For a person who enjoys reading, writing and speaking a college degree in communications is a perfect choice. This degree is able to be used in a variety of careers and can often be tailored to fit the individual student’s interests. Two popular specializations within communications are business communications and public relations. Many colleges offer distance learning degrees in communications and most allow students to complete their degree totally online.
PUBLIC RELATIONS DEGREE
Very few colleges offer Associate degrees in Communications so most students are awarded Bachelor’s degrees. An online degree in Communications specializing in Public Relations is rapidly becoming a popular choice. These programs let students study media relations, community relations and crisis management in order to better prepare them for jobs with businesses, non-profit organizations or government agencies. In addition to focusing on communications and public relations students must also complete general education classes in math, science, public speaking and english among others. Students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations, a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Public Relations or a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations.
A degree specializing in public relations lets students study public speaking and writing in addition to skills and methods related to public relations. Some common courses in this degree are:
- Introduction to Public Relations
- Legal Issues in Public Relations
- Public Relations Ethics
These courses cover such areas as writing press releases, strategy and problem-solving, case studies involving the First Amendment, copyright law and invasion of privacy, ethical issues with the public and types of professional behavior.
CAREERS FOR GRADUATES
Public relations specialists are the main spokespeople for businesses, agencies or organizations. Besides having excellent communication skills they must be quick-thinking and able to handle problems in a sensible and professional manner. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that demand for PR Specialists will grow 24% over the next decade and 13% for PR Managers. Salaries for PR Specialists average close to $60,000 while PR Managers average almost $105,000.
BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS DEGREE
A Bachelor of Business Communications degree gives students a foundation to establish and maintain communication in business environments. Students complete coursework in marketing, economics, management, international business, finance and organizational planning. Many online degrees also include classes on environmental and cultural issues to address controversial and socially responsible topics.
BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS COURSES
These degrees have students study general education subjects like english and math plus courses in general business and communications. Many also require students to complete a thesis project. Materials in these programs are constantly updated to keep up with the 21st century workplace. Students need reliable internet access and webcams to let them do class presentations and interact with other students and professors. Some examples of common distance learning courses include:
- Management Fundamentals
- Organizational Communication
- Operations Management
- Communications and Marketing
- Human Resource Management
- Business Strategies
BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS CAREERS
Graduates with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Communications are typically seeking positions in middle and upper management. They can also aim for jobs as Corporate Trainers, Human Resource Managers, Finance Managers, Sales Representatives and Marketing Strategists. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports Marketing Managers average $56,000 per year, Sales Managers and Representatives $35,000-$65,000 and Promotion Managers almost $50,000.
Whatever interests students have in communications they can find a degree program tailored for them with an exciting and profitable career upon graduation.