A broad, multidisciplinary area of study, communication focuses on the methods, tools, and platforms people use to interact with one another. The field incorporates language, history, fine arts, and social sciences (e.g., sociology, anthropology, and psychology), as well as technical disciplines like information technology and web media. Students who earn academic degrees in communication studies go on to pursue careers in business, education, law, technology, and media-related fields.
At the bachelor's level, communication majors gain foundational knowledge in areas such as mass media, digital communication, and public relations. They also study the laws and ethics guiding today's media around the world. In addition to general communication studies, many colleges and universities offer specialized degree tracks in niche fields, such as business communication, visual communication, and broadcasting. Many of today's students choose to earn their bachelor's degree in communication online rather than in a physical classroom. Web-based communication degrees follow the same rigorous, comprehensive curricula as brick-and-mortar options. Also, because many online programs use an asynchronous schedule, this format may appeal to students with part-time jobs, childcare duties, and/or other commitments that might interfere with full-time, on-campus learning.
Use this comprehensive guide to learn more about what to expect from an online bachelor's in communication program and the different career opportunities that await graduates.
Choosing a Program
WILL AN ONLINE COMMUNICATION DEGREE PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?
Due to the generalized nature of communication studies, an online bachelor's degree in this field prepares students for many different occupations. Those with a specific career path in mind can further boost their professional standing by earning a specialized degree or going on to pursue an online communication master's degree. Many online bachelor's in communication programs also feature required or optional internships, which allow students to receive supervised, hands-on training from experienced professionals at functioning worksites.
WILL AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN COMMUNICATION PROGRAM WORK WITH MY SCHEDULE?
An online communication degree track provides more flexibility than campus-based programs. Students can access course lectures and readings, submit written assignments, take exams, and communicate with professors on their own schedule from the comfort of their home computer. Current learning technologies also allow learners to study on the go using a laptop, tablet, smartphone, and other devices with Wi-Fi capabilities. For added convenience, online students can often carry out internships near their homes -- rather than commuting long distances -- to fulfill these requirements and earn an online media communication degree.
WHAT JOBS CAN I GET WITH MY BACHELOR'S IN COMMUNICATION?
An online bachelor's in communication serves as an entry point for students seeking a career in broadcasting, digital media, or media arts. Additionally, communication coursework emphasizes leadership, organization, and interpersonal skills. As a result, many communication majors go on to pursue careers in fields dedicated to working with others and creating harmonious workplace environments, such as human resources and office administration. Other popular career routes for communication degree recipients include journalism and writing, marketing and advertising, public relations, and graphic design.
WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE COMMUNICATION DEGREES?
Choosing a program remains a personal decision -- only you can properly evaluate whether a target school's strengths match your academic and/or career goals. Use the following ranked list of schools as you begin your search for the country's best online bachelor's degree in communication programs. Additionally, if you decide to pursue an online bachelor's in communication, contact admissions specialists at your prospective colleges and universities to learn more about specific requirements and offerings.
Accredited Online Communication Programs
|1||University of Florida Gainesville, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 87%||
The University of Florida in Gainesville offers an online bachelor of science in communication sciences and disorders through its College of Public Health and Health Professions. Students explore processes of human communication, including speech, language, and hearing disorders and the various treatments available to address them. The 120-credit degree also includes courses in physiological psychology, phonetic theory and transcription, and the neural basis of communication.
Many students who earn this degree continue on to graduate school or professional training in a health sciences field, but jobs are also available in speech language pathology and rehabilitation aid.
UF is currently only accepting freshman applicants to this program. Admission to this online communications degree requires an official high school transcript, SAT or ACT scores, and any AP exam scores.
|2||University of Central Florida Orlando, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 69%||
The online bachelor of arts in communication and conflict at the University of Central Florida prepares students to work in a variety of fields, including dispute resolution, human resources, mediation, management, and arbitration. Graduates often pursue education at the master's or doctoral level studying subjects such as law, management, and communication.
The entire degree is available completely online, and the same faculty members who teach on campus teach the online program. The curriculum for the online communications degree includes experiential learning requirements, so you can face practical issues in the field upon graduation.
