Online MBA Programs in Communications
Government agencies and companies of all sizes rely on communications experts to help them interact with audiences and build long-term, trustworthy relationships with the public and their customers, business partners, and employees. Experts who possess an online MBA1 in communications are often at the head of their field, thanks to their strong educational background in both communications and business.
The range of job opportunities that are available to those who have an online MBA in communications is enormous. The business expertise that MBA graduates possess often leads them to top-level management and executive positions, but for those who prefer to work in the field, a background in communications can lead to a job in journalism, business communications, or even human resources.
What Is an Online MBA in Communications?
An MBA in communications online will combine courses on marketing, psychology, and liberal arts with business courses. These programs intend to help graduates easily transition into management roles later in their careers while still providing high-level education in the field of communications. The business concentration of an online MBA program focuses on topics such as business law, ethics, accounting, and supply chains.
Students who are considering applying to an online MBA program with a concentration in communications might also consider obtaining a master’s in communications either along with their MBA or instead of it. Although both courses provide students with high-level courses on communications topics, only an online MBA program combines those courses with advanced business administration courses that help students advance to top management positions throughout their careers.
For students to succeed in online study, regardless of the program, a high level of discipline is required. It’s important for prospective students to consider whether online courses are a good fit with their learning style and weigh the pros and cons of online study versus classroom learning before applying to any program.
Online MBA in Communications Curriculum
Online MBA programs in communications offer students a curriculum that includes a wide variety of courses. In addition to business management, students receive instruction on a broad range of topics that include:
- Business writing
- Corporate communications
- Digital and social media marketing
- Effective digital communication techniques
- Communications law
- Public relations
- Reputation management
- Interpersonal communications
- Managerial communications
Some of the courses that students pursing their online MBA in communications can expect to enroll in might include:
- Research Methods: Students in this course learn to conduct thorough, accurate research and interpret and utilize results to effectively plan and direct business operations and marketing initiatives.
- Representation and Identity: This course examines issues related to race, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity and discusses appropriate representation.
- Social Activism: Students discuss the presence of social justice organizations and campaigns on social and digital media and anticipate the implication of increased exposure on national and international politics and activism.
- International Communication: This course teaches students effective communication tools when conducting business in other languages and with other cultures. It also examines the role of media in culture and identity formation.
Most online MBA programs require students to apply with at least one year of related work experience and a bachelor’s degree in a similar field. Additionally, most schools require students to have high GMAT scores. However, in recent years, some schools have chosen to waive the GMAT requirement2 so that they’re able to attract more students to their online MBA programs.
What Unique Career Paths Can I Pursue With an MBA Specializing in Communications?
Individuals who have an online MBA in communications can choose from a variety of career paths. Jobs are typically available in both government and the private sector and across all industries. In some cases, graduates may choose a career that lets them work for themselves and be their own boss.
The following list outlines just a few of the job titles workers with an online MBA with a concentration in communications may choose to pursue:
Chief Executive Officer
Chief executive officers3 are responsible for overseeing the entire operations of their organizations. Their primary job is to write policy and device strategy that lets their company accomplish its goals. Additionally, they’re required to work with a team of other c-suite executives to ensure all departments are working together toward achieving the company’s ultimate goals.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics4, chief executive officers earned an average of $189,600 annually as of May 2019. Opportunities for this position are expected to increase 8% by the year 2026, which is about average.
Writers5 are responsible for developing written content for various mediums. While some choose to work as freelancers and find their own work, others may be employed by agencies or work in-house for companies of varying sizes. Writers may be responsible for creating web content, advertising copy, blog posts, television scripts, books, or magazine articles.
The average writer earned $62,170 per year as of May 2018. Job availability is expected to increase 8% by the year 2026, which is about average.
Broadcast News Analyst
Broadcast news analysts6 are responsible for keeping abreast of breaking news and relating events to the public in a timely fashion. In many cases, they’re responsible for providing details about political or economic events in a manner that can be understood by the general public. Broadcast news analysts are usually employed by television and radio news networks.
The average broadcast news analyst earned an average wage of $66,880 as of May 2018. Job availability for this role is expected to decline 9% by the year 2026.
