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Online Degrees

Part of Western Governors University

Communications at WGU

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Are You Looking to Get a Communications Degree?

With communication ranked as the number one skill hiring managers are looking for, a communication degree can prepare you for a variety of jobs in a range of industries. However, it’s just one way to enter the business world. It’s important to consider other specialized degree options that can set you up for a communications career and also give you a broader skill set to work with.

While WGU doesn’t currently offer a communications degree, this guide will explore how the knowledge and skills learned in other bachelor’s or master’s degree programs can be applied to a multitude of communications jobs.

Pathways to a Communications Career

Every organization can benefit from having skilled communicators on their team, which is why so many specialized degree programs (such as business management, HR, and marketing) include communications courses. This means you gain the valuable communications skills you need, plus specific knowledge in the industry that interests you. 

LinkedIn shows more than 700,000 communications jobs specifically requiring business, marketing, and public relations skills—all of which you’ll learn in a business or marketing degree program. So, while a communications degree can be a good option for some, you may be able to broaden your career options by completing other degree programs.

Bachelor of Science in Business Management

If you’re interested in a job that requires communication and leadership skills, a business management degree could be the right path for you. You’ll learn things like innovative and strategic thinking, best practices in scheduling and budgeting, as well as concepts in marketing, sales, and finance—all of which can be applied to jobs in a variety of fields that are focused on communication.

Bachelor of Science in Marketing

The great thing about a marketing degree is its versatility. It will give you a solid foundation in marketing that can lead to communications-focused jobs in advertising, sales, and public relations—or give you the skills you need to become a copywriter, marketing manager, public relations specialist, or content marketing specialist.

Bachelor of Science in Human Resources

With a bachelor's degree in human resources, you’ll be prepared for a career focused on connecting with employees, giving them resources they need, and communicating company guidelines. The curriculum will give you a solid understanding of communication techniques, how businesses function, employee relations, recruitment, and more interpersonal skills related to HR professionals. For many people hoping to pursue a career focused on communication, a career in HR can be a perfect fit.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

The courses you’ll take in an MBA program will help you advance your career in communications and broaden your business acumen. You’ll gain advanced knowledge and skills in communication, marketing, management, decision making, and more—all of which can prepare you for jobs as a CEO, business owner, executive director, and more. Instead of a degree focused just on communication, an MBA can give you additional insight and skills in leadership in business.

Master of Science in Management and Leadership (MSML)

Confident leadership and solid communication management is needed at every successful organization. If you’re ready to develop the comprehensive managerial skills you need to create organizational change, communicate strategic initiatives, and lead high-performance teams—this degree program could be the right move for you. Some of the titles you can pursue with a master of business in leadership and management include: president, vice president, branch chief, director or operations, and executive director.

Students at table having a meeting

$65,356

is the average salary for those with a marketing degree versus $48,961 for those with a communications degree.

Careers Related to Communications

open discussion in meeting

Based on where you want to go with your career, a degree in marketing, HR, or business management could be a better fit and give you a broader skill set to work with. To help you better understand your options, here are some jobs you can potentially land with the degree programs mentioned above.

What Does a Communications Manager Do?

These professionals work to propel a brand's image through consistent messaging and strategy. They do everything from overseeing the development of brand collateral to developing internal and external communications and marketing strategies.

 

What Does a Marketing Manager Do?

A marketing manager oversees the promotion and positioning of a brand or the products and services it sells. Their goal is to attract more customers to buy from the company and to raise brand awareness through the creation of marketing campaigns.

What Does a Human Resources Specialist Do?

Communication skills are key for HR specialists because their job is about understanding and interacting with employees to improve their work environment. Their main responsibility is to assist in an organization’s recruiting process, which can involve everything from initial applicant screenings to interviews.

What Does a PR Specialist Do?

PR specialists help to create and maintain a positive public image for the person or company they represent. They craft media releases and develop social media programs to shape public perception of their organization and increase awareness of its work and goals.

What Does a Social Media Manager Do?

Social media managers can wear a variety of hats. They help create brand promotions, marketing campaigns, and day-to-day content creation for their company across several different social media networks. They also monitor social media analytics and respond to questions and comments according to the company’s voice and guidelines.

What Does a Journalist Do?

Journalism careers are focused on observing and recording newsworthy events and reporting them to the public. They research, write, and report news stories covering everything from social issues and entertainment to sports and politics.

Businesswoman attending listening to a client who is talking at office.

4%

is the amount of projected growth that jobs in media and communication will have from now until 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Does an Event Planner Do?

Event planners coordinate all aspects of events, parties, and meetings. They often choose venues, arrange transportation, and coordinate many other details.

What Does a Brand Manager Do?

