Offered as either a 4-year Bachelor of Science or 4-year Bachelor of Arts, an undergraduate degree program in corporate communications teaches students to apply communications theory in the workplace. As a result, students develop written, oral and digital communication skills, as well as an understanding of business, technology and the humanities. Many programs also include an internship experience, which allows students to apply their knowledge in a professional setting. Applicants need a high school diploma or GED.
Bachelor's Degree in Corporate Communications
Students in corporate communications learn concepts of visual, graphic, digital and document design, as well as the uses, benefits and drawbacks of print, electronic and other media. These programs include instruction in persuasion, consumer behavior, psychology, sociology and mass media history. In addition to fulfilling general education requirements, students might take courses such as:
- News writing
- Marketing or market research
- Communication ethics
- Interpersonal communication
- Media law
Popular Career Options and Salary Information
Since corporate communications programs use multidisciplinary curricula to teach communication methods for a variety of business settings, graduates can pursue careers with nonprofit organizations, government agencies, private corporations or other business interests. Some popular career options include:
- Public relations specialist
- Public relations manager
- Communications director
- Marketing manager
- Media relations specialist
For the 2018-2028 reporting period, marketing managers should have an 8% growth (faster than average) and public relations specialists were projected to have 6% (average) employment growth, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bureau reported median salaries for these professions as of 2018: public relations specialists ($60,000), public relations managers ($114,800) and marketing managers ($134,290).
Continuing Education Information
For students wishing to advance their professional knowledge, there are master's degree programs in public relations and corporate communications, many of which offer opportunities to specialize in a specific area of communications. Degree programs include courses in communication ethics, research methods, strategic communications and public relations writing. Within concentrations, electives may include consulting, nonprofit public relations, crisis communications, public affairs and social media relations.
Public relations and business communications specialists can obtain certification or accreditation through professional organizations after reaching a set level of experience and education. The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) confers the Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) designation on candidates with at least five years of work experience and a corresponding level of postsecondary education; applicants also must submit a portfolio and pass an exam (www.iabc.com). The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) designates candidates as Accredited in Public Relations (APR) once they have acquired five years of professional experience, completed a portfolio review and passed an exam (www.praccreditation.org).
A bachelor's degree program in corporate communications equips students for further education or work as certified or accredited public relations specialists. Students in the program will prepare for these post-graduation options by learning the foundations of communication, business and technology.