Online students benefit from a variety of services that support online learning at UCF, including a career services office that provides online workshops and a virtual career center. Other resources for distance learners include an office of financial assistance, office of student involvement, and a writing center.
|3||Florida International University Miami, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 56%||
FIU offers an online BA in communications. The program teaches students the fundamentals of business and how to interact with clients in a professional environment. The curriculum is well-suited for distance learners interested in exploring a career in law or business administration after they graduate. Each undergraduate has access to a success coach devoted to counseling and advising students through their coursework and advancement in the program. Students can also apply to the online Honors College.
|4||Liberty University Lynchburg, VA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 51%||
LU offers a combined BS in communications and business administration online. Not only is the required coursework only 120 hours (shorter than the on-campus program), but Liberty also allows students to submit prior experience and certification for course credit through exams, proof of job training, military experience, and more. This reduces the time it takes to go from student to professional, though you’ll still need to complete at least half of your credits at Liberty.
|5||East Carolina University Greenville, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 61%||
East Carolina offers an online communications degree with four concentrations: interpersonal/organizational communication, media studies, journalism, and public relations. The ECU communications department is proud to have nationally recognized professional experience and award-winning professors who focus their classes with the intent to create authentic, real life lessons to prepare students for their future careers.
|6||Regis University Denver, CO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 68%||
As a Jesuit school, Regis respects that most of its students are not only students, but also working professionals, parents, and spouses. Communications classes emphasize the importance of leadership, critical thinking, persuasion, motivation, problem solving, and negotiation. Regis also offers a combined "bachelor's to master's" program with the intent of streamlining your education. This option requires students to complete 128 credit hours, and students graduate with both a bachelor's and a master's degree in communications.
|7||Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 60%||
Students who want to earn a communication degree online have a stellar option in Texas Tech University's bachelor of arts in communication studies. Offered by TTU's College of Media and Communication, the BA fosters critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration, and negotiation.
Applicants to the communication studies program need to submit official high school or college transcripts and official SAT or ACT scores.
The 120-credit degree requires 33 credits of communication studies major coursework. Required courses include communication research, public speaking, and rhetoric in Western thought. Most courses are online, but students also take some in-person courses at a local college or university. Communication majors complete a three-credit internship once they achieve junior status in a selected area of applied communication.
|8||Appalachian State University Boone, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 73%||
Appalachian State's communication program fosters skills in public speaking, small group communication, interpersonal communication, and nonverbal communication. ASU's bachelor of science in communication studies also requires students to minor in political science, sociology, or marketing. Students have flexibility to design their degree plan according to their specific interests and career goals.
The 122-credit BS requires students to earn 48 major credits; the remaining 74 credits are divided between general education, minor, and elective credits. Students must earn a minimum 2.0 GPA in all major classes, which include speech writing, gender communication, communication research methods, and conflict management.
Distance learners seeking professional experience in the communication field can coordinate an internship with ASU's communication department and work for academic credit. All distance learners take a senior capstone seminar in their last semester of the program.
|9||Missouri State University-Springfield Springfield, MO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 55%||
Missouri State University-Springfield offers a communications degree online in the form of a bachelor of science in communication. Graduates of the program find work in a variety of careers, including speech writing, fundraising, management, and mediation.
Students need 125 credit hours to satisfy program requirements. This includes 33 credits of major-specific courses such as social movement communication, intercultural communication, and principles of public relations. You can choose from six major emphases, including ethical leadership, intercultural communication and diversity, interpersonal communication, or rhetoric.
Admission to the program requires applicants to have at least 59 prior credits, a minimum GPA of 2.5 or 2.75 for the last 30 credit hours, and the completion of several prerequisite courses. Distance learners interested in getting professional experience in the field may take a one to six credit internship. All online communication majors at Missouri State must complete a minor, which range from accounting to diversity studies.
|10||Colorado State University-Global Campus Greenwood Village, CO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 45%||
CSGC offers a fully accredited, online bachelor’s degree program in communications. CSU offers 18 specializations within this degree, including criminal justice management, human resources and educational development, information technology and operations, and public and non-profit management.. Each course and specialization has classes that will strengthen your oral and written communication skills.
|11||University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 78%||
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities offers distance learners the option to complete a communication degree online with its 120-credit bachelor of science in communication. Full-time students can finish the program in eight semesters, or four years. New learners can apply and enter the program twice a year, in the fall or spring semesters. Students become better writers, presenters, and overall communicators while honing interpersonal skills.
