Delving Into the Business Communication Major
In the world of business, communication is one of the most important aspects for any company to have and business communication majors will be able to bring related skills and talents to any employer. Quite different than that of general communications, business communications is specifically purposed to promote an organization and the products and services it offers in order to increase profits. It essentially focuses on communications essential to the functions of professional environments.
With the development of new avenues for businesses to communicate both internally and with other companies, business communications majors will learn about a variety of subjects pertaining to business principles, communications systems, public speaking, communication psychology, public relations, and technical writing. Within the business communications major, students will develop the abilities necessary to adapt to different business scenarios and deal with all sorts of challenges that are faced in the business world.
A business communications curriculum incorporates communications courses with business centered courses. These types of business courses give majors the ability to move more easily among different kinds of businesses and will allow employees to communicate more efficiently with a variety of business partners. Courses will include standard business classes in management, finance, economics and business ethics, as well as courses like organizational behavior.
Communications courses focus on types of communications specifically relevant to business environments such as advertising and marketing communications, intercultural communication, interpersonal and group communication, and managerial communication within organizations.
Majors also take courses to help them sharpen their written communication skills and master different styles of writing in regards to business, technology, and public relations, as well as oral communications skills in public speaking, argumentation, and debate. In addition, business communication degrees will include more advanced studies to incorporate leadership, team-building, and negotiating.
Those who decide to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Business Communication will also receive a comprehensive liberal arts education that integrates business practices with communication studies. Students will learn about the fundamentals of business as it relates to management, finance, accounting, and marketing, as well as about how communication is used to enhance business function, productivity, and profitability.
Common courses include business communication contexts, strategic management, organizational communication, business writing, public relations, business presentations, and legal environment of business. These types of programs generally take about four years to complete and require students to earn around 120 credits. A bachelor’s degree in business communications will also prepare students for a plethora of graduate degrees including master’s degrees in communications and business administration.
Those interested in a graduate education in business communications can earn a Master of Business Communication or a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in business communication. A Master of Business Communication degree incorporates principles of management with a focus on corporate communications, marketing communications, and public relations. These types of programs require students to complete at least 30 credit hours and can take up to three years to complete.
An MBA with a concentration in business communication will consist of advanced courses in core business subjects with the option to take several elective courses within business communications. Generally, MBA students are required to complete anywhere from 48 to 60 credit hours, which can take from one to three years to complete depending on program format.
Supplementing Your Business Communication Major
As communications is applicable to a various areas of business there are a number of specializations that majors can choose to focus on in order to build their expertise. Many of these specializations are not formal concentrations within a business communications program, but those who want to pursue a career within a particular niche of business communications may find it beneficial to take elective courses related to them.
Students whose occupational interest lies in dealing with communication efforts that take place within an organization may want to focus on internal communications related to management communications, organizational communications, and corporate communications. Students who want to manage communications within a specific department can choose to focus on communications related to sales, marketing, promotions, branding, and human resources. Those who are more interested in how an organization communicates with the public may want to focus on aspects of external communications like media, public relations, crisis control, and investor relations.
Students can also further expand their education and define their career goals through a minor. In undergraduate studies, a minor is a secondary focus a student can choose in order to gain academic experience in more than just one subject area. Minors do not require as many courses as majors, typically around 18 to 21 credit hours, and students are given more freedom when it comes to which courses they can take. A minor can be greatly beneficial when it comes to career aspirations as it is a fairly simple way to gain additional knowledge and specializations in order to become a more likely job candidate.
Common minors for those majoring in business communications include psychology, sociology, economics, English, and information technology. Minors can also be chosen depending of what type of organization a student is striving to conduct business communications in. Those who want to manage communications within health care, may want to minor in areas like health sciences, clinical nutrition, or public health. For someone whose interest lies in communications at a technology firm, minors like information technology, electronic media, computer science, or information sciences.
Learn More About the Business Communication Major
- Princeton Review Major: Business Communications
- Open Courseware: Business Communication in the Age of Spin
- Business Communication Resource Links
The Business Communication Major in the Job Market
As there are multiple ways that businesses communicate both internally and externally, business communications degree holders skilled in both communications systems and with business principals themselves are valuable to any company. With these talents, students will be able to work with a variety of companies and with various business partners. In an ever-changing business climate, this kind of flexibility is paramount and makes a business communications degree holder an asset to any company.
These types of majors have an advantage in the job market as the diverse skills gained with an education in business communications, as applicable in just about any business and feel like they can contribute to the workplace environment. With the flexibility to move across many fields, business communications degree holders are highly coveted and, when combined with different language, business and technological skills can find themselves with many options upon the completion of their degree.
From human relations and public relations to conflict management and a number of administrative positions, business communications degree holders will be able to focus on the path they find the most exciting within business and improve any company. Entry-level salaries for an employee in public relations can expect to make around $45,000 with directors of communications averaging nearly $130,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Those with a bachelor’s degree in business communications can pursue careers as communications specialists, media planners, press secretary, sales representative, public relations managers. In May 2008, these types of communications professions earned a median annual income of $51,280, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau reported that those working within the management of companies and enterprises, as well as business, professional, labor, political, and similar organizations made the highest wages.
Those with an advanced degree in business communications, such as master’s or MBA, can qualify for positions as top executives including titles like chief information officer, public relations executive, or communications directors. These types of executives are among the highest paid workers in the country, although their salaries often depend on the type, size, and location of employer.
Those interested in learning more about business communication majors and the types of careers that they lead to should check out the following resources.The Association for Business Communications is a great place to learn about current research and educational advancements within this professional discipline, there is also a job board that lists available positions within the communications field. Another good resource is the Web site Business Communication Headline News which is beneficial for those looking for up to date information about the latest trends and issues within the industry.