Candidates interested in working in communication often wonder what concentrations are available in a Master’s in Communication program. The great news is that there are several concentrations from which students can choose. While one individual may be interested in public relations or advertising, another might want a career in a specific field like healthcare communication or political communication. Get the scoop here on the many possible areas of study a communications student might choose.
Strategic Communication/Public Relations
Graduates who choose this concentration will have the knowledge to deal with important issues that require managing relationships within an organization. They’ll work with stakeholders both locally and globally and will try to develop specific strategies that are beneficial to a specific group. They also learn how to help overcome crises within the organization. Students can also choose from several elective courses, which can be tailored to their area of concentrations. These might include communications foundations; professional communications; applied theories; understanding media and communication research methods.
Integrated Communication and Advertising
This area of study helps the student understand the necessity of including all organizational stakeholders in the process of developing communication strategies that integrate all areas, including marketing, advertising and public relations. They also create and implement branding plans through the use of persuasion theories. Course topics might include conversations about ethics; digital analytics and measurement; IMC campaign planning; public speaking and pitching; digital marketing and the brand concept.
Students choosing the health communication concentration learn how to create and assess effective public information campaigns as well as how to deal with the many communication demands required to get through a crisis in the health industry. They also gain knowledge of behavioral-changing communications and how to implement them into various genres and channels. This individual will also develop and deliver current health communication programs. As a health communications student, the individual learns what has been used in the past, what works best and why it works best. Course topics might include emergency and risk communication; health psychology; evaluating and developing communication campaigns and social marketing.
An individual interested in a career in politics needs to have good communication methods and skills, and the political communication concentration provides students with the necessary knowledge and skill. Whether an individual is running for office, governing a group or campaigning for policy changes, communication is vital in politics. This area covers everything from developing campaign strategies to influencing public policy to running a press or campaign office. Course topics may include speech writing; campaign communication; public affairs; crisis communication; opinion polling; image management; debating and mass media. Students studying political communications may also have internships available to them where they can work in government agencies, campaign offices or major media outlets.
The various different platforms now being used to create, disseminate and translate communication has a demand for more media and communication jobs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that employment of media and communication professionals should grow six percent from 2016 to 2026, which should equate to about 43,200 new jobs. As of May 2017, these professionals earned an average annual wage of $56,340. With so many concentrations available in a Master’s in Communication program, the job possibilities are almost endless.