Of the program's 120 credits, 63 must be taken within the major. Students take courses in persuasion, business and professional speaking, and communication technology trends. UMN provides three emphases in writing, organizational communication/public relations, or general communication studies for added customization. Graduates of the communication BS program find success in a variety of careers, including marketing, public relations, and business writing.
|12||Arizona State University-Tempe Tempe, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 67%||
ASU’s communications programs focuses on both conceptual knowledge and practical skill development. Graduates leave school ready to pursue a career in sales, human resource management, event planning, management, and a whole host of other careers that require critical thinking and research. This online program also adequately prepares students for graduate school in law, business, and more. ASU online offers six start days throughout the year, allowing students to tailor their schedule around work, family, and other obligations.
|13||Dallas Baptist University Dallas, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
DBU offers a renowned online communications program. To graduate, students must complete a minimum of 120 credit hours, the final 30 of which must be completed on campus. In addition to academic learning, Dallas Baptist University seeks to enhance each student’s spiritual enlightenment, and the school provides a variety of online religious courses and spiritual services to distance learners.
|14||Arizona State University-Skysong Scottsdale, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 20%||
Distance learners who want to earn a communications degree online should pursue the BS in communication available at Arizona State University-Skysong in Scottsdale, Arizona. The program explores how processes of communication shape individuals and communities through courses in persuasion and social influence; communication, conflict, and negotiation; and quantitative research methods in communication. Students take courses in seven-and-a-half week sections, allowing them to complete a degree faster than a traditional program.
Students complete 120 credit hours, 45 of which must be from upper-division coursework. A cumulative GPA of 2.0 is required for graduation. Transfer applicants must have a minimum transfer GPA of 2.5 for admission. ASU allows students to transfer in up to 90 credits previously earned at an accredited college or university.
|15||University at Buffalo Buffalo, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 74%||
Students can pursue an online bachelor's degree in communications at the University at Buffalo in Buffalo, New York. UB provides a comprehensive understanding of the nature of human communication and its effects. Graduates engage in a variety of careers in communication or study at the graduate level. Courses available in the program include survey of mass communication, promotional writing, and grant writing for nonprofits. To graduate, students need a minimum 2.5 GPA.
Freshman applicants need to submit ACT or SAT scores and fulfill a number of prerequisites. Transfer students should contact the College of Arts and Sciences prior to applying to determine how many credits are transferable and how many courses must be taken at UB. No more than four courses towards the major are accepted as transfer credit.
|16||Webster University Saint Louis, MO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
WU’s online communications program is a degree-completion offering. This means that any student wishing to enroll in this program must have already completed a minimum of 15 credit hours in a related field, and must submit these credits for review prior to matriculation. Once enrolled in this program, students can complete their entire degree online. Distance learners are allowed to transfer up to 89 credits into the school.
|17||California Baptist University Riverside, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 60%||
California Baptist University is a private, Christian-affiliated university with a liberal arts focus located in Riverside, California. It offers a communication degree online with an average completion length of just 16 months.
Students in CBU's BA in communication studies program develop skills in presenting information orally and in writing, understanding research methods in communication studies, and effectively using communication strategies. Students also learn how to integrate a Christian worldview into their understanding of communications through two required Christian theology courses.
In addition to general education requirements, students complete 48 credits within the major, taking courses in rhetorical criticism, global digital engagement, and communication principles for leadership. Applicants need at least 24 transferable credits or a high school diploma/GED, as well as a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA.
|18||Brandman University Irvine, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 45%||
Brandman University in Irvine, California, offers a communication degree online. Its interdisciplinary bachelor of arts in communications and media prepares students for careers in social media, digital marketing, journalism, and media relations. You explore issues in the field of communication by creating compelling stories, developing strategic media campaigns, and designing technological solutions to a variety of communication problems.
