(BPT) - For students just beginning their undergraduate degree, those interested in pursuing an advanced degree or adults returning to school mid-career, the biggest question is always: “What should I study?” And among the many paths to pursue, one major stands out as being incredibly versatile and transferable to a wide range of career choices: communication.

Effective verbal and written communication remain the top skills required for a wide range of positions and industries. Effective communication is needed for a successful education, training and development, social interactions and persuasion, as well as cultivating positive business relationships. These skills are also necessary for productive collaboration and cooperation within and between individuals, organizations and even nations.

By developing written and verbal communication skills to a high degree, students with communication degrees are setting themselves up for success in virtually any type of career. In fact, the The Princeton Review ranked a degree in communication as the second best college major based on research about job prospects, alumni salaries and popularity.

What are possible career paths after earning a communication degree?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, the demand for professionals with media and communication skills is increasing. Businesses and organizations see the growing need for employees who are trained to create, edit, translate and disseminate information through a variety of different platforms worldwide. Careers in communication span multiple areas outside the traditional media and public relations industry and have projected 10-year growth from 2019 to 2029.

How to determine which communication degree is right for you

When comparing degree programs, look for courses that offer engaging and eye-opening material that can help you gain a greater awareness of the world around you, and an appreciation for the complexity of human interaction. Programs with a depth and breadth of course offerings in various types of communication can provide you a range of understanding and experience in the field. At ASU Online, the Bachelor of Arts in communication and Bachelor of Science in communication provide both a liberal arts grounding and a social science focus to prepare students for careers that require effective communication skills and critical thinking.

Additionally, consider accredited degree programs online, which offer flexibility to balance your studies with work and life. Look for online programs taught by well-regarded faculty with experience in teaching and their chosen industry. Communication degrees at ASU are offered through the renowned Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, home to a distinguished interdisciplinary faculty internationally recognized for teaching and research excellence in the study of communication.

Career outcomes for a BA or BS in communication include:

  • Business and nonprofit management
  • Sales
  • Event planning
  • Advertising and public relations
  • Education
  • Government
  • Law
  • International relations
  • Social services
  • Human resources

If you already have a bachelor’s degree, earning a master's degree can prepare you to take the next step in your career by developing skills that can help you become a more effective communicator and leader in any field.

The Master of Arts in communication at ASU Online offers advanced training in theory and practice of communication for the workplace. Coursework emphasizes communication in organizations, training and development, persuasion and social influence, global communication, and gender and conflict transformation.

Career outcomes for an MA in communication include:

  • Corporate manager
  • Communication consultant
  • Human resources specialist or manager
  • Post-secondary educator
  • Public relations specialist and fundraising manager
  • Sales manager
  • Lawyer

In a changing world where more and more people are expanding the use of technology to communicate, mastering effective written communication and meaningful face-to-face human communication is increasingly valuable, no matter what direction your career takes you. Learn more about communication and other degree programs at asuonline.asu.edu.

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