Online Communications Bachelor's Degree

What You'll Learn & What You Can Do After Graduation

Pursuing a communication degree online teaches you essential skills like public speaking, presentation design, and data collection. Projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show growth in the most common communications industries; for instance, advertising, promotions, and marketing manager opportunities should increase by 10% in the next decade. Keep reading to learn more about how an online communication degree can boost your career.

Why Earn an Online Communications Degree?

Earning a communications degree online rather than through a conventional campus program offers several benefits for students juggling other responsibilities. For one, distance learning programs tend to cost less than traditional programs. Online communications degree programs are also more convenient because students do not need to commute — they can log in from their home computers.

Learners can also choose programs that fit their personal needs. For instance, individuals can use transfer credits or accelerated programs, which feature heavier course loads, to graduate sooner. Those with full-time jobs, on the other hand, can balance their schedules by enrolling in part-time programs with lighter course loads. Additionally, asynchronous programs allow students to log in to watch lectures or participate in class discussion when it's convenient instead of at a specific time.

What Can I Do with a Bachelor's in Communications?

An online communications degree can take you in an array of career directions. Of course client-facing jobs require communication skills, but just interacting with fellow employees does, too, making a communication degree useful in a variety of professional settings. A communications degree also provides a solid foundation for pursuing a master's degree or doctorate in a related field, like public relations, advertising, or journalism.

Skills and Knowledge Gained

Unsurprisingly, students pursuing an online bachelor's degree in communications improve their speaking and writing skills, but good communication involves much more than that. Good communicators can boil down complex ideas until they are easy to understand, and facilitate productive conversations where people listen more carefully and ask better questions.

Online communications degree graduates also learn valuable professional skills, like how to create presentations or give convincing pitches to clients, which comes in handy in careers like marketing and advertising. Students often learn how to design market research, conduct studies, and analyze data.

A bachelor's degree helps students develop skills in ways that an associate or high school degree can't. For one, bachelor's degrees encourage electives that bolster related skills, like business administration or public relations. Bachelor's degrees also often require internships or other practical experience, and capstone courses help students build portfolios that demonstrate their skills.

Careers and Salary Potential

The versatility of an online communication degree allows graduates to work in a variety of industries, including those listed below. Although some are obvious, like public relations, others are not so intuitive. All of these career paths require common work skills that come with a communications degree, like decision-making, organization, and interpersonal communication.

  • Software Development: Software development may seem like an unlikely career path for communications graduates, but software is designed for human use, which means it offers customer service, marketing, and account management positions.

  • Advertising, Branding, and Sales Promotions: Advertising, branding, and sales promotion all utilize communications skills to strategize for and create compelling marketing campaigns.

  • Education: Communications graduates interested in education can find work in high schools, especially as speech and debate teachers or coaches. In addition, communication skills allow graduates to work as educators in other capacities, like a health educator for a nonprofit organization, for example.

  • Marketing, Advertising, and Media Management: Good communication skills are essential for working in media, advertising, and marketing. Individuals in these fields need to craft convincing campaigns for their organizations or clients, and often manage a company's social media presence as well.

  • Healthcare: Communications graduates can also find jobs in the healthcare industry, where they can work as public relations officers, grant writers, social media marketers, or health campaign coordinators.

Advertising, Promotions, or Marketing Manager

Annual Median Salary: $129,380

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers typically work for advertising agencies or public relations companies. They plan advertising and marketing campaigns for products and services, helping generate customer interest. Promotions managers also put together promotional campaigns and competitions. Successful marketing managers excel at strategy, identifying untapped markets, and attracting new demographics.

Public Relations Specialist

Annual Median Salary: $59,300

Public relations specialists manage the public reputation of their company, organization, or clients. They do this by writing press releases to news publications encouraging favorable coverage, answering media questions, and mitigating bad press. PR specialists might also run social media.

Human Resources Specialist

Annual Median Salary: $60,350

Human resource specialists work in employee relations. They identify what employers need, then recruit employees to meet that need. This includes reading resumes, conducting job interviews, and contacting candidate references. They often run orientations for new employees, handle workplace disputes, and manage salary and benefit packages.

Reporter, Correspondent, or Broadcast News Analyst

Annual Median Salary: $40,910

Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts work in the news media industry. Reporters and correspondents pitch stories, interview sources, obtain documents and data, and write articles. They may work for print, digital, radio, or television outlets. Broadcast news analysts sometimes appear on news TV shows as hosts, correspondents, or political commentators.

Editor

Annual Median Salary: $58,770

Editors may find employment working for news outlets, literary publications, or copywriting agencies. Editors review content to catch factual, spelling, or grammatical errors. At news organizations and literary publications, they also guide journalists and writers, helping them identify and organize stories. Executive editors run entire organizations, and usually make the final call on what gets published.