The fully online program also offers a hybrid option for students who live near one of Brandman's 17 campuses in California. Applicants need 12 or more transferrable credits and a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA. Active duty military students submit transcripts from the Community College of the Air Force, JST, SMART, or AARTS for admission consideration. Students without the qualifying 12 credits can earn the credits through the four-course "Brandman Track," which can be completed in just eight weeks.
|19||Washington State University Pullman, WA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 67%||
A bachelor of arts in integrated strategic communication is available from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. The fully online program gives students a broad understanding of communication and involves both traditional and digital media.
Distance learners in the communication BA program benefit from a variety of resources, including technical support at all hours, an online tutoring and writing lab, an assigned academic advisor, and access to webinars.
The 120-credit communication degree online program includes 46 credits in the major, with courses in communication campaigns and management, creative media strategies and techniques, and digital content promotion. Students also complete a three-credit internship.
Students who completed an AA or AS may be eligible to directly transfer their degree into WSU to achieve junior standing for the BA in communications, cutting down on credit requirements. Up to 90 credits can be transferred towards the BA, but at least 30 must be completed at WSU.
|20||Mississippi College Clinton, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi, offers an accelerated online bachelor's degree in communications. The curriculum combines theory and practice, with practical coursework about writing, speaking, and how to give effective public presentations. Courses are also available in the history and theory of media and communication studies.
MC's accelerated program lets students take up to 12 credits per semester. The entire program is completely online and designed with busy working professionals in mind. You can choose from ten different concentrations, including a generalist track, sports media, and marketing. Students need 130 credits to graduate, including 22 in the communication core and 18 in the concentration.
Communication courses cover topics such as interpretive reading, communication law, and public relations writing. A one-credit course toward the end of the program guides students in creating a portfolio of their work from the program.
|21||University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus Denver, CO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 48%||
Prospective distance learners interested in earning a communications degree online might benefit from the bachelor of arts in communication at the University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus (CU Online).
The degree can be completed entirely online or in a hybrid format. Faculty members teaching on campus also teach all of the distance courses. Online students also have access to UCD's experiential learning team, which helps coordinate student internships and other professional learning experiences.
Courses explore topics such as communication in the workplace, business and professional speaking, social media for social change, and political communication. In addition to practical communication skills, CU Online's program also explores philosophy, multiculturalism, rhetoric, and aesthetics.
|21||University of Arizona Tucson, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 60%||
Located in Tucson, Arizona, the University of Arizona gives distance students the opportunity to earn an online bachelor's degree in communication. The program focuses on issues such as the social effects of media, persuasion and social influence, and information technologies. Students take courses in topics such as relational communication, nonverbal communication, and communication and emotion. Full-time students complete the degree in four years.
Applicants must submit their high school transcript and complete an online application. UA does not require SAT/ACT scores for admission, but the scores are required for merit scholarship consideration.
Offering more than 80 fully online degrees, UA is experienced in providing a variety of helpful services to distance students. Online learners receive discounts on software, including free access to the entire Adobe Creative Cloud, and a dedicated student academic success specialist is assigned to each student. Distance learners also receive free tech support accessible at all hours.
|23||University of Denver Denver, CO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 79%||
UD’s online classes are taught by respected instructors through multimedia discussions and other audio and visual platforms. The school’s online degree in communication is one of five distance programs available at Denver. The degree provides distance learners with a range of employable skills and also prepares students to solve problems and conflicts in the workplace. All students must complete an integrative project before they graduate.
|24||Excelsior College Albany, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 45%||
The bachelor of arts in humanities with a concentration in communication studies from Excelsior College is a good option for students wanting to earn a communication degree online. Excelsior's fully online program helps distance learners acquire reasoning, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Graduates leave the program with a versatile degree applicable to a range of fields, including business, law, journalism, and nonprofit work.
