Communications Degrees: Find Your Career Path

by Nancy

Obtaining a communications degree gives you the education and self-empowerment to find your career path and explore a quality lifestyle of your choosing. Quality accredited degree programs are available on-campus and online, each offering the type of education needed to get your communications degree and enter the job force with credibility. Communications career paths are as multiple as they are diverse. Selecting the best career field for you requires research and knowledge of your goals prior to enrolling in a college or university.

What requirements are needed to earn a communications degree in 2021? How does one obtain the best communications degree for his or her career path? Read ahead for comprehensive information on how to find the best communications career path by obtaining a communications degree today.

How to Get a Communications Degree

Obtaining a communications degree involves multiple important steps. Steps include understanding your career goals then assessing your finances and options for financial aid. Choices are made between on-campus and online programs. Preparing required documents/information for the application process is also an integral step to getting a communications degree in 2021.

Define Your Career Goals

Obtaining a communications degree involves the ability to clearly define your specific career goals. Comprehending the possibilities of your career path before you enroll in an advanced education program helps you choose the best type of communications degree for your needs. A career in communications consists of many diverse and exciting fields, such as public relations, human resources, social/digital media and journalism. Understanding the specialized field in which you most desire to work helps you find the best degree for your preferred career path.

Online or In-Person

Online learning environments are as common as on-campus programs in 2021. Is a virtual or in-person classroom the best option for you? Online communications degree programs provide the convenience of studying from your own home, a café or while traveling. Certain areas of communications (especially those involved with public speaking) might require you to spend time in front of other students/teachers, however. Online education provides the same quality of training as on-campus programs so the choice is based on preference and also specific class requirements. Hybrid learning environments utilizing both virtual and in-person classrooms might also be an option for certain communications degree programs.

Finding Accredited Programs

One of the most important aspects of choosing the best communications degree for your career path is to select programs with verifiable accreditation. An accredited school is vetted by an accrediting agency and is proven to comply with specific, high standards of educational delivery systems. Obtaining a communications degree from an accredited college or university bolsters your initial hiring/salary potential with prospective employers. Accredited online degree programs are listed at Accredited on-campus programs are discoverable via the U.S. Department of Education website page.

Your Finances & Financial Aid Options

Having the means to pay for college tuition is a concern facing almost every prospective U.S. student in 2021. Tuition, books and other supplies are all normal expenses when pursuing a communications degree. Enrolling in on-campus or hybrid programs also involves possible commuting or relocation expenses. Many schools also charge application/processing fees. Scholarships might be available through your preferred schools if you qualify based on academic achievements and other applicable merits. Government-funded financial aid (such as the Federal Pell Grant) is also possibly available when you submit a completed free Federal Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) form online or by mail.

The Application Process

Multiple high-quality institutions offer communications degrees across the U.S. in 2021. Enrollment competition is also commonly fierce among applicants. Once you decide on your career path and the type of degree you need, create a list of your top 3-5 preferred schools instead of applying to only one. Multiple applications present several strong choices and prevent rejection from a solitary school. Most applications are completed and submitted online in 2021. It is important to first contact the admissions department at each school to which you are applying to understand what documents are required. Common required documents/information includes:

  • Your name & address.
  • Your U.S. citizenship or resident status.
  • Your state driver’s license/photo I.D.
  • Your Social Security Number (SSN).
  • Relevant financial information for you and your household (as applicable).
  • References (personal & professional as applicable).
  • Your high school transcripts.
  • Your Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores.
  • Any other information displaying your personal/academic merit. 

Requirements for Communications Degrees

Requirements to earn a communications degree begin with your grade point average (GPA) from high school or previous college pursuits. Every school has its own minimum GPA requirements for accepting new students. The level of degree you are pursuing also impacts applicable requirements.

Undergraduate degree programs generally require a minimum 2.5 GPA via a completed secondary education program or equivalency degree. Prerequisite classes in English and mathematics must be passed. History, social studies and statistics might also be required during your freshman year. Requirements for enrolling in master’s and doctoral degrees are often stricter regarding GPAs and additional references. Classes specific to communications and specific fields of communication are subsequently also required. Courses focusing on specific communications fields are referred to as specializations or concentrations. For example, Speech Communication and Research Methods might be included in most communications degree programs, whereas a Mass Media Law concentration often requires specific classes such as Desktop Publishing, Media Management & Entrepreneurism, Mass Media Law/Ethics and more. 

Finding Your Best Career Path with a Communications Degree

Communications career studies are broken into specific areas of concentration. The area of communications in which you choose to specialize determines the types of classes you take. Most communications careers associated with higher salaries require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Some require master’s or doctoral degrees as a condition of hiring.

The best communications career paths have positive projected growth rates and strong earning potential. Certain journalism-based careers are projected to experience an eleven percent decline in growth through 2029 caused largely by reduced advertising revenue in the industry. Other communications career growth paths are expanding, however, and offer great potential. Some of the best career paths to pursue with a communications degree through 2029 include:

  • Brand manager.
  • Health educator.
  • Public relations specialist.
  • Social media manager.
  • Digital media specialist.