According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the future looks bright for communication jobs:
- Employment in communication-related positions are expected to grow 4% through 2029, right on track with all occupations. This growth will result in the creation of more than 46,000 new jobs.
- The median annual wage for communication-related occupations was approximately $59,000 as of last year, much higher than the median annual wage of approximately $39,000 for all occupations.
- The increased demand in the communications field will stem from jobs where workers are asked to compose, revise, and share information through a variety of platforms.
The online bachelor’s in communication degree from JWU’s College of Online Education focuses on all of the skills that are necessary to succeed in jobs where information is exchanged, ideas are expressed, and people are influenced.
What Communication Skills Do Employers Want
If you use Indeed.com, Monster.com, or another popular employment search engine, you will be amazed by the thousands of communication-related jobs that are available. Employers may expect graduates to perform lots of different kinds of tasks, such as creating documents, reporting on events, providing technical assistance, translating information into another language, making visual presentations, or revising content for publication. Regardless of the specific tasks that are required for any position, excellent written and oral communication skills as well as creative and critical thinking are assumed.
Graduates of JWU’s online degree in Communication will be well-positioned for careers in areas such as business, journalism, media, writing, government, politics, education, international relations, law, marketing, advertising, and public relations.
Thinking about public relations, public relations specialists work to craft and enhance the public image of one or more organizations. They may regularly attend community events and network with a broad base of constituents. Their day-to-day jobs may involve writing press releases for the media, composing speeches, scheduling interviews, collaborating with clients to communicate clear messages to the public, and helping organizations with their identity. Specialists in these kinds of roles can expect to earn approximately $61,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This area of communication is also showing signs of growth, roughly 7% by 2029. This area would pair nicely with our program’s major electives in advertising, business, and marketing as well as its core classes in relationships, persuasion, new media, organizations, and research methods.
In the realm of general communication-related positions—think communication specialist, communication director, or communications manager—the diversity of industries in which our graduates can find employment is impressive: everything from manufacturing and software publishing to hospitals and banks. Consider working as a communication specialist for a hospital where you are asked to compose formal communiqués about policies, produce reports for meetings, synthesize complex information, make visual presentations, give speeches about important matters that affect key constituents, manage social media pages, and engage external stakeholders and audiences. Those roles would fit well with a unique blend of JWU’s elective credits in business, finance, law, and management, all of which are integral parts of our online degree.
One department that can be found in nearly every company is that of human resources, and the need for communication there looms large! As a communication manager in human resources, you would be responsible for helping to develop training programs, organize employee orientations, coordinate interviews, communicate policies, educate employees about benefits, deliver presentations, and contribute to changes in employee manuals. The average median salary for an HR specialist was over $61,000 in 2019. Positions in human resources will experience roughly 5% growth through 2028, again according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. JWU’s online degree in communication allows you to minor in human resource management, so you are well covered on that front.
Innovative Communication Careers
Two emerging areas where we will continue to see growth are in data analytics and user experience design. Picture yourself interpreting large sets of data and then translating what you know for different audiences in visually compelling ways. Or imagine helping designers understand how humans respond to interfaces as they plan for new products and services. Communication is the bridge between programmers, designers, advertisers, writers, event planners, and a host of other professions where algorithms, robotic assistants, and automated tools will continue to influence future roles and responsibilities.
Regardless of the communication-related industry you find yourself in, an increased demand for new roles will likely counteract a decreasing demand for old roles. There will always be a need for people who can simplify complex information without losing its essence or nuance. This message is particularly comforting in our current age of automation.
What You Will Learn
The BA in Communication is different from advertising/marketing, graphic design, sports/entertainment management, and other communication-related degrees. While you can elect to take courses in these areas as part of your elective credits, the emphasis of the program is on the big picture of communication at various levels—individual, organizational, cultural—and for myriad purposes: to inform, entertain, or persuade. The program teaches you about important theories related to how messages are shared in different contexts, and you learn more about history, sociology, and psychology in this major than you would in, say, a program in entertainment management. While other kinds of communication-related degrees emphasize skills in specific contexts—how to use Photoshop to retouch an image, for instance, in the case of a degree in graphic design—the BA in Communication degree would teach you about the reasons for creating the image in the first place, the reactions of those who might see it, and the channels or platforms through which it may be shared. In short, you would learn to effectively interpret the meaning of not just the image, but also the words, speech, and symbols that surround it, among other topics related to the exchange, influence, and expression of messages.
All of this means that an investment in a communication degree is one that will allow for maximum flexibility and transferability not only within but across industries in the future.