Learn more about online communication degree options

June 06, 2019 · 10 min read · By ASU Online
Are you interested in a career in communication? Discover more about entering or advancing in the evolving field through an online communication degree.

Communication is both a professional skill and a diverse area of study. In both cases, technology has altered the landscape by making it easier to gather information as well as share it with a large audience. Technology has put publication capabilities into the individual’s hands, which is why considering a relevant degree or certificate can help you reach professional success in this field.

Careers in communication and media are expected to grow 6 percent between 2016 and 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This equates to about 43,200 new jobs. Demand for communication professionals stems from organizations’ increasing need to create, edit, translate and disseminate information through multiple platforms. Additionally, the median salary for a position in this field is $56,300, nearly $10,000 higher than the median for all occupations.

Whether you’re seeking a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or certificate program, ASU Online offers many communications and digital media options.

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Online bachelor’s degrees in communication

Bachelor of Science in communication

The Princeton Review ranks communication as the second-best college major based on job prospects, salaries and popularity. This online Bachelor of Science in Communication is useful in many careers, as it explores how this area of study fits into everyday life. Not only can you learn how conversational processes create, maintain and transform identities, workplaces and communities, but you also can gain a foundational knowledge of relevant theories and research methods.

With an emphasis on workplace and organizational interactions, this online communication degree can give you conceptual knowledge and practical skills to convey a message. Important competencies associated with this bachelor’s degree in communication include how to lead a team, manage multiple events or campaigns simultaneously, speak or present on behalf of your organization and write content that conveys key messages to the right audience.

Courses cover subjects including:

  • Human communication.
  • Conflict and negotiation communication.
  • Research methods in communication.
  • Persuasion and social influence.
  • Leadership in group communication.


Regardless of which professional route you pursue, this bachelor’s degree can provide you with the necessary tools to understand, analyze and respond to communication problems and opportunities in various contexts.

Possible careers include:

  • Community consultant.
  • Copywriter.
  • Public relations specialist.
  • Sales manager.
  • Social services director.


Bachelor of Science in digital audiences

The online Bachelor of Science in Digital Audiences taps into a newer communication area as consumers shift their attention to the web. Traditional communication methods can no longer guarantee the reach that digital can produce, so it’s important to learn how to share messages through this platform in a way that resonates with the intended audience.

Assisting in your preparation for opportunities in digital communication, this bachelor’s degree can teach you how to use digital and social media to enhance an organization’s reach, building competencies related to optimization, social strategies, audience research and analytics. This program can also help you build proficiency in areas like SEO, Google Analytics and Google AdWords to help prepare you to meet organizations’ needs for individuals with knowledge of the technical side of media.

Courses cover subjects including:

  • Audience research and behavior.
  • Coding.
  • Digital media literacy.
  • Media and society.
  • The digital audience.

Possible careers include:

  • Communications specialist.
  • Digital analyst.
  • Public relations associate.


Bachelor of Arts in business — communication

Pairing valuable communication expertise with an adaptable business foundation, the online Bachelor of Arts in Business with a concentration in communication can improve your interactions in the workplace through a better understanding of message-related behaviors. The curriculum examines these themes through tasks like conveying information and crisis communication.

Courses cover subjects including:

  • Communication, conflict and negotiation.
  • Communication in business and the professions.
  • Communication training and development.
  • Small group communication.


You can utilize the knowledge gained from this business communication degree daily in your career as this area continues to grow into a distinct professional field.

Possible careers include:

  • Human resource manager.
  • Public information officer.
  • Social and community service manager.
  • Social media manager.


Bachelor of Arts in mass communication and media studies

Exploring global mass communication issues from several dimensions, including societal, political, economic and technological perspectives, this online Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and Media Studies can serve as an asset for a variety of careers across multiple industries. Examining the theory around many media and communication subjects, the mass communication degree curriculum can provide you with a deeper comprehension of media’s growing importance, power and influence throughout the world.