Transfer students benefit from Excelsior's generous transfer credit policy, and students can also receive academic credit for some forms of professional and military training. Students must complete 120 credits to graduate, with 33 credits in the communication studies concentration, including 18 at the upper level.
Courses in the concentration include interpersonal communication, communication and diversity, and ethics in communication. A minimum 2.0 GPA and a three-credit capstone are required to graduate.
|25||University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 55%||
UND’s online communications program allows you to tailor your degree to suit your academic and professional interests. Distance learners can focus their study in one of five concentrations, including organizational communication, public relations, advertising, print journalism, and media studies. This degree is offered entirely online, and all students pay in-state tuition.
What to Expect from an Online Communication Degree Program
When searching for an online communication degree, review the department's overarching direction to ascertain whether coursework and available concentrations align with your goals. The concentrations highlighted in this section provide a general sense of what's available; however, students should check with individual programs to learn more about specifics.
Designed for individuals who want to work in news media, this concentration builds skills in research, writing, interviewing, and analyzing. It also teaches learners about the evolving state of the industry and how to use emerging media platforms to convey news.
Careers This Concentration Prepares For: Journalist, researcher, content writer, digital media specialist
- Public Relations
This concentration teaches students to convey organizational and client goals through effective communication. Learners also gain knowledge related to media relations, publications, and event planning.
Careers This Concentration Prepares For: Public relations specialist, spokesperson, government and community relations director, event planner
- Health Communication
Designed for individuals interested in communicating critical information about health and healthcare, this concentration teaches learners to use correct terminology, share advanced concepts effectively, work with partners and governmental agencies, and tailor messages for diverse audiences.
Careers This Concentration Prepares For: Healthcare marketing specialist, hospital spokesperson, long-term care facility PR manager, community health education coordinator
Example Courses for an Online Bachelor's in Communication
In addition to looking up available concentrations, students should review the courses offered at a given institution. The list below describes a few sample courses commonly offered by online bachelor's in communication programs.
Concentrations Offered for an Online Bachelor's in Communication
- Visual Communication in Mass Media
- This class helps individuals interested in an advertising career gain the skills needed to communicate effectively through visual aids. Examples include using photography and video to effectively gain clients, explain ideas, and disseminate information.
- Communication Theory
- Frequently taken in the first two years, this class teaches students about historical and contemporary approaches to communication. It also examines some of the subject's more recognized methodologies. This course helps all communication students -- no matter their intended career -- build a solid foundation for future learning.
- Legal/Ethical Issues in Communication
- This class covers topics such as free speech, ownership and copyright, public records, information access, and libel. Students learn how to use words and images appropriately, as well as how laws and movements challenge the dissemination of information.
- Technical and Business Communication
- Unlike writing for news media, public relations, or advertising, technical and business communication typically use a different style guide and format. This course reviews topics such as corporate communication, branding, internal communication, creating technical process manuals, and developing appropriate signage.
- Developing a Communication Strategy
- In this upper-level course, students create a comprehensive and cohesive communication strategy. Learners consider factors such as long-term and short-term goals, legal and ethical implications, digital media strategy, and company branding to design a mock strategy.
Skills and Competencies Gained in an Online Bachelor's in Communication Program
Earning an online mass communication degree provides graduates with numerous concrete skills that transfer to many different roles and industries. While each student gains different competencies, degree seekers can anticipate acquiring some of the following talents.
- Public Speaking: Graduates learn how to effectively and efficiently convey information in the form of speaking. This valuable skill helps those who hope to work in public relations or in news media as a spokesperson.
- Research: Because information remains crucial to communication, students learn how to conduct online and print research to help strengthen their arguments and demonstrate the validity of their statements.
- Writing: Through a variety of technical and creative writing courses, students hone their ability to communicate effectively through the written word in forms such as news articles, social media posts, and academic papers.
- Editing: Even the best writers must edit their work. Communication students learn how to edit their writing to fit an audience's needs and ensure that their writing meets requirements related to length, tone, and publication type.
- Media Relations: Whether working in public relations, advertising, or marketing, communication professionals often maintain close connections with the media. Communication programs help prepare graduates for these interactions by going over media requests, press conferences, and interviews.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Bachelor's in Communication?
