If you’re passionate about communication strategy, then you might consider earning a masters in communication management.
Whether you’re interested in branding and marketing or want to take on a leadership role overseeing communications for an organization, this degree may provide a strategic pathway. Professionals in the communication management field often play a central role in business development and advertising initiatives.
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Read on to learn more about this advanced degree and what it can offer.
Online Masters in Communication Management Programs
An online master in communication management program typically contains a blend of coursework on communication strategies and leadership and management skills.
Students will likely encounter courses that cover topics like:
- Advanced strategic communication theory
- Research methods in mass communication
- Interviewing theories and methods
- Listening techniques
- Media management
- Theories of persuasion
- Political advertising
- Organizational communication
Your courses could also cover small group communication and interpersonal communication strategies, along with ethics in communication management. Some coursework may also depend on whether you choose a concentration as your program focus.
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Common concentrations include public relations, conflict management, and more. You may also learn de-escalation and resolution techniques, which could be utilized in crisis management situations, within health agencies, or even in government or police agencies.
Many graduate students are required to complete a thesis in their desired concentration, especially if they are considering pursuing a doctoral degree. If your program has a thesis component, you may also take a fair amount of courses on effective research methods in communication as well as data collection and analyzation.
The coursework in this degree program is also specifically designed to prepare graduates for leadership management positions in communications fields. Potential employers can include public relations firms, corporate communication departments, advertising agencies, production companies, and even healthcare corporations or government agencies.
Common Online Masters in Communication Management Concentrations
Many master’s in communications management programs offer specific concentrations to students, which allows you to focus on a particular area of communication. Common concentrations of an online degree in communications include:
- Public Relations. This concentration focuses on utilizing communication strategies to influence behavior and shape attitudes. It may feature public speaking, persuasion theories, and communicating with the press.
- Marketing Communication. This concentration focuses on the management of business communication with clients, consumers, and customers.
- Market Research and Analytics. This concentration focuses on developing the skills required to analyze and collect data. It also emphasizes applying data-driven insights to create effective communication strategies for organizations.
- Strategic and Organizational Communication. This concentration focuses on communications within business settings, emphasizing communication strategies to solve organizational issues.
- Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution. This concentration focuses on organizational conflict negotiation and crisis management through de-escalation techniques and communication processes.
Some colleges also offer a strategic communication and cross-cultural leadership concentration, where the focus is on cross-cultural communication strategy.
Communication Management Careers & Salaries
Graduates with a communication management degree may find a variety of career opportunities within public and private organizations.
Some graduates help develop and contribute to business strategy, where they assist in branding, marketing, advertising, and audience targeting and communication. Some communications professionals focus on press releases, social media, and newsletters.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the median wages for careers related to communications and communication management.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Human Resources Managers||$130,000|
|Public Relations Managers||$129,430|
|Advertising and Promotions Managers||$127,830|
|Training and Development Managers||$120,000|
|Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists||$68,230|
|Public Relations Specialists||$67,440|
Salary estimates also depend on your location, organization, and level of experience. Some graduates go on to facilitate and manage internal communication strategies for businesses and organizations, providing direction for employee communication. Others help healthcare or government organizations communicate and advance objectives and wellness campaigns.
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Students in a communication management master program may also have the opportunity to choose a concentration, which could help prepare them for a specific industry. Other titles that communications graduates may have include director of communications, public information officer, and crisis communications consultant.
Master of Communication Management Curriculum & Courses
While the coursework in graduate programs in communications management can vary, many offer a similar curriculum. Courses you may take include:
- Digital Strategic Communications Management: This course overviews theories in strategic communication, with emphasis on applying communications theories to an increasingly digitized world.
- Advertising and Public Relations Research Design: This course focuses on research methods and applications that are used to tackle marketing and strategic communication problems.
- Finance for Non-Financial Managers: This course focuses on providing students with the tools needed to interpret financial information to make ideal decisions for their organizations.
- Applied Research in Content Management: This course focuses on strategies to maximize the value of online content—including search engine optimization (SEO), structuring content management system (CMS) outputs for generating and analyzing data, and content optimization.
- Media Law: This course outlines current media law governing advertising and marketing policies as well as laws surrounding footage and other forms of media technologies.
- Strategic Management: This course covers management theory as well as various strategies for effective management and leadership skills.
- Social Media for Communicators: This course dives into everything social media, including best practices and how it is used to convey brand and organization messaging.
- Multimedia Storytelling: This course overviews various types of storytelling modalities, including video, audio, and written storytelling methods, with an applied approach to multimedia technologies.
- Diversity, Inclusion, and Leadership in Communications: This course covers the ethical grounds behind diversity and inclusion in communications, along with leadership strategy from an inclusive perspective.
- Marketing Management: This course covers management principles and tactics in marketing, including brand positioning, audience segmentation, targeting, and more.
Many communications management masters programs feature a blend of leadership, business, and communications coursework to help prepare graduates for working within organizations.
Although admissions requirements can differ for various master programs in communication management, many requirements are similar. They may include:
- Bachelor’s degree transcripts from an accredited institution
- GRE or GMAT scores (not required by all schools)
- Interview or professional recommendations
- CV or resume
- Personal statement
A growing number of schools no longer require GRE or GMAT scores for graduate admissions, but some still do. Schools may also differ in whether you need letters of recommendation or an interview, so it’s beneficial to check with a prospective school before applying.
Discovering if a college or university is accredited is an essential step to take before applying. This is because accreditation may not only impact your ability to receive financial aid but also your future employment opportunities.
Regional accreditation is considered the most widely recognized type of accreditation. In essence, this accreditation ensures your university meets high-quality standards for postsecondary education. You can verify your university’s accreditation status through the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s website.
