Communication Degree: The Theory and Practice of Mass Media

Earning an online communications & media degree program is the perfect way to increase your marketability in today's competitive business world. In a marketplace where information is crucial, communications & media degree programs can provide you the essential tools to manage the daily flow of information in an endless number of industry sectors. Additionally, an individual with a degree in communications can tailor his education to find work in a variety of business specialties.

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Communication Studies Degree Information

Communication studies is a popular major for high school students entering undergraduate institutions for the first time and looking for a flexible course of study. Continuing education students may also find communication studies an appealing option. Those interested in 'communication studies can obtain an associate's, bachelor's or master's degree or a doctorate in the discipline, either at a traditional college or university or online.

Communication Studies Degree Study Options

Communication students who pursue an associate degree or bachelor's degree in the discipline will undergo two to four years of concentrated study on how individuals and groups communicate with one another. When studying at an accredited institution approved by the NCA, they will receive a balanced portfolio of communications theory, research and practice. Those who earn a communication studies degree will have the basic skills required for verbal communication positions such as acting or public speaking, communication through production of documentaries, television shows or radio programs and communication through writing, as in the case of a journalist or professional blogger.

Advanced Communication Studies Degrees

Many students who choose to pursue an advanced degree in communication studies will choose to specialize in a specific area of communication studies such as public relations, broadcast journalism or advertising. Master's degrees in communication studies are available coast to coast, from Columbia University to San Diego State. They can also be obtained over the Internet. These degrees usually take about two years to complete.

Master Of Arts Degree

Students who earn a Master of Arts in Journalism will be prepared for work as a reporter on a newspaper or online newsmagazine. Those who opt for a Master of Arts in Broadcast Journalism will be prepared for newscasting on television. A Master of Arts in Strategic Communication or Public Relations can prepare one for a career in politics.

Further Education

Doctoral programs are also available in communication studies at a wide variety of colleges and universities. The most popular doctoral specializations in communication studies are communications theory and research, rhetoric, critical-cultural media, organizational communications, applied communications and interpersonal communications.

Choosing A Degree

Anyone who excels in the social arena will probably do well with a course of study in communication studies. Students who are able to communicate well and want to refine these skills and put them to work for themselves will do well to earn a bachelor's or master's degree in some area of this discipline.

Career Opportunities

A communications degree can provide the groundwork for any number of occupations, from actor to journalist to politician. Some famous people who hold communications degrees include Spike Lee, Bob Costas, James Gandolfini and Walter Cronkite. Other communications majors may become involved in the education system, as teachers, speech therapists and public speaking coaches.

Earning Potential For Communication Studies Careers

Due to the huge number of options open to communication studies majors, the earning potential is unlimited. Many politicians and individuals in the political arena make healthy six figure salaries and some actors and producers make in the millions.

Getting Your Degree Online

You can use the National Communication Associationís portal to online communication courses to find a list of accrediting institution and accredited online communication studies programs. An accredited distance learning communication studies program can help busy people and continuing education students earn their communication degree as quickly or more quickly as students who attend a traditional college or university for their education. A top accredited online institution can provide everything you need to start down the path to a career in communications.

Getting Your Degree Offline

Finding the best communication studies program for you shouldnít be difficult with a little research. Hundreds of undergraduate institutions all over the country provide communication studies courses and a perusal of the course catalog should give you an idea which one has the curriculum that you are looking for. As a budding communications expert, you may wish to contact the head of the communication studies department at each school that you are considering and let them tell you about their program and why you should prefer it to other options. If you have in mind where you will go with your communication studies degree, be it journalism, radio, politics or some other area, this may also inform your choice.

If you already have a bachelor's degree in communication studies, there are many fine brick-and-mortar institutions with master's or doctoral programs in the discipline as well. College guides and the National Communication Association website can help you narrow down your search for the best graduate communication studies options for you to continue your work in this potentially highly lucrative field.

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Communications & Media Degree FAQs

What Degree Programs Are Available in the Communications & Media Field?