When pursuing a online bachelor's degree in communication, most students spend about four years and complete approximately 120 required credits. However, some variability does exist. For example, some learners enroll on a part-time basis due to personal or professional obligations. These students can expect to spend about six years in school. Conversely, other degree seekers decide to pursue an accelerated program, which makes it possible to graduate in just three years. Other factors to consider include whether a program is individually paced or uses a cohort learning format. While students following the former pathway can move at their own pace, cohort participants must complete coursework in lockstep with a group of their peers.
Accreditation for Online Bachelor's in Communication Degrees
Attending a properly accredited school is incredibly important. Two broad types of accreditation exist: institutional and programmatic. Institutional accreditation applies to an entire college or university and comes in the form of regional or national accreditation. The regional form tends to be considered more rigorous and prestigious. When reviewing online communication degree options, degree seekers can also look for programs accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications; the council's website provides a database of accredited schools.
In addition to institutional and programmatic accrediting agencies, learners should familiarize themselves with the Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). These do not accredit institutions directly, but oversee accrediting bodies to ensure that each sets and maintains acceptable standards and practices. CHEA operates as a member organization for more than 3,000 accredited institutions and 60 accrediting agencies, championing the accreditation process and monitoring standards. Students can use the ED's Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs to find a suitable college or university.
Employment Outlook for Bachelor's in Communication Graduates
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the outlook for communication majors remains on par with the average outlook for all occupations. A recent NCES survey found that communication bachelor's degree recipients ages 25-29 hold an unemployment rate of 4.8% -- the same rate for people in this age bracket with degrees in all fields of study. Using data from this survey, the following table compares unemployment numbers for communication majors and students with degrees in related academic fields.
|Bachelor's Degree Major||Unemployment Rate for
Degree-Holders Ages 25-29
|Communication and Communication Technologies||4.8%|
|Computer and Information Systems||4.6%|
|Marketing and Marketing Research||5.0%|
|Commercial Arts and Graphic Design||5.6%|
|Linguistics, Comparative Language, and Literature||5.6%|
|Liberal Arts and Humanities||5.7%|
|English Language and Literature||5.9%|
As the table shows, the unemployment rate for communication majors is lower than degree holders in many other areas. In some cases, the unemployment rate stands more than a full percentage point lower. The unemployment rate for communication degree holders is also lower than national average for employees in all industries (i.e., 5.0%).
EARNING A LIVING
According to the 2018-19 PayScale College Salary Report, students who earn a bachelor's degree in communication stand to earn a median annual salary of $44,300 during their first five years on the job; this number increases to $77,500 for workers with at least 10 years of experience. However, salaries for communication students also vary based on their major specialization. Using PayScale data, the table below depicts communication-related fields in terms of the median salaries at the entry-level and mid-career marks.
According to the table, college graduates with degrees in these 12 communication-related majors earned average annual salaries of $43,833 at the entry-level mark and $78,508 at the mid-career mark. Students should also note that salaries in communication fields depend on the specific job title. The next table features career growth and salary expectations for five of the communication industry's most common career paths.
|Bachelor's Degree Major||Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level||Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career|
|Technical and Scientific Communication||$48,800||$95,600|
|Marketing and Communication||$46,300||$87,700|
|Advertising and Marketing Communication||$44,100||$84,400|
|Journalism and Mass Communication||$43,000||$78,100|
|Public Relations Communication||$41,900||$75,500|
|Occupation||Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees||Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees||Median Annual Salary for Experienced Employees||Median Salary for Late-Career Employees|
|Public Relations Specialist||$42,000||$53,000||$58,000||$60,000|
|Human Resources Specialist||$42,000||$49,000||$52,000||$57,000|
Of these five positions, writers experience the highest rate of salary growth during their careers; the median earnings for this profession increase by 56% between the entry-level and late-career marks. Communication specialists placed second with a 46% increase in earnings. The remaining three careers saw their salaries grow by 25-42% after 20 years on the job.