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There are only a handful of regional accrediting organizations, so it’s helpful to verify whether a prospective school is listed with them.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Many graduate students looking to complete a master’s in communications management degree or a graduate certificate in strategic communications online or on campus seek financial aid, and there are several aid options that you can explore.
Federal aid can come in the form of student loans, grants, and work-study programs. These options may also be available at your state level, depending on where you live or where your university is located. To determine your eligibility for need-based aid, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
You can also see if you’re eligible for grants and scholarships from various institutions, including your prospective school and private organizations. If you’re currently employed, you can look into whether your employer may be able to assist you. Many companies offer programs designed to further employee education. You could talk to your employer to learn more.
What Can You Do with a Masters in Communication Management?
Graduates with a masters in communication management may pursue a variety of career opportunities, depending on their concentration, location, and experience.
These opportunities can include managing companies’ communication initiatives, such as marketing, press releases, and strategies for communicating with an organization’s audience. Graduates may also find opportunities managing internal communications initiatives for organizations and businesses, where they manage communications with employees.
Others choose to focus on marketing or advertising management. Communication professionals can even work with healthcare companies or federal agencies to craft health and social change messages.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Masters in Communications Management Online?
Generally, a communication management master’s program can be completed in 1 to 2 years with full-time enrollment. Like an on campus or online masters in integrated marketing communications, the timeframe could depend on the number of required credit hours. For instance, a 36 credit hour program may be completed in 1 year with full-time, year-round enrollment, including during the summer.
Masters programs that require a thesis may take some additional time to complete. Attending part-time could add to your time to completion as well. You can speak to an admissions advisor about the possibility of alternative timelines, if needed.
What’s the Difference Between an MS vs. MA in Communication Management?
A school may offer communication graduate programs as a Master of Arts or a Master of Science. While these programs share similar coursework and outcomes, they also vary in a number of ways.
|MA in Communication Management||MS in Communication Management|
Both degrees can help prepare students for work in communication management, though an MS is often more research oriented.
Is a Masters Degree in Communications Management Worth It?
Yes, a masters degree in communications management is worth it for many students. Effective internal and external communication is an essential part of any organization.
As such, communication managers are often key members of their team. A masters program also lets you specialize in the field, so you can focus on a specialty area like marketing, public relations, strategic communication, and conflict management.
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment in media and communication occupations is expected to grow 6% over the next ten years. Similarly, 8% job growth is projected for management occupations overall.
Universities Offering Online Master in Communication Management Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Colorado State University offers a Master of Communications and Media Management that can typically be completed in 2 years. Courses are online but still emphasize collaborative learning and networking opportunities. Potential classes in the curriculum include Managing Communication Systems, Digital Media Research and Evaluation Methods, and Digital Media Writing and Production.
CSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
DeVry University offers a Master’s in Network and Communications Management with specializations in Information Security and Project Management. Courses start every 8 weeks. Potential courses include Managing Organizational Change, Network Design and Management, and Wireless Communication Systems. The program requires the completion of 45 credit hours.
DeVry University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Mercer University offers an MS in Technical Communication Management that can be completed entirely online. The curriculum offers opportunities to learn how to solve real-world problems while collaborating with classmates. The program provides networking opportunities and can potentially be completed in 2 years. Graduates can pursue work in a variety of industries.
Mercer University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Syracuse University offers an MS in Communications Management. The program requires the completion of 36 credits and an independent capstone project and can potentially be finished in 18 months. While the majority of the program is online, two in-person immersion experiences are required.
Potential courses include Financial Management, Finance for Non-Financial Managers, and Digital Strategic Communications Management.
Syracuse University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Temple University’s Master of Science in Communication Management is designed for both entry- and mid-level professionals. The curriculum consists of 31 credits of online courses such as Storytelling Through Innovation, Leading Diverse Teams, and Cross-Cultural Leadership. Graduates of the program pursue careers in a wide range of industries.
Temple University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Towson University offers an MS in Communication Management. This research-oriented program requires the completion of 36 credits to graduate. The program also requires a comprehensive exam or the completion of a thesis or professional project.
Courses are available online, on campus in the evening, or in hybrid formats. Students that take this program typically have prior professional experience working in communication-based jobs.
Towson University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The University of Denver offers a flexible online program for a Master’s in Communication Management. Courses are 10 weeks long, and the full program can potentially be completed in 18 months. The curriculum is designed to develop critical thinking skills and teach how to apply theories and data when solving communication problems.
The University of Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of North Florida offers a Master of Science in Communication Management. The program offers opportunities to receive professional mentorship and attend job fairs and networking events. The program requires the completion of 36 credits of courses such as Strategic Communication Theory, Organizational Communication, and Media Management.
The University of North Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Southern California offers an MS in Communication Management online. Full-time students typically take two courses each semester and can potentially graduate in 16 months. Part-time enrollment options are also available. The program offers optional focus areas in Market Research and Analytics, Strategic and Organizational Communication, and Marketing Communication.
The University of Southern California is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Webster University’s MA in Communication Management is designed for current communications professionals who want to move into management positions in their field. The program is available both online and at the Geneva campus, and it allows students to begin in fall or spring semesters.
Webster University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Getting Your Communication Management Masters Degree Online
Getting your masters in communication management degree online could be a convenient way to earn an advanced degree while maintaining other life responsibilities.
You might consider this graduate degree path if you’re passionate about helping people and organizations have better communication and want to expand your career opportunities. Professionals in this field often help an organization’s internal and external communications run smoothly and efficiently.
Pursuing a masters program can also allow you to specialize in the field. If you’re ready to grow your qualifications and marketability, you could start exploring online masters programs in communication management from accredited schools today.