Courses cover subjects including:

  • History of mass communication.
  • Media issues in American pop culture.
  • Race, gender and media.
  • Visual communication.


By looking at an array of topics within mass communication, such as pop culture, political communication and social media, course content connects to the real world, showing students how this area of study can play a role in many professional opportunities.

Possible careers include:

  • Broadcast news analyst.
  • Communications teacher.
  • Reporter.
  • Social media specialist.


Bachelor of Science in marketing

Understanding the science behind consumer behavior and the role marketing can play in any organization is a central tenet of the online Bachelor of Science in Marketing degree. By examining the field professionally and within society, this online marketing degree can help you build skills in analysis, product and service development, advertising and promotion management, sales management and more. Throughout the program, you can learn about the distinct nature of marketing activities in multiple facets of a business’s operations.

Courses cover subjects including:

  • Competitive marketing strategy.
  • Marketing management and leadership.
  • Marketing research Consumer behavior.
  • Services marketing strategy.


Learning to steer organizations in the right direction using the fundamental knowledge gained from earning a marketing degree can involve several core competencies, including evaluating and selecting optimal strategies, communicating persuasively to colleagues and the public, and analyzing how a company aligns with its market to best achieve business objectives.

Possible careers include:

  • Advertising manager.
  • Marketing manager.
  • Market research analyst.
  • Sales manager.


Bachelor of Science in technical communication

Bringing together information, writing, multimedia and communication technology, this online technical communication degree can teach students how to produce, design and manage information using traditional methods and developing technologies. With a focus on making technical content understandable and available to many content consumers, students develop a wide range of knowledge and skills, including the ability to collaborate, respond to specific audiences and structure content.

Courses cover subjects including:

  • Copyright and intellectual property laws.
  • Writing for digital media.
  • Technical editing Information in the digital age.


Project-based coursework in these areas offers material relevant to students’ daily lives and future careers, giving this bachelor’s program an applied focus to help you succeed after graduation. Because the curriculum offers more than just writing courses, you’ll gain insight into topics such as visual communication, web authoring and the user experience.

Possible careers include:

  • Content strategist.
  • Document management specialist.
  • Information designer.
  • SEO specialist.
  • Technical writer.

Online master’s degrees in communication

Master of Science in business journalism

As the name suggests, the online Master of Science in Business Journalism combines classes in journalism and business to help reporters and communication professionals develop a higher level of expertise in communicating about business, economics and finance. While learning to apply knowledge in a journalistic context, students study data journalism, reporting, storytelling, media law and entrepreneurship. An ideal choice for continuing education, this business journalism degree is designed for individuals already comfortable with objective writing.

Courses cover subjects including:

  • Business reporting.
  • Data in business journalism.
  • Financial performance reporting and analysis.
  • Media entrepreneurship.
  • Statistics for managers.


With this assortment of courses, students can gain a competitive edge in the job market for business writers, having the ability to demonstrate proficiency in communication and business practices.

Possible careers include:

  • Business writer.
  • Communications manager.
  • Editor.
  • Journalist.


Master of Science in technical communication

The online Master of Science in technical communication can not only help you improve your ability to communicate across a broad range of audiences, but it can also provide you with an understanding of professional, ethical and cultural issues in the field. The program’s combination of theory and practice can help you build knowledge and competencies related to the design, production and management of print and digital texts using traditional and developing technologies. This technical communication degree can help you develop analytical abilities and technological expertise often necessary for professional success.

Courses cover subjects including:

  • Applied rhetoric and technical communication.
  • Content management.
  • Topic-based authoring social media in the workplace.
  • User experience.


The master’s in technical communication online can help you expand your traditional verbal and written skills to include visual communication and digital media, preparing you to create and produce content in many professions.

Possible careers include:

  • Content manager.
  • Grant writer.
  • Information developer.
  • User experience designer.
  • Web interface designer.