Career and Further Education Opportunities
Advertising, Promotions and Marketing Managers: These professionals oversee marketing campaigns, promotional events, and other programs designed to boost public interest in a specific product, company, individual, or event. Managers often work closely with their clients to ensure that a campaign depicts the subject in a flattering, accurate light and remains accessible to a wide audience.
Public Relations Specialists: Public relations (or PR) specialists generate and maintain a positive image for their clients, which often include companies, organizations, or notable individuals. These workers produce literature (e.g., press releases) to promote their clients and handle bookings for conferences, speaking engagements, and other events.
Interpreters and Translators: These individuals specialize in converting spoken or written information from one language to another. Most of these professionals specialize in one or more specific languages. As more people immigrate to the U.S., the industry growth projections for interpreters and translators remain quite high.
Human Resources Specialists: Human resources (or HR) specialists manage the recruiting, screening, interviewing, and hiring of new company employees. They may also design and develop orientation programs for incoming workers and mediate disputes between employees.
|Occupation||Median Annual Salary||Projected Industry Growth|
|Advertising, Promotions and Marketing Managers||$129,380||10% (+23,800 new jobs)|
|Public Relations Specialists||$59,300||9% (+22,900 new jobs)|
|Interpreters and Translators||$47,190||18% (+12,100 new jobs)|
|Human Resources Specialists||$60,350||7% (+38,900 new jobs)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Making professional connections and learning about different approaches to communication is crucial for a successful career. Professional organizations offer a great entry point for students and recent graduates hoping to learn more about their chosen careers. The following list details three of the country's most prominent organizations that support communication professionals. These organizations host networking events, provide online trainings, maintain active job boards, and offer other services for career-ready college graduates.
- Public Relations Society of America: Founded in 1947, PRSA stands as the world's largest PR-related professional organization, consisting of more than 22,000 members in the PR and media communication industries. A comprehensive professional development tool on the organization's website allows users to browse courses and training sessions by category and location.
- National Human Resources Association: Founded in 1951, NHRA assists aspiring HR employees by hosting networking events, job training, and continuing education. Individual, corporate, and student memberships exist.
- American Marketing Association: Founded in 1953 by business pioneer Neil Borden, AMA provides advocacy and professional development for members of the marketing industry. The association's website boasts a compendium of information with extensive resources related to branding, engagement, and consumer metrics.
Financing Your Online Bachelor's in Communication Program
Despite the relative affordability of online programs, most students still need financial assistance. Students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to learn more about loans, grants, and other opportunities offered through the U.S. government. Additionally, students can pursue private grants and scholarships made available through nonprofits, companies, and other sources. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about financial aid options.
Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but many financing options remain overlooked.
Completing the FAFSA is a crucial first step for any student with financial need. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.
Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to financial aid for campus-based learning, but this hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes and different funding opportunities available to online students.
Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning a degree. Browse our list of scholarships that specifically target women.
Online college programs represent flexible and affordable options for single parents interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. Review our list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.
Millions of dollars in free money exists for U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.
- Best Online Bachelor's in Communications Programs of 2017
Rank School Location 1 East Carolina University Greenville, NC 2 Colorado State University-Global Campus Greenwood Village, CO 3 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND 4 Regis University Denver, CO 5 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA 6 Arizona State University-Tempe Tempe, AZ 7 Dallas Baptist University Dallas, TX 8 Webster University Saint Louis, MO 9 Florida International University Miami, FL 10 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA 11 Trine University-Regional/Non-Traditional Campuses Fort Wayne IN 12 Northern Kentucky University Highland Heights, KY 13 Minnesota State University-Mankato Mankato, MN 14 University of Memphis Memphis, TN 15 University of Houston-Victoria Victoria, TX 16 University of Denver Denver, CO 17 Oral Roberts University Tulsa, OK 18 Valley City State University Valley City, ND 19 Indiana University-East Richmond, IN 20 Troy University Troy, AL 21 University of Minnesota-Crookston Crookston, MN 22 Pace University-New York New York, NY 23 University of Maryland-University College Adelphi, MD 24 Philadelphia University Philadelphia, PA 25 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide Daytona Beach, FL