Public Relations Specialist
Public relations specialists7 represent organization and individuals in the media. Their job is to create and maintain a positive image for their client. On a daily basis, public relations specialists typically draft press releases and manage social media accounts to increase awareness of their client and conduct damage control after negative press events.
On average, public relations specialists earned $60,000 per year as of May 2018. Job opportunities for this role are expected to increase 9% by the year 2026.
Marketing managers8 work for organizations to plan and direct advertising and promotional campaigns. They’re usually required to work with sales and art directors to create appealing, attention-grabbing campaigns. Typically, the marketing manager is responsible for conducting market research to determine aspects such as target audience and demand for the goods or services that they’re marketing.
Marketing managers earned an average of $117,130 annually as of May 2018. Job availability for marketing managers is expected to increase 10% by the year 2026, which is quicker than average.
Human Resources Manager
Human resources managers9 are responsible for coordinating administrative functions and staffing for companies of all sizes. They’re primarily seen as the link between a company’s managers and employees, but in fact, they’re responsible for much more. Human resources managers oversee all recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and employee dismissals. They also manage company payroll and benefits and are responsible for working alongside c-suite executives and top-level managers to plan company directives.
As of May 2018, the average human resources manager earned a wage of $113,300 per year. Job availability for this position is expected to increase 9% by the year 2026, which is about average.
Interpreters and translators10 help those who speak sign language or foreign languages effectively communicate with others. They may work in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, and court rooms or they may work as independent contractors.
Interpreters and translators made an average of $49,390 per year as of May 2018. Availability for this role is increasing much faster than average, with job availability expected to increase 18% by 2026.
Editors11 work in the publishing industry and are responsible for planning and procuring content, as well as reviewing and revising the work of writers. They are typically employed by digital and print publication.
The average editor earned a wage of $59,480 per year as of May 2018. This job is expected to experience little to no change in availability by the year 2026.
Should I Get an Online MBA in Communications?
Prospective students who are considering an online MBA with a concentration in communications shouldn’t enter into a program lightly. Obtaining an MBA is a huge commitment that requires drive, determination, and — for those studying online in particular — a high level of discipline. Before submitting an application to an online MBA program in communications, it’s important to ask some of the following questions.
Are you confident in your ability to effectively communicate with others?
It goes without saying that a person is more likely to succeed in the field of communications if they’re good at communicating with others. It’s important that any person considering an online MBA in communications has effective written or verbal communication skills.
Do you enjoy working with others?
Most jobs in communications require workers to either work as part of a team or to perform a job in which they’re frequently interacting with other people. It’s important for those considering any level of communications degree to thoroughly analyze their people skills before applying to a program.
Are you hoping to advance to a high-level management role during your career?
Workers with online MBAs are more likely to transition into management roles throughout their careers, thanks to the high-level business management courses that are part of the curriculum for all online MBA programs.
Do you have a bachelor’s degree and work experience in a similar field?
While most online MBA programs require students to have prior education and work experience in the same field or one that’s similar, not all programs have these prerequisites in place. Even so, it’s usually best to enter online MBA programs with hands-on experience to make sure you understand the coursework and projects that are assigned to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can an online MBA in communications help me obtain a promotion with my current employer?
Most employers consider workers with online MBAs to be the most qualified candidates when considering candidates for leadership positions. Many graduates of online MBA programs go on to advance to top-level leadership positions for organizations of all sizes.
Are all schools that offer online MBA programs accredited?
There are schools that offer fully accredited MBA programs in communications online; however, there are some institutions with no accreditation whatsoever. It’s important for prospective students to do their research when applying to any online school to ensure they’re receiving education from a qualified institution. Students can check a school’s status online by searching the United States Department of Education’s database of accredited programs12.
Isn’t it better to obtain my MBA in a classroom setting?
For some students, the structure of classroom learning is a necessity. They require group study, individualized attention, and a strict schedule to succeed. However, many students possess the necessary discipline to complete their studies online, and for those who require the flexibility to work at their own place, online learning is a perfectly viable option.
How long does it take to finish an online MBA program in communications?
While most schools offer a period of two years to complete the coursework required to obtain an online MBA, there are other options available. Students who have hectic schedules might want to opt for a part-time online MBA program, which may take as long as five years to complete. Others who are in a hurry to obtain their degree might want to consider an accelerated online MBA program, which, in most cases, takes between four and six weeks to finish.
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