What is a Master’s in Communication?

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Updated March 25, 2021

A Master's in Communication program increases the knowledge base of students in many areas encompassed by the field of communications. Students seeking greater employment opportunities and the chance to gain new experiences in the field find these master's programs beneficial to their careers. A variety of programs exist that allow students to find a program that is suitable to their personal needs.

Resource: 30 Top Affordable Master's in Communication Online

Ideal Students

A Master's in Communication is generally intended for those with a communications or speech academic background. Those seeking to complete the program are often doing so in order to learn communication best practices and to gain experiences in areas such as project management. Students also seek out a master's program in order to gain research experience. In many programs, a thesis is required. This process includes researching, writing, and presenting information, all skills that can be applicable to careers in public relations, marketing, human relations, and organizational communication.

Degree Requirements

While there are different Master's in Communication programs, they all build on the bachelor's degree level knowledge base to provide advanced knowledge in areas that include communication theory, leadership, communication research, information technology, communication law, and social media. A communication master's program typically requires 30 to 36 credit hours for completion, which usually can be accomplished in two to three years of study. Programs offer concentrations in areas such as organizational communication or media studies. Assessments are given towards the end of programs and, depending on the program, can be in the form of a comprehensive exam, a thesis, or a capstone project.

Potential Careers

Numerous career opportunities are available to those who obtain a Master's in Communication, some of which are management positions. Some graduates choose to become public relations managers who work on behalf of a company to create the positive public image essential for investors to want to interact with a company and for consumers to want to purchase the company's products or services.

Others become fundraising managers who initiate, guide, and coordinate the activities necessary for a company to receive funds from donors. They are also responsible for maintaining these funds. Fundraising managers may work for a company's special project or initiative or for a nonprofit organization. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a public relations or fundraising manager is $127,690.

Others who've obtained their master's degree choose to work as advertising and promotions managers. These individuals oversee advertising programs. This may include producing promotional materials, such as coupons and posters, or creating contests in order to increase consumers' awareness of the product or service. The mean annual salary for advertising and promotions managers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $123,880.

The current job market can be extremely competitive, especially in the popular media and communications field. Those seeking employment in this area must find ways to stand out from the crowd. A Master's in Communication can be very beneficial for those desiring to enhance their resumes and, ultimately, job opportunities.

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