Where could you go with an online accelerated communications degree?
Did you say nowhere? *shakes head sadly* you are in the majority if you feel that way.
A communications degree does have a bad reputation for being an useless degree.
But answer this:
A degree in communication enables you to create, edit, translate and share information through a variety of platforms. We live in an age of information. A degree in communication teaches you how to share this information.
That’s important. To businesses and to your career.
You have a desire to share information. You get excited about spreading a message in a variety of forms. Social media, journalism, music, advertising, film, television, law, social work, human resources, education. Communication touches all industries.
But you don’t want to muck around. You aren’t a trust fund kid and your parents aren’t paying for your degree. Every dollar counts. Every hour counts.
Let’s make good use of your time and money. You can get a degree in communications and it can be fast. You don’t need to quit your day job and move into your parent’s basement to make this work.
You can put your nose to the grindstone and in 18 months be proudly holding a communications degree.
Accelerated Communications Degree Program Overview
In a communications degree you can 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.
A degree in communications allows you to make an impact on the world around you. Instead of being a consumer of information you get to be the one presenting the information.
Your degree would offer you classes like:
- Media writing
- Public Speaking
- Motivational Speaking
- Communication and Popular Culture
- Narrative, Story-telling and Performance
- Event Planning
- Essentials of Customer Service
- Communication in the Family
- Human Communication in a Technological Age
- Political Rhetoric
These are classes that prepare you to influence people. Classes that not only prepare you for a career but give you skills for planning your own wedding and winning arguments with your significant other!
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 can specialize in public speaking or creative writing.
Even social media. Hello? Are you good at Facebook and Twitter? Make that into your job. It’s a thing! The job is called Social Media Manager. Yeah, you can get paid to run a company’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
A communications degree prepares you for a wide and varied scope of jobs. Meaning there are jobs for you. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 4 % job growth over the next 7 years.
And there’s money in those jobs. Media and Communications jobs have an average annual wage of $54,780. Which is higher than the average wage for all occupations.
Some of the jobs you might look into with your degree in communications are in:
- Human resources
- Music production
- Social Work
- Visual Communications
- Sports Reporting
- Web design
The job that is reported to get you the biggest paycheck would be a Medical Device Sales Representative at $112,00 a year.
That’s some good communication!
Not all communications jobs will pay that much. We can only dream, but most careers come with a healthy paycheck.
|Film and Video Editors||$59,040|
|Public Relations Specialists||$58,020|
|Authors and Writers||$61,240|
|Creative Services Director||$78,100|
|Quality Assurance Specialist||$61,800|
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.
You are looking to make a difference. You are wanting to work in a job that answers your need to be a talented, creative person.
A communications degree puts you on the path to not only earn a paycheck but to embrace your creative side at the same time.
Accelerated Communications Degree Programs Offer Year-Round Admissions
So what is your creative side telling you to do now? To get started! You are dreaming of that class in Public Speaking and can’t wait to start.
Many well known universities that offer accelerated communications degrees have staggered start dates each month.
You can start whenever you want.
How about today? Instead of scrolling through Facebook looking at pictures of your ex-boyfriend’s sister’s cat you could be taking a class in Media Writing. Finally put all your Facebook skills to good use. Instead of writing clever status updates, you can use your creative side to get a communications degree.
Then your ex-boyfriend’s sister’s cat will wish they had accepted your friend request.
Accelerated Communications Degree Programs Online – Accelerated Classes vs. Self-Paced Classes
You know how critics of degrees in Communication say that “the internet killed the newspaper”?
That is partly true. The internet has changed drastically the face of communication. But you can take advantage of that fact.
You can earn a communications degree:
- At home
There are 2 basic types of online classes. Accelerated online classes or self-paced classes.
Accelerated online classes are like when we used to watch our favorite TV shows on TV. Remember how you always had to be home at 7 pm on Thursday night to watch your show? Or you would miss it?
Accelerated online classes run on a set schedule like that. There is a start date, specific deadlines for handing in assignments and a last day of class. But a bit more like watching a show on PVR, you can only take the class when it is offered but you decide when you do the work.
Self-Paced classes are more like Netflix. You can pick a show and binge watch 3 seasons in one weekend. You set the pace and the only thing that slows you down is snack breaks.
Option 1: Accelerated Online Communications Classes
If you are looking at a typical school calendar you will notice that most local classes will run for 16 weeks. That’s an awfully long time to wait to be done a class. Who has time for that?
So instead we take the PVR route which is an accelerated online class. You can take an online class in Communication in the Marketplace and be done in 8 weeks. Like you are working on fast forward!
But everything else stays the same. Same professors. Same class material. Same class on your transcript. Just you finish the class twice as fast.
Now that you finished one class so quickly you have time to take another class right away. You’ll be done a full season of classes before your friends in local classes are done even half.
No spoiler alerts!
Option 2: Self-Paced Online Communications Classes
Are you more of a person who likes to binge watch shows? Self-paced might be more your style. This type of class let’s you do as many of your classes as you can in one semester.
Up to half of the classes you will need for a degree in communications will be electives. Electives cover things like composition, natural science, math, technology use, social science, humanities.
You don’t want to dilly-dally through those classes.
Just blast through your electives. Schools like Capella University offer self-paced courses. At Capella you can register for a 12 week semester for a pre-set fee of $2300. Over that 12 week period you can complete as many course as you want.
Just like binge watching Netflix. You choose a time when you have a bit more flexibility in your schedule and you could knock off 1/3 or more of your electives in 12 weeks.
You finish one and you start another right away. Just leave time for snacks and bathroom breaks.