Master of Science in digital audience strategy

Organizations want to create the right advertising that reaches an appropriate audience. To do this, they need individuals who understand what a digital audience looks like. The online Master of Science in digital audience strategy can help prepare you to fill this role by advancing your knowledge of how to use technology to reach qualified consumers.

Courses cover subjects including:

  • Media entrepreneurship.
  • Media law.
  • Search engine strategy.
  • Social media campaigns and engagement.


While learning how to measure and analyze how consumers interact with online content, social media and content consumed on mobile devices, students develop strategies and tactics to grow audiences. Upon graduation, you can seek professional opportunities as an innovator who can help drive business growth in the digital age.

Possible careers include:

  • Advertising director.
  • App developer.
  • Digital content manager.
  • Digital strategist.
  • Sales director.


Master of Arts in communication

As a professional already in the field, studying the theory and practice of communication in the workplace can help you improve abilities such as leadership, strategic planning and general communication, which can give you a boost when seeking career advancement or a job in a new field. With the online Master of Arts in Communication, you can learn strategies related to conflict management, workplace communication, persuasion and social influence, global communication, and training and development.

Courses cover subjects including:

  • Communication and conflict transformation.
  • Communication theories and models.
  • Crisis management and communication.
  • Negotiation theory and practice.
  • Social influence and persuasion.


Possible careers include:

  • Communications consultant.
  • Corporate manager.
  • Fundraising director.
  • Publisher.
  • Training and development manager.


Online graduate certificates in communication


Graduate Certificate in technical communication

You can develop or extend your technical communication knowledge with this online technical communication graduate certificate. This credential can apply in many workplaces, regardless of industry, but can be a beneficial complement to many technical degrees. If writing and communication — including visual and digital media messaging — are central parts of your role, this certificate can also help you take your career to the next level.

Courses cover subjects including:

  • Technical communication.
  • Technical editing.
  • Visual communication.
  • Web authoring.


Through conceptual knowledge and hands-on practice with the components of technical communication, this certificate program can bolster competencies for those already working in technical disciplines or serve as a way for those just starting out in the field to strengthen their credentials.

Possible careers include:

  • Content strategist.
  • Proposal writer.
  • Social media specialist.
  • Technical editor.


Graduate Certificate in digital audience strategy

Geared toward professionals with an interest in expanding their abilities, the online digital audience strategy graduate certificate centers around how data and content reach a specific market. Strategies and tactics explored in this program can help grow a company’s digital presence through methods such as digital content, search engine optimization and social media campaigns. During the program, you can earn additional certification in Google Analytics, Google AdWords, inbound marketing and Hootsuite.

Courses cover subjects including:

  • Digital audience research and behavior.
  • Search engine optimization and marketing.
  • Social media campaigns and engagement.


Earning this certificate can prepare you to drive strategy execution and digital audience development in the ever-changing fields of social media, digital content and audience engagement.

Possible careers include:

  • Community manager.
  • Public relations associate.
  • Social media campaign manager.


Earning a communication degree or certificate with ASU

Communication skills often rank highly for competencies in demand by hiring managers. According to LinkedIn, communication tops the list of preferred abilities for incoming employees. With this skill being so important to employers, possessing the related qualities earned through one of the many ASU Online communication degrees or certificates can help you stand out from the applicant pool. With the ability to explore areas such as marketing, digital audience strategy, technical communication, business journalism and more, ASU Online offers undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs that can engage you with the area of communication that appeals to you most.

Note: Program details are subject to change. Current information can be found by visiting individual degree pages on the ASU Online website.

Occupational Outlook Handbook for Media and Communication Occupations by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Top 10 College Majors by The Princeton Review
Occupational Outlook Handbook for Public Relations and Fundraising Managers by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Data Reveals the Most In-demand Soft Skills Among Candidates by LinkedIn
ASU Online – Online Communication Programs

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