How fast can you finish an accelerated communications degree online? What can you do after you graduate? Find out here!
A degree in communication may enable you 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 teaches you how to share this information. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you may earn an average of $61,000 per year doing it.
Types of Accelerated Communications Degree Programs
Although deciding to get a communications degree is your first step, you still get to decide what type of degree to get.
The big ones are:
- Bachelor’s in Communications
- Bachelor’s in Media Communications
- Bachelor’s in Creative Writing for Entertainment
Even within each of these majors, there is the possibility of specializing in:
- Communication and Culture
- Corporate Communication
- Media Studies
- Public Relations
- Visual Communications
You are not pigeon-holed into one area of communications. There are many different streams available.
Accelerated Communications Degree Program Overview
In a communications degree, you may learn skills like how to write clearly, break down information to make it clear, 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 may allow you to 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 degree may offer you 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
- Political Rhetoric
- Public Speaking
These are classes that prepare you to influence or simply entertain people.
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. Even social media. Yes, you can make Facebook and Twitter your job as a Social Media Manager.
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 over the next decade. Media and Communications jobs have an average annual wage of $61,310, which is higher than the average wage for all occupations.
Some of the types of jobs that you can do with your communications degree are:
- Human resources
- Music production
- Sports Reporting
- Social Work
- Visual Communications
- Web design
The job that is reported to get you the biggest paycheck is a Medical Device Sales Representative at $112,00 a year. That’s some good communication!
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Here are some other positions you might want to pursue, along with their expected salary.
There are some communications jobs that pay well. Most will pay better than average. But if you are pursuing a degree in communications, you are probably looking for more than just a big paycheck.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some careers in the communications field include:
|Careers||Annual Median Salary|
|Fundraising Manager for Civic Organizations||$121,630|
|Public Relations Manager||$118,430|
|Media Relations Specialist||$62,810|
|Film and Video Editor or Camera Operator||$61,900|
|Advertising Sales Agent||$54,940|
|News Analyst, Reporter, or Journalist||$49,300|
Communications Career Ideas
Here’s some more information about a selection of careers you could enter with a communications degree.
1. Public Relations
Probably the most directly linked career field to 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 really comfortable working with and speaking in front of others.
2. Social Media
Having a strong social media presence is essential for a company’s growth. In particular, start-up 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 and 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 may rake in a lot more business, so these positions can be quite valuable to companies.
Some people with their accelerated college degree in Communications 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 website readers and customers. Someone with a degree in Communications might also be well suited for a career in journalism, writing more serious and focused articles for a larger news source.
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 raise money in order to serve their target population.
With a career like managing the fundraising for an organization that fights childhood hunger, for example, someone may easily combine their philanthropic passion with their 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
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 change the company’s public image back to positive.
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
A communications degree can help put you on the path to not only earn a paycheck but to embrace your creative side at the same time. So what is your creative side telling you to do now? To start!
Many well-known universities that offer accelerated communications degrees have staggered start dates each month. You may start pretty much whenever you want.
And do you know how critics of degrees in Communication say that “the internet killed the newspaper”? That is partly true. The internet has drastically changed the face of communication. But you can take advantage of that fact.
You can earn a communications degree:
- At home
If you are looking at a typical school calendar, you will notice that most local classes will run for 16 weeks. Instead, you may take accelerated classes and be done in 8 weeks.
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Everything else stays the same. Same professors. Same class material. Same class on your transcript. But you finish the class twice as fast. Those are the benefits of taking accelerated classes online.
3 Ways to Accelerate Your Communications Degree Even More
If you want to earn your degree even faster, you may use these tips.
1. Test Out of College Classes – Save Up to 1 Year!
Instead of going to classes, you can 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. 30 credits is a whole year of classes.
Grab a study guide, study like crazy, and then take the exam. Get a 50% and you pass. Each exam costs around $89.
2. Get College Credit for Your Life and Work Experience – Save Up to a Semester!
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. You can usually earn up to 15 credits through submitting a portfolio. That’s a whole semester’s worth of classes.
Liberty University, for example, has it set up that you work with a faculty member to put together a portfolio with your training, experiences, credentials, and letters of reference.
Military service also qualifies as this type of experiential work training.
3. Stay Continuously Enrolled with the Max Courseload
Usually, a university student will take 30 credit hours each year for 4 years to earn a degree 15 credits at a time. But most university policies allow for up to 18 credit hours per semester.
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And contrary to popular belief, summer is a semester too. If you take a fall, spring, and summer semester of 18 credits each, you might 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 used toward your degree requirements just as long as:
- 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 use them as electives.
Lower Tuition Costs
Possibly the best way to save money on your communications degree is to take fewer classes. Yes, you still need 120 credits for your degree. But that doesn’t mean you need to take 40 classes. Remember, you might 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. When you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you’ll see how much money you qualify for in federal grants and loans.
You can then augment this with:
- State funds
- Private scholarships
- University scholarships
- Employer tuition assistance programs
You’ll still have to pay some for your communications degree, but it’ll be a lot less than the sticker price.
Communications Degree Accreditation
The curriculum and tuition costs of each school are vastly different BUT the 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. Your school has gone through a process that shows you are being taught what somebody with a degree in communications should be taught.
Some of the big names in accreditation are:
- Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
- New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
If your school is regionally accredited, you other colleges and potential employers will often respect your communications degree. It doesn’t matter if you earned your degree online or how fast you completed it.
Questions Related to Earning a Communications Degree Online
Here are our answers to a few more questions you might have.
How Long Does an Accelerated Bachelor’s Degree Take?
Most accelerated bachelor’s degree programs are set up for you to finish in 2-3 years. You may finish in as early 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?
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 be 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 or talent, your years of experience, what industry you work in, and where in the country you’re located.
Get Communicating – Fast!
A communications degree may give you the power 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?
No matter the career you have in mind, earning an accelerated college degree in Communications may give you a variety of career field options once you graduate.
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