Bachelor's and graduate degree programs in organizational communication explore how people relate to one another in the workplace. Continue reading to learn more about this fast-growing field and what you'll study in a degree program.
Is Organizational Communication for Me?
The field of organizational communication examines the complex interactions that occur in groups and communities, most often related to work settings. If you were employed in the organizational communication field, your job would be to identify and remove barriers to effective communications within and between organizations. You might restructure department operations, train employees, apply policy changes or use new technologies to foster productivity and efficiency in the workplace.
A degree in organizational communication could lead to careers in the business, government, nonprofit and academic sectors. For instance, you could work in corporate consulting, public relations, training and development, sales or public affairs. Related organizational communication jobs include communication consultant, communication trainer, conflict manager, public information officer, customer relations manager, human resources manager and organizational developer.
Job Outlook and Salary Data
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that jobs for public relations specialists, including communications specialists, would grow as fast as the average, at a rate of 12% for the 2012-2022 decade (www.bls.gov). The rise in social media should help drive demand for these workers, although entry-level job seekers may face strong competition. As of May 2012, the mean annual salary for public relations specialists was $61,980.
The BLS also noted that human resources managers, including training specialists and labor relations managers, earned a mean annual salary of $109,590 in May 2012. They could enjoy a moderate increase in jobs - 13% - from 2012-2022.
How Can I Work in Organizational Communication?
Organizational communication programs are generally offered as concentrations areas within communications and business departments. Programs are most commonly offered at the bachelor's and master's degree levels, although some doctoral programs provide an option to focus on organizational communication. You might opt for a degree such as a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication with an organizational communication concentration or a Master of Arts in Corporate and Organizational Communication.
Undergraduate and graduate certificates in organizational communication are also available, some of which can be completed fully online. Major coursework generally covers topics like conflict management, business communication, mediation principles, public speaking, human relations and interviewing techniques. Most programs further incorporate practical training through project-based courses or internships.
Beyond formal educational training, you could find a variety of professional development opportunities and resources to support career advancement through the International Association of Business Communicators.
Experience in multicultural team environments, effective conflict mediation skills and the ability to resolve differences are some of the important capabilities in this profession.