A brand manager is responsible for developing and executing brand strategies using customer and trend research. They also have input in the design of any brand assets, including packaging, displays, ads, etc.

What Does a Copywriter Do?

A copywriter writes marketing and advertising messages for use on websites, in digital formats, and in printed materials. They often collaborate with designers, creative directors, and marketing directors.

What Does a Content Marketing Manager Do?

The job of a content marketer is to connect with a target audience to increase brand awareness. They plan and manage day-to-day content creation, editing and promotion, and report on the results of each content marketing initiative.

What Does a Brand Strategist Do?

A marketing manager oversees the promotion and positioning of a brand or the products and services it sells. Their goal is to attract more customers to buy from the company and to raise brand awareness through the creation of marketing campaigns.

What Does a Managing Editor Do?

The main role of a managing editor is to create content strategies and implement them. They typically manage a team of writers, editors, and designers to track their progress and make sure they follow style guides.

Why choose WGU?

There are several reasons WGU’s online degree programs are a great fit for students:

It’s affordable.

Tuition is charged per six-month term—not per credit hour—which means you can complete more courses in one term without paying more money. 

It’s at your pace.

Competency-based education means you can use your knowledge to your advantage. Move through courses at your own pace to accelerate your program and graduate faster. 

It’s accessible.

We offer scholarships and financial aid to help with our already-affordable tuition, making college education accessible for even more students.

It’s career-focused.

The coursework in our online programs is directly applicable to your career and provides you with a portfolio of relevant work before you even graduate, which can make you even more marketable to future employers. 

They're Prepared

95% said that their WGU graduates were prepared for their jobs

95% of employers said that WGU graduates were prepared for their jobs.

They're Top Candidates

96% said they would hire another WGU graduate

96% of employers said they would hire another WGU graduate.

They Wow

98% of employers said WGU graduates meet or exceed expectations

98% of employers said WGU graduates met or exceeded expectations.

Source: 2020 Harris Poll survey of 300 employers

Which Degree Should You Choose?

Marketing – B.S. Business Administration

For those who want to lead brands and steer consumer markets:...

For those who want to lead brands and steer...

For those who want to lead brands and steer consumer markets:

  • Time: 70% of graduates finish within 41 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,720 per 6-month term.

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Marketing and PR manager
  • Director of marketing and communications
  • Director of publications
  • Customer intelligence manager
  • Marketing sales manager

Marketing is a creative and exciting field—and one where an undergraduate degree will open better opportunities.

Business Management – B.S. Business Administration

Hone your business acumen and garner added respect:...

Hone your business acumen and garner added...

Hone your business acumen and garner added respect:

  • Time: 70% of graduates finish within 41 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,720 per 6-month term.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Account executive
  • Business analyst
  • Program manager
  • Director or senior director
  • Vice president

This online degree program is an excellent choice for kick-starting your organizational management career.

Human Resource Management – B.S. Business Administration

A SHRM-recognized online business degree program:...

A SHRM-recognized online business degree program:...

A SHRM-recognized online business degree program:

  • Time: 70% of graduates finish within 35 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,720 per 6-month term.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Human resource specialist
  • Director of talent acquisition
  • Recruiting manager
  • Organizational learning specialist
  • Vice president of HR

Earn your B.S. in Human Resources and help build strong organizations.

Master of Business Administration

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business...

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on...

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business management, strategy, and leading teams:

  • Time: Graduates can finish in 12 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $4,675 per 6-month term.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • President and CEO
  • Vice president
  • Executive director
  • Chief strategic officer

Our competency-based model gives you an innovative learning experience you won't find anywhere else—and our MBA grads tell us they loved accelerating their program to see a faster ROI.

Management and Leadership – M.S.

An online master's degree focused on change management,...

An online master's degree focused on change...

An online master's degree focused on change management, innovation, and leading teams:

  • Time: Graduates can finish in 12 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $4,675 per 6-month term.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • President
  • Vice president
  • Director of operations
  • Executive director

Develop a comprehensive suite of leadership skills and your confidence to navigate changing business structures.

Frequently Asked Questions About a Communications Career

This degree is a good choice for anyone who wants to pursue a job in communications. But if you want to expand your future career opportunities, a degree in marketing or business management or human resources could be a better fit.

A communications degree can prepare you for a variety of jobs including:

  • News reporter
  • Copywriter
  • Brand strategist
  • Social media coordinator 
  • Event planner
  • PR specialist 
  • Journalist 

Keep in mind that a degree in marketing or businesses can also prepare you for these roles.

According to ZipRecruiter, the national average salary for a communications major is $48,961.

As with any degree program, it’s all about how much you apply yourself. Degree programs can be rigorous, but the ultimate goal is to prepare you for a rewarding career.