There are many degrees one can attain in the communications & media sector, with most of them offering a specialized discipline. A career in communications begins with an associate's degree that focuses on communication arts.

As you progress to your online bachelor's degree in communications & media, you can then choose a specialized field like journalism, technical writing, business communications or others. With a bachelor's degree, graduates can then choose to continue on to a master's degree in communications.

What Can I Do With A Communications & Media Degree?

A degree in communications & media can help you find a job in a wide variety of industry sectors. As stated earlier, you can choose a specialized area to focus your studies on or you can take generalized courses to increase your marketability.

Some areas of employment for a communications & media graduate include advertising, business, sales, research and development, human resources, writing and other jobs in which communication needs are high. In essence, due to the importance of communication on a daily basis in the business world, a degree in communications & media can open up many opportunities.

Who Is an Ideal Candidate for Online Degree Program in Communications & Media?

If you have good communication skills and desire to communicate your ideas, thoughts and concerns to others of like mind, then you will find online communications 6 media degree programs very satisfying. The ideal candidate will exhibit strong writing and verbal skills, a helpful and caring attitude and a never-ending curiosity to learn.

Are Online Communications Degree Programs as Good as Campus Courses?

Online degree programs allow you to receive the same quality education that full-time students receive. The primary difference is that online courses fit within your current schedule. Since the majority of online students have full-time jobs and/or family responsibilities, the flexible learning schedule is essential to the completion of the program.

What Are Some Reasons to Take Online Communications Courses?

Online communications courses can help you become more valuable to your current or potential employer. Since so much information is exchanged in business every day, it is essential that the people involved can effectively communicate. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, more companies hire professionals with a background in communications, rather than promoting from within.

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Associate's Degree?

Just as you might suspect, a core curriculum for an associate's degree in communication and media will take approximately two years to complete. However, the timeframe can fluctuate depending on each student's scheduling flexibility. Some may take substantially less time to complete an associate's degree in communication and media, while others may take longer.

Communications and Media Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor's degree in communications and media will prepare graduates for a myriad of career opportunities in the professional fields. Depending on the university and the actual degree program, students may choose to specialize in a more specific subfield that plays to their interests and hopeful career.

For students hoping to continue education in a master's degree program, a broad course curriculum during undergraduate work is a wise decision. Ultimately, it will add applicable assets to skills and knowledge base, while they work toward a specialization in the master's program.

Communication Studies Student Guide

According to the Association for Communication Administration, communication studies is defined as ìThe field that focuses on how people use messages to generate meanings within and across various contexts, cultures, channels and media. The field promotes the effective and ethical practice of human communication.î Essentially, the field studies how individuals and groups transmit information to one another and the most efficient and appropriate ways to enact such transmissions.

Communication Studies Books

Those interested in books on communication studies may wish to use the NCA Store ( as a resource. Some useful communications studies publications include: ìAssessing Motivation to Communicateî by Sherwyn P. Morreale, Roger M. Hamilton, Roy Berko, Eds., ìPathways to Communications Careers in the 21st Centuryî by Sherwyn P. Morreale, Ph.D. and Matthew W. Vogl, Eds. and ìThe Future of Performance Studies: Visions and Revisionsî by Sheron J. Dailey, Ed.

Communication Studies Articles And Databases

The National Communication Associationís Education-Assessment page provides a database of useful assessment tools which will aid you in your communication studies. For journals, articles and other publications, the NCA Publications section ( should have whatever you are looking for.

Online Communication Studies Journals

A new journal that will be useful to communication studies students and can be accessed online is the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, which publishes articles on studies of communication across nations. Another communication studies journals accessible online is Students wishing to access more communication studies journals should join the National Communications Association and visit

Other Communication Studies Research Tools

The National Communication Association website ( is an extremely helpful resource for communication studies majors. In addition to a database of communication studies journals, monographs and other publications, the site has information about using communication in education, getting research funding, finding communicationstudies events and degree programs in communication studies. There is also a career center to help students find communication studies positions after they graduate.

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