Types of Accelerated Communications Degree Programs
Although deciding to get a communications degree is your first step. You still get to decide what area you want to concentrate on.
The big ones are:
- Bachelor’s in Communications
- Bachelor’s in Media Communications
Even within each of these majors there is the possibility of specializing in:
- Visual Communications
- Video Journalism
- Media Graphics
- Civic Engagement
You are not pigeon-holed into one area of communications. There are many different streams available.
3 Ways to Accelerate Your Communications Degree Even More
You are creative, right? You think outside the box and don’t like having to fit into a mold. You have ideas on how you can change the system to make it better. That’s a good thing.
You will like these 3 ideas that are outside of the box. They are ideas that allow you to break the mold of how to get a communications degree.
Usually it takes 4 years. And you need $213, 792.
Youch! Who has that time and money?
Not you. You are creative. Let’s make that work for you!
1. Test out of college classes (up to 1 year)
Instead of going to classes, you can just take the exam. It’s a thing. A genius thing.
You register to take up to 30 credits with the College Level Examination Program. 30 credits is a whole year of classes, FYI.
This works awesome for dealing with those pesky electives. You register for the exam in Math, grab a study guide, study like crazy and then take the exam.
You don’t need to blow it out of the water. Just get a 50% and you pass. Then you have credit for the class.
2. Get college credit for your life and work experience
No matter what field you have been working in, you can apply to get credit towards your communications degree from your work experience.
This is called Credit for Prior Learning. When you apply to your university you will want to ask about this way of earning credit. You can usually earn up to 15 credits through submitting a portfolio.
Liberty University 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.
You can apply to receive credit for your electives in humanities, business or finance.
3. Stay continuously enrolled with max courseload
Now your creativity meets hard work. That’s the magic formula to getting your degree quick. Be creative and work hard.
Usually a university student will take 30 credit hours each year. Plugging away for 4 years to earn a degree.
Nuh-uh. You want speed in your degree. Most university polices allow for up to 18 credit hours per semester.
Contrary to popular belief, summer is a semester too. If you take a fall, winter and summer semester of 18 credits you will earn 54 credits in 1 year.
54 credits or 30 credits in 1 year? You don’t need to be a math major to figure out which is faster.
Transferring Your Existing College Credits
Say you already watched half a season of Gilmore Girls but you never finished the show. Instead of starting at the very beginning, you just pick up where you left off.
That’s pre-existing college credit. Whatever college classes you have taken in the past can be used towards your degree requirements just as long as:
- Your college was accredited
- You earned at least a C in the class
- The class fits your new degree
Even if the classes you already took don’t fit into your class, you can use them as electives.
Using your pre-existing college credit saves you both time and money. No need to start the show from the first episode if you already watched half a season! You can get to the good stuff quicker, if you use your pre-existing credit.
Lower Tuition Costs
Are you the one paying for your tuition? And you have no trust fund?
There are ways to make your degree cheaper without relying on an inheritance. How you do that is you take fewer classes.
Yes, you still need 120 credits for your degree. But that doesn’t mean you need to take 40 classes. 40 classes cost a lot!
At Colorado State University tuition for a Colorado resident sits at $492 per credit hour, a 3 credit class will cost you $1476. You are looking at a minimum of $59,040 for your degree.
A non-Colorado resident is looking at $1333 per credit hour, leaving you at $159,960 for your degree. Wah! You could buy a house with 2 bedrooms in Colorado Springs for that much!
So save your cash for the house and go this route.
Instead of paying $1500 for a 3 credit class, pay $80 for a 3 credit exam through the College Level Examination Program.
Then repeat for 9 other exams. Instead of paying $14,760 for 10 classes, you can pay $800 for 10 exams. Either way you earn 30 credits. But going the exam route saves you $13,960 dollars.
Cost Of Communications Degree
|Ways To Earn Credit||Number Of Credits||Total Cost|
|Attend Colorado State University||120||Non-Colorado Resident $159,960|
|Attend Southern California University||120||$213,792|
|Attend Liberty University||120||$46,800|
|College Level Examination Program |
Credit for Prior Learning
Remaining classes at Liberty University
You can save up to $182,242 by taking an online accelerated communications degree. How’s that for good communication?
Communications Degree Accreditation
The 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:
- Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC)
- Global Communication Certification Council’s Communication Management Professional (CMP)
- American Communication Association
- Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
- Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
The big name accreditors are nice to have but as long as your school is regionally accredited you can have faith that your communication degree is legitimate.
A communications degree can give you the power to bring change to our world. Your words are the tool you can use to build businesses, help charities, spread news and entertain.
What is stopping you from starting now?
The first step is always the hardest. A journey of a 1000 miles begins with one step.
There are many ways to say the same thing: you just have to start!
Take an online class. Test out of an exam. Invest in a semester of self-paced classes.
What is there to lose?
Really, a couple hours each week and maybe $80 for an exam.
But what would you gain with a degree in communications? Do you see the person you could be? And are you willing to take that first step?
Many people choose to pursue an accelerated communications degree for vastly different reasons; some choose it so they can have a fast-paced and high-powered job, while others choose it for a rewarding career helping others.
No matter the career you have in mind, earning an accelerated college degree in Communications will give you a variety of career field options once you graduate.
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 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 smaller 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 can rake in a lot more business, so these positions are quite valuable to companies.
Some people with their accelerated college degree in Communications choose to go into writing and/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 is 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 fundraising for an organization that fights childhood hunger, for example, someone can easily combine their philanthropic passion with their salaried career. Of course, people who work in fundraising can 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 in order 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) would 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.