When deciding what you want for your future, it’s easy to have a sense of anxiety that you’re going to choose wrong and regret it. On the other hand, when there’s a degree that leaves the career field wide open with options, you can dive in with a sense of anticipation to see where you’ll land. A communications degree gives you that kind of job ticket. In fact, there is enough career diversity that you can even change lanes down the road if you need a new challenge. So, is communications a useful degree? Resoundingly, yes! Let’s explore some of the reasons why you should pursue a degree in public relations and communications.
Interpersonal Communications Style
Much of the answer lies in the essence of the word “communications” itself. Every interaction we have with other people involves using communication skills in some way, whether it’s non-verbally through our body language or through the written word, photos, music, art, or other medium.
- What we communicate has nearly infinite topics
- Why we communicate can be to inform, persuade, encourage, provoke, entertain, improve work performance, or a host of other reasons
- Who we communicate with can be extremely diverse or can be to a very targeted audience
- How we deliver our messages is important because of the various channels of communication in today’s world
Essentially, communication is at the heart of everything we do, including in the corporate world. It should come as no surprise, then, that being trained in communications opens job opportunities in nearly every industry.
Communications Skills and Knowledge
The versatility of public relations and communications degrees, such as Ottawa University’s online Bachelor of Arts in Communication, also lies in the wide range of skills and knowledge developed throughout the programs. For example, at Ottawa University, students learn to recognize and understand different communication styles, issues, and systems in order to make decisions and solve problems effectively. You also enhance your critical-thinking skills, along with an awareness of cultural, social, intergenerational, and political diversity as it relates to communication. Our accelerated, online communications degree helps graduates transfer marketing and business communication insights to your professional lives, where you can improve your work performance. You can also use the communication skills you gain to build positive relationships between organizations and a variety of audiences. Throughout the program you gain an ethical perspective through immersive experiential learning and discover how to deploy language effectively and appropriately in order to engage their communities, businesses, and departments in meaningful dialogue.
Careers in Communications
Nearly every organization needs internal and external communication experts to represent them well to their customers, donors, clients, employees, or business partners. Sometimes those jobs are within the human resources department, in the CEO’s office, or in the marketing and communications department. Other times they are in an agency, news outlet, or government setting.
In many communications roles, you will find yourself filling a specific niche, crafting the right messaging, delivering it through the most appropriate channels, and targeting the right audiences to achieve the organization’s communication goals. Niches could include such areas as:
- Public relations
- Web content/social media/SEO
- Video scripting/shooting/editing
- Event planning
- Publications/feature writing
- Internal communications
- Sales/direct marketing
Keep in mind that the more diversified you become in your early roles, the more marketable you will be if you decide to move to another communications job later in your career.
Career Outlook for the Communications Field
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth in the communications field is expected to climb between 2019 and 2029 by more than 7%, outpacing the average growth rate of all jobs. As of 2021, the average annual pay in the United States was $62,427 a year for jobs requiring a Bachelor of Arts in Communication or related degree. Looking at some of the varied job opportunities available may help you better assess your options within the field.
- Public Relations/Communications Specialist - communicates with the public on behalf of a company, organization, individual, politician, or government; creates content to meet communication objectives
- Copy Editor - proofreads, fact-checks and edits content to ensure grammar, syntax and punctuation are used correctly and style guides are followed.
- Meeting/Event Planner - coordinates all aspects involved in making events or meetings run smoothly.
- Development Officer - serves as a fundraiser for a college, university or private organization.
- Media Planner/Brand Strategist - works at an advertising agency to create or help create ad campaigns for clients.
- Social Media Coordinator - develops and maintains a company's social media presence on various platforms.
- Human Resources Specialist - Helps an employer find, screen, interview and onboard job candidates who are most qualified to meet the organization's needs.
- Business Reporter - reports on the economy and business developments in any given industry by gathering and analyzing facts and creating content
- Health Educator - teaches individuals and communities how to live healthier lifestyles.
Advance Your Career in Communications
To increase their earning and career advancement potential, our communications degree graduates often continue their education with an MBA or a master’s in leadership. Coupled with your public relations and communications degree, you will be prepared to assume any number of management roles with salaries as high as $108,000.
- SEO Manager - oversees the research and implementation of search engine optimization to help the digital marketing team run effective campaigns, as well as to optimize the company's website, social media pages, and other content efforts
- Public Relations/Communications Manager - plans and directs the creation of material that will enhance the public image of their employer or client and serves as the organization’s primary liaison with media outlets
- Fundraising Manager/Development Director - advances the company's initiatives through actively seeking funding partners and oversees all fundraising functions of the department
- Marketing Manager/Chief Marketing Officer - directs, plans and coordinates the implementation of marketing strategies for an organization and typically oversees a marketing department or team.
- Brand Manager - develops and implements comprehensive brand strategies to promote brand growth and expansion using a variety of data to drive volume and profitability
- Advertising Manager - manages the advertising and promotional efforts for an organization with the goal of interesting potential customers in the products or services a business offers.
- Technical Writer - Creates simplified technical documents that are easy to understand, such as instruction manuals, journal articles or other kinds of supporting documentation
- Newscaster - reads broadcast news stories via radio or television.
- Publications Manager - manages the production of print and online publications for businesses, non-profits, colleges and universities, local governments, and other organizations that use written material in their operations.
Online Communications Degree
The courses in Ottawa University's accelerated online degrees are accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. We make it easy for you to transfer credits in order to help keep tuition costs down. We also offer courses in accelerated 8-week terms in order to reduce your time to completion. These are just a few of the reasons why we are proud to be the best, fastest, and most affordable option locally in the Kansas City, Milwaukee, and Phoenix areas, as well as serving students nationally through our online communications degree.
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