Associate in Applied Science (AAS): Communication Arts Degree Overview

Oct 29, 2019

Communication arts associate degree programs typically include a general study of communication theory with a focus on written and verbal skills. Learn more about the program requirements, course curriculum, and options after graduation.

Essential Information

An Associate in Applied Science in Communication Arts program generally combines technical training with knowledge of verbal, written, visual, and interpersonal communication skills. Students gain theoretical and practical knowledge while developing a broad understanding of communication techniques and methods used by the advertising, media, and broadcast production industries.

Internships involving hands-on training in the operation of industry-standard software programs and equipment are commonly required. Also, a high school diploma or equivalent is required prior to admission to the 2-year program.

Associate in Applied Science in Communication Arts

The curriculum of an associate's degree program in communication arts includes courses focused on writing for broadcast and print media, oral communications, and practical skills needed to operate broadcasting equipment as well as computer programs for graphic design. Common courses include:

  • Advertising
  • Communication
  • Journalism/Composition
  • Digital Imaging
  • Illustration
  • Television/Radio Production

Popular Career Options

Graduates can seek entry-level positions in the journalism, advertising, broadcasting or media industries upon earning a degree, or they may pursue further study in communications or a related area. Students who complete associate's degree programs in the communication arts may seek employment as a:

  • Production assistant
  • Broadcast technician
  • Radio operator
  • Public relations employee
  • Media account executive

Job Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), broadcast technicians are expected to see a 1% increase in employment from 2018-2028. As of May 2018, the BLS reported that these professionals earned a median annual salary of $40,080 (

Continuing Education Information

After the completion of an associate's degree program, students may be able to transfer into bachelor's degree programs. Bachelor of Arts programs generally focus on communication theory and methods, while Bachelor of Fine Arts programs can help students master the production-oriented skills used to produce various types of digital art and multimedia.

After completing a bachelor's degree program, students might continue their studies by enrolling in a master's degree program, which generally requires students to select a specialty area, such as journalism, film, or media.

Communication arts associate degree programs focus on the technical and the practical sides of communication through courses such as advertising, communication, and journalism/composition. Interested graduates could pursue further studies or may opt to pursue a career in the field.

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