5 Concentrations for a Master’s in Communication

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Updated August 4, 2020

Master's in Communication Concentrations

  • Digital Media
  • Political Communications
  • Applied Research
  • Mass Communication
  • Public Relations

Concentrations for a Master's in Communication provide students with an opportunity to cultivate skills and expand knowledge in a particular area of interest. By taking courses or completing research in one specific area, students personalize their education. The following five concentrations in a Master's in Communication degree provide specific training for in-demand and versatile fields.

Resource: 30 Top Affordable Online Master's in Communication

Digital Media

A Master's in Communication concentration in digital media prepares students for working in an online world. Courses focus on social media, website content, mobile communication and online media theory. Along with written aspects of digital media, students also learn to apply graphical design to effective communication strategies. Some programs provide social network analytics as an optional course for the concentration, allowing students to combine an interest in communications with data analysis. Students who graduate with a concentration in digital media apply their skills as copywriters, social media coordinators and managers, online journalists and website designers or developers.

Political Communications

Students learn the complexities of political strategy in communications with a Master's in Communication concentration in political communications. Students learn to analyze and construct communication between political candidates and government officials and citizens. Courses emphasize rhetorical styles and implementation to help students learn to craft political speeches, understand the role of communication in molding public opinion and analyze political systems and election outcomes based on communication styles. Political communications has a popular subfield research opportunity in analyzing gender or ethnicity in political communication styles and outcomes. Coursework in political communications leads to positions as press secretaries, researchers and campaign strategists.

Applied Research

Research forms the basis of theory in the communications field, and a concentration for a Master's in Communication in applied research enables students to be at the forefront of communications innovation and evaluation. Although a course in qualitative research is a common selection in a research concentration, it primarily focuses on quantitative research design. Students learn to evaluate existing communication methods or programs, discover new communication strategies and test and describe existing communication theories. Honing skills in data analysis and research design can lead to careers in data analysis and research design in and out of the communications field, as well as academia.

Mass Communication

Mass communication is an eclectic concentration for a Master's in Communication, consisting of visual, oral and written media. This concentration teaches effective tools for those pursuing a career in print media, broadcast journalism, reporting or academia. The curriculum also critically examines the impact of mass media on society and global cultures, such as the influence of broadcast media on identity or politics. Students can choose mass communication courses that specifically reflect their potential career path, such as journalism or electronic media. Many programs also cross-list this concentration with legal studies courses, and students have career options as varied as the courses available.

Public Relations

A graduate communications concentration in public relations focuses on communication between an organization and its audience, involving courses on brand management, marketing, building a social media presence, crisis management and messaging. Students can focus their concentration further on the type of organization, such as non-profit communication strategy. Workers with an advanced knowledge of public relations are an integral part of many sectors of the economy, from multinational corporations to small businesses. This concentration even offers the option to study and work abroad. Public relations specialists have a median pay of over $50,000, which increases to over $100,000 for public relations managers.

The field of communications offers a wide range of career and study paths. These five concentrations for a Master's in Communication reflect the diversity of the field and provide in-demand options for employment after graduation.

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