Communication Degree & Career Guide is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

What Is Communication?

Communication is the process of creating and sharing meaning through symbolic behavior. Students pursuing a communication degree learn how to organize and present their ideas in diverse professional settings. They typically take courses in public speaking, small group communication, and intercultural diversity. Other courses teach interpersonal communication and organizational communication. People interested in a mass communication degree might learn about journalism, public relations, and media theory.

Learners might start with an associate in communication, but professionals can also pursue a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctoral degree in communication.

Professionals interested in social sciences and information might find a career in communication attractive. The communication field often appeals to individuals who think creatively and enjoy working with people and audiences. Businesses and other organizations increasingly value communication specialists’ expertise as they respond to the rise in public access to information.

Frequently Asked Questions About Communication

What can you do with a communication degree?

Chevron Down

Careers for communication majors exist in many industries. Organizations that rely on effective brand building and positive relationships with clients or the public need qualified communication professionals who know how to connect with diverse audiences.

Such individuals include public relations specialists, communications directors, journalists, and speechwriters. Other career options include marketing managers and community engagement professionals. Other professionals with special skills can gain employment as medical, technical, or sports writers or manage political campaigns.

What communication field pays the most?

Chevron Down

Salaries for communication careers vary by work experience, occupation, and location. Some of the most gainful positions include managerial and leadership roles. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that marketing managers and public relations and fundraising managers earned median incomes of $135,030 and $119,860, respectively, in 2021.

Other high-paying communication jobs include brand strategist, media supervisor, and content marketing manager.

What is a mass communication degree?

Chevron Down

A mass communication degree prepares students to connect and communicate with the public. They learn how to create and disseminate messages that persuade, make an impact, or change behavior in target audiences.

Students learning mass communication typically take courses in research methods, theory, history of media, and media ethics. They may also study mass communication law. Many learners complete internships as part of their program.

How long does it take to get a communication degree?

Chevron Down

A bachelor's degree in communication takes about four years for full-time students, and it requires about 120 credit hours. An online degree typically offers the same classes and level of rigor as a traditional program. However, many schools provide synchronous or accelerated courses that students can complete at their own pace, often shortening graduation timelines.

Can I get a communication degree online?

Chevron Down

Many schools allow students to earn a communication degree online. Professionals wanting to switch or advance their careers might prefer online education. Distance education's flexibility lets students complete their courses and balance professional and family obligations.

People seeking less expensive options for education might find online courses attractive as well because they do not typically charge for housing and other on-campus services. However, learners might need to pay extra technology fees. Because some online schools require enrollees to attend on-campus lectures or workshops, it might make sense to find an online program nearby.

Is a communication degree worth it?

Chevron Down

Job-seekers with communication degrees often see high demand for their expertise and experience. For example, the BLS projects jobs for public relations specialists will increase by 11% from 2020-2030. The BLS also projects jobs for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers will increase 10% during the same timeframe.

These figures exceed the 8% total job growth for all occupations in the same period. The diversity of the communication field partly drives this demand. Also, widespread social media use and information technologies will likely influence current and future job growth.

All Things Communication

Our Editorial Policy and Standards

Accuracy and editorial integrity are just a few of the values we at BestColleges pledge to uphold for the students who rely on us. We are committed to providing students with the educational resources they need to achieve their goals.

Arrow right side