Online Associate Degree Programs in Communication Studies

Earning a degree in communication studies can prepare you for a career in the fields of print and online media, public relations or advertising. An online associate's degree program can get your career started through classes in speech, writing, mass communication, and interpersonal communication. Schools offering Applied Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Does the Online Communication Studies Program Work?

The associate's degree program in communication studies can be conducted entirely online without any state residency requirements. The program will give you knowledge about different forms of mass communication, including print, television and the Internet. The communication studies program also will sharpen your writing and public speaking skills through required composition courses and online class presentations. Course materials, readings and assignments are all posted online.

Group projects often make up a significant part of the coursework. Students can collaborate together through online chat features or work asynchronously through e-mail and online bulletin boards to divide up their tasks. The program usually ends with a final project on a communication-related topic. The online associate's degree program length can vary, but it typically takes two years to complete.

Some programs allow you to combine online coursework with on-site meetings and classes. You also can often apply credits from your online associate's degree classes towards a bachelor's degree in the field of communication studies. Technical requirements for the online communication studies program usually include having speakers and an inkjet or laser printer.

Program Requirements Group and final projects; approximately two years of coursework
Admissions Requirements High school diploma or equivalent
Common Courses Public speaking, intercultural communication, journalism, nonverbal communication
Possible Career Fields Customer service, public relations, media/journalism

How Do I Apply?

To apply to an undergraduate online program in communication studies, you typically need to have earned your high school diploma or GED. Some online associate's degree programs specifically seek students who are balancing work with their education and might require you to be currently employed when you enroll.

What Courses Will I Take?

Classes for the associate's degree explore the many ways that communication methods can help spread both information and misinformation. Particular attention is paid to the history of mass communication and its modern uses. Public speaking skills are also stressed, so that you can become a stronger communicator. Common communication studies courses include:

  • Communication in teams
  • Mass communication history
  • Nonverbal communication and cues
  • Public speaking fundamentals
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Cultural differences in communication
  • Writing skills
  • Introduction to journalism

What Can I Do with My Degree?

If you earn your associate's degree in communication studies, you can apply for a number of jobs that require strong speaking or writing skills. For more advanced positions within the communications field, you might want to go on to earn your bachelor's degree. However, an associate's degree does allow you to take entry-level positions in a number of different fields, including business, media, journalism, education or government.

With an associate's degree in communication studies, you can become a telecommunications customer service representative. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that customer service representatives earned an average annual salary of $33,890 in 2014 (www.bls.gov).

You can also work in the advertising and public relations sector as a public relations associate or specialist. The BLS reports that this field is very competitive due to the high influx of applicants and the lack of available positions. The BLS stated that most public relations specialists typically have a 4-year degree in a communications-related subject or have a 2-year degree with internship experience. The BLS reported that public relations specialists made an average annual wage of $64,050 in 2014.

You also usually must hold a bachelor's degree in a communications-related field to become a journalist, reporter or editor. You can, however, start at an entry-level job as an assistant or aide to a correspondent or editor with an associate's degree. PayScale.com reported that editorial assistants made an approximate salary of $25,699 to $41,942 in 2016.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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  • Indiana Wesleyan University

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