Bachelor's degree programs in professional communication or technical and professional communication include topics such as speech writing, public relations and rhetoric. Programs may also include studies in business ethics, negotiation and advertising and generally take four years to complete, although some require less time. Students may have the freedom to put together a course plan that will help them meet their goals. Program specializations include marketing, journalism and photography, technical writing, finance, general business, digital media or printing. Programs also appeal to professionals looking to expand their skill set.
Bachelor's in Professional Communication
Undergraduate professional communication programs teach students how to utilize various communications methods and professional techniques, such as management and organization. Individuals may study the use of language, improve listening and speaking skills and gain knowledge of today's professional marketplace. Courses in these bachelor's degree programs typically focus on language and the applications of language in various occupations and objectives. All bachelor's degree students must also complete general education courses in subjects including English composition, mathematics and social studies. Some courses may include:
- Public relations
- Speech writing
- Multimedia applications
- Business ethics
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Mass Communication Studies
- Speech Communications and Rhetoric
Bachelor's in Technical and Professional Communication
Similar to a degree in professional communication, a bachelor's degree in technical and professional communication offers students general courses related to writing and speaking, as well as concentration courses for specific areas. Through concentration or secondary major options, students may take a series of courses to create a unique curriculum based on their career goals. Typically, a bachelor's degree in technical and professional communication includes core courses in communication such as:
- Technical writing
- Digital communication
- Public speaking
Related Degree Programs
If the combination of business and communication skills offered through a degree in professional communication isn't a good fit, here are some similar programs that may have a more specific focus:
- Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Marketing
- Bachelor's in Business Administration - Technical Communication
- Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication
Popular Career Options
Students who graduate from bachelor's degree programs in communications can apply their knowledge professionally in a variety of careers and settings. They may find employment in fields such as:
- Public relations
- Technical writing
Job Outlook and Salary
Graduates of these degree programs are qualified for entry-level work in any industry where communication is an important part of the business strategy, both internally and externally.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), public relations specialists earned an average salary of $65,830 in May 2015 (www.bls.gov). In the same year, the BLS reported that public relations professionals working in advertising, public relations and related services industry made an average annual salary of $75,370.
Another job option for graduates is that of a technical writer. This field is expected to grow by 10% from 2014-2024. As of May 2015, technical writers earned an average salary of $73,350, according to the BLS.
Students who complete bachelor's degree programs in professional communications may pursue master's and doctoral programs in communications. These programs allow them to become experts and specialists within a certain field, including health communication, human communication, media studies or organizational communication. Earning a graduate degree in communication may help working professionals with career advancement, including a move toward an academic career as a teacher or researcher.
Bachelor's degree programs in professional communication can include courses in such topics as digital communications, public relations and speech writing to prepare graduates for entry-level careers in public relations and technical writing, among other fields.