Top Communication Degrees

Discover the top communication degrees that will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed for a thriving career. Explore a range of programs, from public relations to journalism, and find the perfect one to launch your professional journey.

In the modern job market, a degree in communication is a versatile asset that opens doors to a variety of career paths. The field of communication spans the study of human interaction, media, culture, and technology. It encompasses various disciplines, including journalism, public relations, marketing, and digital media. As businesses and organizations increasingly recognize the value of effective communication strategies, the demand for skilled communication professionals continues to grow. In this comprehensive exploration, we delve into the types of communication degrees available, their costs, the benefits of obtaining such a degree, the potential career opportunities they unlock, and the expected salaries for entry-level positions in the field.

Types of Communication Degrees

Communication degrees are offered at various levels, with each degree catering to different career aspirations and educational needs. The most common types include:

  • Associate of Arts (AA) in Communication: A two-year degree focusing on the fundamentals of communication. It serves as a stepping stone for those looking to enter the workforce quickly or as preparation for a bachelor's degree.
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) in Communication: These four-year undergraduate programs offer a more comprehensive study of communication theories, practices, and specialized areas such as interpersonal, organizational, or mass communication.
  • Master of Arts (MA) in Communication: A graduate program that allows for further specialization and research in the field, typically requiring one to two years of study beyond the bachelor's degree.
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Communication: The highest academic degree in communication, focusing on scholarly research, theory, and teaching at the university level.

Average Costs

The cost of a communication degree varies widely depending on the institution, geographic location, and the level of the degree. According to the College Board, the average annual cost for tuition and fees at a public four-year in-state institution is about $10,000, while out-of-state students can expect to pay around $27,000. Private four-year institutions average about $37,000 per year. Community colleges, which offer associate degrees, are typically less expensive, with average costs around $3,500 per year for in-state students. Additional expenses for books, supplies, room, and board should also be considered.

Benefits of Getting a Degree in Communication

Pursuing a degree in communication offers several benefits:

  • Versatility: Communication is a broad field that provides a diverse skill set, making graduates attractive candidates for various industries.
  • Marketable Skills: Students learn to write effectively, speak persuasively, and understand complex media landscapes, preparing them for the rapidly evolving job market.
  • Career Advancement: A communication degree can pave the way for promotions and higher-level positions within organizations.
  • Networking Opportunities: Degree programs often offer internships and networking events that connect students with professionals in the field.
  • Personal Growth: Studying communication helps individuals improve their interpersonal skills, essential for both professional and personal relationships.

Jobs To Pursue After Graduating With a BA or MA in Communications

Communication graduates can pursue a wide range of careers. Some of the jobs available to those with a BA in communication include:

  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Social Media Manager
  • Content Writer/Editor
  • Marketing Coordinator
  • Broadcast Journalist

For those with an MA in communication, advanced positions may include:

  • Public Relations Manager
  • Corporate Communications Director
  • Marketing Manager
  • Media Planner
  • Communication Research Analyst

Many graduates also find opportunities in non-profit organizations, government agencies, and various business sectors such as healthcare, finance, and technology.

Average Salaries For Entry Level Communication Jobs

The salary for entry-level positions in communication varies based on the job title, industry, and geographic location. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2020, the median annual wage for media and communication occupations was about $61,310, higher than the median annual wage for all occupations. Entry-level positions typically start lower, with salaries increasing with experience and advanced education. Public relations specialists, for example, have a median annual wage of approximately $62,810, while broadcast news analysts see a median of $49,300.

A degree in communication offers a pathway to an array of fulfilling careers in a world where the ability to convey information effectively is highly valued. While the costs associated with obtaining such a degree can be significant, the investment is often justified by the potential for career advancement, the development of marketable skills, and the personal growth that comes from mastering the art of communication. Graduates with either a BA or MA in communication find themselves equipped with the tools necessary to navigate and excel in diverse professional settings. From crafting compelling marketing campaigns to shaping public opinion, the skills honed through a communication degree remain in high demand across industries. As the media and communication landscape continues to evolve, individuals with a keen understanding of communication principles will find themselves at an advantage in the competitive job market, ready to claim roles that offer not only competitive salaries but the opportunity to make a significant impact in their chosen fields.