Masters in Communications: A Good Choice for Journalism Students

The great thing about choosing to study communications is its wide range of uses, and there are many industries for which it is applicable.

For students who have already completed their B.A. or B.S. in journalism and want to continue their education, but don’t want to limit themselves to only journalism related jobs, a Masters in Communications (M.C.) is a good option.

(Note: If you did not study journalism or communications at the undergraduate level, that does not mean you will not be eligible for a Master’s degree in Communications program. While completing a Bachelor’s program is an admission requirement, numerous M.C. programs do not require that you have completed a journalism, communications or a related major at the undergraduate level.)

Communication Career Possibilities

A communications masters program is the perfect way to gain graduate-level knowledge in journalism, while learning skills valuable for other career options as well. A M.C. degree, can lead to a variety of communications careers, from a health communications consultant, brand manager for a creative company and campaign manager for a charity to an information officer for university, a market research analyst for a consulting firm, a director of marketing for a recruitment company and even some journalism careers, like as a correspondent, producer, editor and more.

While the major career outcomes from a communications degree tend to fall within the fields of advertising, marketing, mass communication and public relations, the need for a professional with top communication skills is required in practically every industry imaginable.

AMA 2010 Critical Skills Survey

For their 2010 Critical Skills Survey, the American Management Association (AMA), with P21’s assistance, surveyed 2,115 managers/executives about the “four Cs” (communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking):

80.4% respondents said employees were evaluated on their communication skills as part of their “annual performance appraisals.”

72.4% respondents said employees were evaluated on their critical thinking skills…

71.2% …on their collaboration skills…

57.3% …on their creativity skills…

75.7% respondents stated they deemed the four Cs would be come even more critical to their company/organization within 3-5 years.

Source: http://www.amanet.org/news/AMA-2010-critical-skills-survey.aspx

Masters of Communication Specialties

M.C. programs vary drastically depending on the school. Often times you can select a specialized program based on your interests and career goals. Also, some universities may have the option to specialize in journalism as part of a M.C., while others may have a separate journalism masters program all together.

Examples of concentration options within a Master of Communication program or of specialized Master of Communication degrees include:

  • Strategic Communication
  • Biomedical Communication
  • Corporate Communication
  • Public Relations
  • Advertising
  • Health Communication
  • Communication Management
  • Journalism
  • Communication & Media Studies
  • Communication & Culture
  • Digital or New Media
  • Integrated Marketing
  • Global Communication & Diplomacy
  • Mass Communication
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Sports Communication & Media
  • Political Communication
  • Nonprofit Communication
  • And more!

Another important skill anyone pursuing a career in communications should consider is becoming fluent in a second or even third…language. For example, if you are pursuing a major marketing job, the position could require communicating with clients all over the globe. Being able to communicate in more than one language can open up many professional doors.

Online and Part Time M.C. Programs

For those who need a flexible learning option, more and more schools are offering online and part time degree programs. This allows those with employment, family and other obligations to still earn their degree as conveniently as possible.

A number of schools also offer online and/or part time master’s of communication (i.e. evening and weekend) programs. Some universities even have hybrid programs, where students can choose to pursue some courses on campus and others online from the convenience of their home, office or their very own favorite place to learn.

Admission Requirements

The admissions requirements for M.C. programs differ from school to school. Normally, a Bachelor’s degree, professional references, writing samples/essay, a resume and a decent GPA from past university studies or possibly GRE scores will get you into a M.C. program, but it completely depends on the school.

So if you’re interested in furthering your journalism education, or entering the communications field for the first time, consider a masters degree in communications. You can learn the skills you are interested in while still pursuing something you’re passionate about.

 

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Last Updated By Aaron Heyntsen

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