positions in the organizational hierarchy. The average salary of marketing managers is in the range of $120,000.
If you are aiming for entry-level communications jobs, you can expect a salary in the range of $25,000 to $35,000. Various positions are available in this range. Apart from working at helpdesks and as customer service executives, you can also work as assistants in the film and television department. You can also find employment as a radio announcer.
There are huge numbers of positions in journalism and print media. You can work at various managerial positions in media houses. In fact, the communications major makes you eligible to apply for all positions in media. You can work for newspapers, magazines, and websites. New reporters and correspondents earn in the range of $30,000-$40,000, depending on the organization. After gaining some experience, you can also work at top positions in the industry. The average salary for broadcast news analysts is $55,000. You can also work as scriptwriters in the film industry.
You can command good salaries as online content writers and managers. As a beginner, expect to earn around $30,000 as a content writer. You can also specialize in different niches. Technical writing is a particularly sought after niche. The median salary for technical writers is around $65,000. Working as an editor at a reputed media house also has good earning scopes. The average salary for editors is $55,000.
Working as interpreters and translators can open up diverse career opportunities. If you have good skills in a language other than English, you can find translator jobs in both private and government sectors. The median salary for interpreters is around $45,000. The average salary for speechwriters is around $79,000. Communications managers in reputed organizations earn around $90,000 in an average. With some experience in the writing field, you can work as a novelist or author of short stories. You can also work as ghostwriters. If you can write well, the earnings from these disciplines virtually have no limits.