Communications has long been considered one of the most versatile academic fields of study, one which lends itself to a variety of career options including print, broadcast and electronic journalism, public relations, advertising, technical writing, mediation and conflict resolution, development and fundraising, speech writing, and even politics.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most jobs in these fields can be attained with a bachelor’s degree, but advanced degrees are instrumental in career advancement and compensation. Fields such as advertising, marketing, and public relations have historically offered more lucrative career options than traditional print or broadcast journalism,which continue to struggle with consolidation of news organizations and layoffs, with a employment decline of 8%. Mean salaries for journalists hover around $36,000, whereas technical writers earn about $63,000, public relations practitioners make around $57,000, and those who work in advertising take home an average of $108,000.
Here are a few of the many schools with online communications bachelor’s degrees:
Southern New Hampshire University As a private, nonprofit university, SNHU’s communications degree emphasizes communication theory and industry-specific concepts. The curriculum covers areas such as public relations, graphics and print media, news writing, social media, and public speaking. The program is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Tuition is $320 per credit hour.
Drexel University Online Today, communications professionals need to be versatile enough to switch between tasks, from planning conferences to speaking on television or producing a publication or video. Drexel’s completely online communications degree program equips students with skills needed to succeed in the profession. The curriculum focuses on public relations and corporate communications strategies, communication theory, public speaking, ethics, digital and print publication. Tuition is $680 per credit hour.
University of Massachusetts The UMass University Without Walls program enables students to complete a bachelor’s degree in journalism studies completely online, and claims to provide any student — from the novice to the seasoned, veteran reporter — with the skills to compete in the changing landscape of the journalism industry. UMass also offers up to 30 academic credits for life and work experience, decreasing the time and cost spent on degree completion.
Arizona State University The online Arizona State communication bachelor’s degree provides a broad, general communications curriculum based on communication theories and research methods that introduce students to communication problems and opportunities in a variety of contexts, including workplace teams and community, civic and cultural groups. Courses also focus on topics including business and professional communication, leadership, persuasion and social influence, conflict and negotiation, intercultural communication in the global marketplace, training and development. Tuition is $442 per credit hour.
University of North Dakota The online communication degree program at the University of North Dakota was named as the No. 3 Top 10 Online Communications and Public Relations Bachelor’s Degree Programs by The Best Colleges. The program encourages students to explore a variety of areas of the communications industry including public relations, social media, broadcasting, digital imaging, business and personal speaking, interpersonal communication, and many more. The degree program also includes opportunities to complete course credits with hands-on learning experiences, including internships and independent projects. Tuition is $715.42 for those who live outside North Dakota.
– Elise Rambaud Marrion for OnlineColleges.net