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Degree Overview: Master of Arts (M.A.) Degree in Business Communications

Majors Overview May 13, 2015

Get information about Master of Arts (M.A.) degree programs in Business Communications and their educational requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and professional certification and continuing education choices.

Master of Arts (M.A.) Programs in Business Communications

The researching, writing and public speaking skills of students enrolled in a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Business Communications program are developed. Students will be able to help employers and clients in the maintenance of favorable public images.

After they complete a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Business Communications degree, graduates can expect to have in-depth knowledge of corporate communications strategies. Numerous methods of disseminating information about industry and business are in the degree programs. Students learn about assessing the needs of the company and implementing a communications plan. The curriculum covers techniques related to cause marketing, crisis management and branding, in addition to the exploration of corporate communications as related to marketing, advertising, public relations and media. Some educational institutions offer the MA in Business Communications titled as an MA in Corporate Communications.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Students enrolled in some schools are required to complete classes in fundamental business principles or information systems, statistics and economics, before they are allowed to begin core coursework.

Coursework

Program coursework includes multimedia technology, advertising, public relations, and business journalism. The curriculum may also include the completion of projects by students, wherein they analyze the situation and develop a communications strategy. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Communications ethics
•Conflict management
•Media buying
•Advertising campaigns
•Investor relations

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a faster-than-average job growth rate of 12% has been predicted for public relations or corporate communications specialists (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, public relations specialists brought in an average annual wage of $54,170. Specialized training is expected to give entry level job candidates an edge in this highly competitive field (BLS).

Professional Certification and Continuing Education Choices

Graduates seeking continuing education may enroll in Ph.D. programs with coursework focused on business communications. They can take some business courses and orient their doctoral dissertation to business communications. The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) offers online seminars that may also be attended by these professionals.

The IABC offers an Accredited Business Communicator certification for professionals in the field of corporate communications. The credential is available through the passage of oral and written exams, in addition to submission of a portfolio of candidates’ previous work.

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