Candidates who are interested in earning a communication degree but already lead busy lives often wonder how long it takes to complete an online Master's in Communication program. While master's degree programs can typically take from about two years to complete if the student already has a bachelor's degree, online-based programs can take less or more time depending on the student's time, motivation and commitment. Communication degrees open doors to all sorts of possibilities. Earning the master's degree through the Internet can be a convenient way to jumpstart a career in communications.

Resource: 30 Top Affordable Master's in Communication Online

Field of Communication

Communication is a vast field that covers many occupations and careers. Digital media has opened the door for an even larger number of careers. The field of communication can be broken down into the following six subfields.

  • Advertising
  • Public Relations
  • Communication Studies
  • Journalism
  • Broadcasting
  • Broadcast Journalism

Graduates of communication programs may find work as public relations specialists; broadcast and sound engineering technicians; announcers; reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts; editors; media planner; business reporter; social media manager and human resources professional.

How Long Will an Online Master's in Communication Take?

The time it takes to complete the Master's in Communication degree through distance learning can vary by many factors. At a brick-and-mortar college, a student starting from scratch can expect to spend from five to seven years to earn the master's degree. Students who already hold a bachelor's degree can earn the master's in one and one-half to two years.

Some communication programs require the applicant already have a bachelor's degree. Earning the master's degree over the Internet can shave off a lot of that time. Internet programs may be offered 100% online or as hybrid programs. Students in hybrid programs may complete some courses on campus and others through distance learning.

Distance learning programs are famous for the flexibility they offer students regarding how many classes they wish to take per semester and how many hours per week they want to or can devote to studies. This can often be determined by whether the student enrolls as a part-time student or a full-time student. Some Internet schools do set a limit on how long the program should take. As a general rule, the communication master's degree can be completed in as little as one year or as long as five years.

Program Overview

Students in a distance learning Master's in Communication program will have a variety of different courses. Communication programs also offer areas of specialization, such as mass communications; technology and communications; strategic communications; communication; communication management and public relations. Course topics may include marketing strategies; corporate communication; digital media; strategic storyteller and social media and communication management. Students may also be required to complete a project involving some type of communication media. Full-time communication students generally spend from 20 to 25 hours per week learning in an Internet platform.

Outlook for Communication Careers

The career outlook for media and communication occupations is expected to experience a growth of six percent between 2016 and 2026 as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The various platforms in which information can now be disseminated is a major contributing factor in the employment growth. The bureau reports that approximately 43,200 new communication jobs should be created by 2026. The average annual wage for these occupations was $37,690 as of May 2017. Experience, training, location and employer can all play a role in determining wages.

Regardless of what type of platform delivers it, communication will also be a vital part of our daily lives. Individuals interested in joining this exciting career will be amazed at how quickly they can earn a Master's in Communication over the Internet.