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Degree Overview: Master’s Degree Program in Business Communication Management

Majors Overview June 1, 2015

Get information about master’s degree programs in business communication management and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and certification choices.

Master’s Programs in Business Communication Management

Schools offer graduate degree programs in business communication either as a Master of Science (M.S.) or Master of Arts (M.A.), providing comprehensive education in communications theories as applicable to the corporate world. Students learn skills across all methods of communication in group, public, intercultural, organizational, and interpersonal settings. The use of strategic communications plans is emphasized by organizations, on the basis of assessment and research of situation and audience. Schools may require the completion of a final project or thesis.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree and to submit official transcripts. Applicants may also have to submit GRE scores or GMAT results and to meet school standards related to minimum acceptable scores. They may also have to submit an up-to-date resume containing details of education history and professional experience.

Coursework

Coursework covers a broad array of communication theory subjects, emphasizing the uses of these competencies and strategies in accordance with the needs of potential corporate leaders. A greater degree of specialization is available through degree plans and concentrations devised in consultation with academic advisors. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Research methods
•Strategic management
•Organizational culture
•Human resource management
•Mass media communications
•Laws and ethics of corporate communication
•Crisis communication
•Integrated marketing communication
•Intercultural communication

Career Choices

Virtually, every type of business relies on corporate communications professionals for the creation of an internal information culture or the business public image. These businesses include government agencies, public and private corporate entities, political groups, non-profit organizations, and universities, among others. Program graduates may choose from potential career titles such as:

•Public affairs director
•Human resource manager
•Director of internal communications
•Public relations manager
•Marketing manager

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of 13% has been predicted for fundraising and public relations managers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $95,450 (BLS). In January 2014, corporate communications managers banked an average annual wage of $73,379. Over the decade of 2012 – 2022, marketing managers are expected to see 12% growth; in May 2012, these professionals earned an average annual wage of $115,750.

Certification Choices

Program graduates can seek voluntary certifications through professional organizations. Certified credentials offered to corporate communications experts, including business communications managers and public relations specialists, feature the Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) credential, available through International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). This credential is for professionals who have at least five years of experience accompanied by postsecondary education of a corresponding level.

Passage of written and oral exams and submission of an application and a portfolio review are the requirements entailed by the certification process. Likewise, the Accredited Public Relations (APR) designation is available through the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). This designation benefits candidates with five years of experience after passage of the exam and satisfactory completion of the oral review and portfolio components.

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