What You Should Know About This Degree
While demand for communications majors is growing in some areas, particularly fundraising, and social media marketing and management, employment in other communications-related fields is declining. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a nine percent drop in employment of broadcast reporters and correspondents, as the journalism industry continues to change and fragment. Employment in public relations is predicted to grow as fast as average, so competition for jobs may be tough.
A specialization may help give you an edge in pursuing the types of jobs you want. Programs may offer concentrations focused on a specific industry, like healthcare, journalism, or advertising, or on particular skill-sets like social media, human resources, or media literacy and criticism. When considering a master’s in communication, you should decide if a specialization is needed for your career goals.
Although no formal credentialing is needed for most communications jobs, a number of associations exist to provide additional training and quality assurance to employers. These include the International Association of Business Communicators, the Events Industry Council, and the Public Relations Society of America. There may be annual dues required to join and maintain membership in these organizations.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Masters Communications programs:
- Am I eligible for this program? Some master’s in communications programs require students to have an undergraduate degree in communications or a related field. Be sure to check each program’s eligibility requirements to make sure you have a relevant education background.
- Does this program offer credit for having the APR credential? If you are currently a communications professional, and have the Accreditation in Public Relations credential from the Public Relations Society of America, some programs will waive credits or requirements for you.
- Do I need to take standardized tests for this program? Find out if the program requires GRE or MAT scores as part of the admissions process, and make plans to take these tests prior to applying, if you haven’t already done so.
Once you have narrowed the list of programs that interest you, visit their websites or contact their admissions departments to research their admissions requirements and processes. You should also consider your options for paying for graduate school, including scholarships, assistantships, financial aid, and tuition benefits from your employer.