Accelerated Communications Degree Online [2024 Guide]

By Joy Cromwelle
Updated on February 9, 2024
Ready to start your journey?
Discover the benefits of an accelerated communications degree online. Learn about sharing information effectively. Explore opportunities and start your journey!

How fast can you finish an accelerated communications degree online? What can you do after you graduate? You can find out here!

Accelerated Communications Degree Online

A degree in communication can help you learn how to create, edit, translate, and share information through a variety of platforms.

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We live in an age of information. A degree in communication is designed to teach you how to share this information, and learning this can lead to a potentially lucrative career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those in communications careers earn an average salary of $61,000 per year.

Types of Accelerated Communications Degree Programs

Once you’ve decided to earn a communications degree, you’ll need to choose which one you want to get. There are a variety of communications degrees that you can pursue.

The most popular ones are Bachelor’s in Communication and Bachelor’s in Media Communications. Another degree that is popular and related to communications is the Bachelor’s in Creative Writing for Entertainment.

Within each of these majors, you can pursue a variety of specializations. Some possible options are:

  • Broadcasting
  • Communication and Culture
  • Corporate Communication
  • Journalism
  • Media Studies
  • Public Relations
  • Visual Communications

The possibilities within the field of communications are quite varied. There are many different studies you can pursue.

Accelerated Communications Degree Program Overview

Accelerated Communications Degree Program Overview

Earning a communications degree can help you learn how to write clearly and concisely, speak in public, and build a compelling argument. These are attractive skills to many employers.

Communication touches nearly every industry, including social media, journalism, music, advertising, film, television, law, social work, human resources, and education. A degree in communications can help you make an impact on the world around you.

Instead of being a consumer of information, you may get to be the one presenting the information.

Your communications degree program may offer classes like:

  • Communication and Popular Culture
  • Communication in the Family
  • Essentials of Customer Service
  • Event Planning
  • Human Communication in a Technological Age
  • Media writing
  • Motivational Speaking
  • Narrative, Story-telling, and Performance
  • Persuasion
  • Political Rhetoric
  • Public Speaking

These classes can help you learn how to influence or simply entertain people.

Careers with an Accelerated Communications Degree

Careers with an Accelerated Communications Degree

The beauty of a degree in communications is that it is not focused on only one form of communication. You may specialize in public speaking or creative writing, or even social media. A communications degree can help prepare you for a wide and varied scope of jobs.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 14% job growth in communications jobs over the next decade.

Some of the potential jobs that you can do with your communications degree are:

  • Advertising
  • Broadcasting
  • Education
  • Film
  • Human resources
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Music production
  • Sports reporting
  • Social work
  • Television
  • Visual communications
  • Web design

There are many jobs in the field of communications that are often quite lucrative. Media and communications jobs have an average annual wage of $61,310, which is higher than the average wage for all occupations, and some can have even higher salaries.

For example, one of the biggest average salaries is for medical device sales representatives at $112,00 a year.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some other common careers in the field of communications are:

Careers Annual Median Salary
Fundraising Managers for Civic Organizations $121,630
Public Relations Managers $118,430
Technical Writers $74,650
Speechwriters $67,120
Editors $63,400
Media Relations Specialists $62,810
Film and Video Editors and Camera Operators $61,900
Advertising Sales Agents $54,940
Event Planners $51,560
News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists $49,300

These are just some of the careers that those with a communications degree can pursue. Some of these careers may require advanced degrees or experience to obtain.

Communications Career Ideas

Earning a degree in communications can help open the door to many different careers. Here’s some more information about a selection of careers you could pursue with a communications degree.

1. Public Relations

team of marketing professionals collaborating for a project

Probably the most directly linked career field that can be pursued with an accelerated college degree in communications is public relations. Someone who works in public relations is often in charge of making sure a company’s image is presented well in the public sphere.

This might mean writing press releases, working on a company’s branding, or creating marketing and advertising materials. Someone in this role is usually very comfortable working with and speaking in front of others.

2. Social Media

team of professionals for a start up company having a meeting for their social media promotion

Having a strong social media presence is essential for a company’s growth. In particular, start-ups and small businesses are interested in expanding their social media presence.

If you like the idea of working with newer companies, you might consider using your communications degree in the world of social media.

More companies are creating job positions just for social media experts to keep their Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and other social media presences updated and vibrant. Having a social media voice can help rake in a lot more business, so these positions can be quite valuable to companies.

3. Writing/Journalism

female journalist working on her computer in a cafe

Those who have earned an accelerated college degree in communications may choose to go into writing or journalism.

Many companies have company blogs where writers produce content that is related to the company’s mission and field. By keeping an up-to-date and conversational yet informative blog, a company can better connect with its customers.

Someone with a degree in communications might also be well-suited for a career in journalism, writing more serious and focused articles for larger news sources.

4. Fundraising

team of nonprofit organization meeting for an upcoming fundraising activity

Though sometimes closely related to a career in public relations, a career in fundraising is much more specialized.

This career may be a great match for someone with a passion for helping nonprofit organizations. A career in fundraising can allow someone to easily combine their philanthropic passion with a salaried career.

Of course, people who work in fundraising may also help small and large for-profit corporations raise money for their interests as well.

5. Crisis Management

crisis management officer working late on her computer in the office

Many companies hire crisis management firms or individuals to help them deal with crises that arise.

These crises usually have to do with public image issues. For example, if a president of a company is accused of embezzlement or another crime, the company for which that president worked (or still works) might be interested in hiring someone to help the company rebuild a positive public image.

