What Skills Will I Learn with a B.A. in Communications?

A Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Communications encourages students to develop strong writing, speaking, analytical, management, visual, organizational and interpersonal skills. Armed with a communications bachelor's degree, graduates are prepared to enter the workforce in a variety of information-related industries, like journalism and public relations. Schools offering Applied Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

B.A. in Communications Overview

Communications involves gathering information and effectively distributing it to others via the written or spoken word. Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Communications degree programs offer a wide breadth of learning in communication methods, and they also commonly offer emphasis areas, such as corporate communications or investigative journalism, to prepare students to enter specific job markets. Depending on the college's program, internships may be encouraged or required in order for students to gain hands-on knowledge and experience. Through a B.A. in Communications program, students develop a number of useful general skills, such as:

  • Research and analysis of information
  • Writing for clarity and explanation
  • Interpersonal communications
  • Visual design
  • Public speaking
  • Media relations
  • Problem solving
  • Decision making
  • Leadership
  • Conflict resolution
  • Presentation speaking

Important Facts About B.A. Degrees in Communications

Prerequisites High school diploma or GED equivalent
Online Availability Some schools offer the program completely online
Common Courses Mass media & society, journalism, public speaking, social media
Continuing Education Master of Arts in Communication

Specific Skills

In addition to general communication skills, students concentrating in particular area associated with communications acquire specific skills related to that area. For example, journalism students hone their skills in researching, interviewing, and analytical writing. Public relations experts, who share information about companies, products or events with the community, must be able to orally and verbally convey details to individuals and groups and have promotional skills. Corporate communications specialists need to have highly developed skills in email and newsletter writing.

Career Information

Graduates from B.A. in Communications degree programs have wide-ranging skills set applicable to many jobs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes career profiles for popular fields, along with their employment outlook forecasts and salary statistics:

A decline of 13% is expected for employment opportunities in reporting and correspondence, while a 2% decrease in broadcast news analyst jobs is predicted from 2012 to 2022. Reporters and correspondents had a $36,000 median annual salary in 2014, while broadcast news analysts made $61,450 per year.

A slower-than-average job growth of 3% is expected in the writing industry from 2012 to 2022, with increasing opportunities in web writing and e-book publishing. Editing job opportunities are expected to decline by 2% in the same decade, though more jobs should become available in the online publishing sector. As of 2014, writers earned a median annual salary of $58,850, and editors made a median of $54,890.

In the public relations field, job opportunities are expected to be better. A 13% employment increase is predicted for public relations managers and fundraising managers, and a 12% rise in public relations specialist jobs are predicted for the 2012-2022 decade. Public relations specialists had a 2014 median wage of $55,680, while public relations and fundraising managers brought home a median income of $101,510.

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