This type of career is usually pretty fast-paced and demanding. Crisis management officers often work long and unconventional hours.

The Benefits of Earning a Communications Degree Online through Accelerated Classes

communications degree student studying online

There are many benefits to taking an accelerated online communications degree program. These programs can be quite flexible and help you earn your degree quickly at home.

A communications degree can help you embrace your creative side while you earn a paycheck at the same time.

An accelerated degree program in communications can help you start doing this sooner. Many well-known universities that offer accelerated communications degrees have staggered start dates each month.

If you look at a typical school calendar, you will notice that most local classes run for 16 weeks. Instead, accelerated classes can often be completed in 8 weeks.

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Everything else is the same or similar. Most accelerated programs have the same professors, cover the same class material, and are listed on transcripts the same way as on-campus programs, but you can potentially finish the program twice as fast.

3 Ways to Accelerate Your Communications Degree Even More

If you want to earn your degree even faster, these tips may be able to help.

1. Test Out of College Classes – Save Up to 1 Year!

Communications Degree students studying together in class

Instead of going to classes, you can potentially test out of college courses by just taking an exam. You can register to take up to 30 credits with the College Level Examination Program. That is equivalent to a whole year of classes.

You need at least a 50% to pass, so you’ll likely need to grab a guide and study before taking the exam, but doing so can save you money.

Each exam costs around $89.

2. Get College Credit for Your Life and Work Experience – Save Up to a Semester!

Communications Degree student intern working in the office

No matter what field you have been working in, you may apply to get credit toward your communications degree from your work experience.

This is called Credit for Prior Learning. When you apply to your university, you might want to ask about this way of earning credit. Many schools offer the chance to earn up to 15 credits by submitting a portfolio. That’s equivalent to a whole semester’s worth of classes.

Your portfolio will likely need to include proof of your training, experiences, credentials, and letters of reference.

Military service often qualifies as experiential work training as well.

3. Stay Continuously Enrolled with the Max Courseload

Communications Degree student studying online in a cafe

Usually, a university student will take 15 credit hours each semester for a total of 30 credit hours each year for 4 years, but most university policies allow for up to 18 credit hours per semester.

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Many schools will also allow students to take classes during the summer as well. If you take a fall, spring, and summer semester of 18 credits each and pass all of your classes, you can earn 54 credits in 1 year. That’s almost twice what a normal college student accomplishes in the same timeframe.

Bonus: Transferring Your Existing College Credits

Have you started college before and passed some classes but didn’t finish your degree? That’s pre-existing college credit. Whatever college classes you have taken in the past may be able to be used toward your degree requirements if:

  • Your college was accredited
  • You earned at least a C in the class

Even if the classes you already took don’t fit into the requirements for your current degree, you may be able to use them as electives.

Lower Tuition Costs

Accelerated Communications Degree Online Lower Tuition Costs

Possibly the best way to save money on your communications degree is to take fewer classes. Yes, the average bachelor’s degree still requires 120 credits, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to take 40 classes.

You might be able to test out of classes with CLEP exams. The $89 you pay for an exam may be a lot more affordable than tuition for that class.

Once you’ve tested out of and received credit for as many classes as you can, the next best way to save money is to take advantage of financial aid. By filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you can see how much money you qualify for in federal grants and loans.

You can then augment this aid with:

  • State funds
  • Private scholarships
  • University scholarships
  • Employer tuition assistance programs

You may still have to pay some for your communications degree, but financial aid can potentially reduce the cost by a lot.

Communications Degree Accreditation

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The curriculum and tuition costs of different schools vary greatly, but one thing that really matters is that your degree is accredited.

Accreditation can be either regional or national. Accreditation is the gold stamp on your degree that claims it is valid. It shows that your school has gone through the process to validate its program and that it meets educational standards.

The organizations that provide regional accreditation are:

Schools with regional accreditation are more respected by employers and recognized by other colleges if you decide to transfer or continue your education. It doesn’t matter if you earned your degree online or how fast you completed it.

How Long Does an Accelerated Bachelor’s Degree Take?

Recruiting Director talking to an employee in the office

Most accelerated bachelor’s degree programs are set up so they can be finished in 2-3 years. You may finish in as little as 18 months if you test out of classes through the CLEP or similar programs, earn credit for prior learning, and take one more class per semester, including a full load over the summer.

What Can I Do with a Communications Degree?

Recruiting Directors interviewing an applicant

When you earn your communications degree, you may use it to work in business, journalism, entertainment, public relations, politics, or the legal field. You may become a writer, editor, film producer, or spokesperson.

In addition, you can always decide to advance your education and pursue a master’s degree in communications to open up more career opportunities.

Communications covers a lot of roles and is useful in nearly every industry.

How Much Can You Make with a Communications Degree?

Communications majors earn an average of between $61,000 and $121,000 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics). It all depends on your job, your level of talent, your years of experience, what industry you work in, and where you’re located.

Get Communicating – Fast!

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A communications degree can help you gain the power needed to bring change to our world. Your words are the tools you may use to build businesses, help charities, spread news, and entertain.

What is stopping you from starting now?

Earning an accelerated college degree in communications can help open the door to a variety of exciting and rewarding careers once you graduate.

Ready to start your journey?
Joy is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy & Foreign Policy at Liberty University and holds a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management from Amberton University, as well as a Bachelor's in Business Administration from Columbia College. With over 20 years of experience navigating online degrees and courses, Joy's focus is helping non-traditional students find accelerated degree options and credit for prior learning opportunities.