Communications managers, public relations specialists and technical writers can all prepare for their careers with a degree in business communications. A bachelor's degree is required for all of these careers, and a degree in business communications can help develop the communication skills needed in these professions.
A bachelor's degree program in business communications provides students with education on strategic communication tactics used for corporations, companies and other organizations. Students focus on verbal and written communication in areas such as public relations, marketing, management, and digital media. Many programs also offer internship opportunities.
|Career||Communications Manager||Public Relations Specialist||Technical Writer|
|Education Requirements||Bachelor's degree||Bachelor's degree||Bachelor's degree|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||7%||6%||10%|
|Average Salary (2015)*||$119,390||$65,830||$73,350|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Business Communications Careers
Communications managers use communications strategies to gain the support of groups and individuals vital to an organization's success, including stockholders, consumers and employees. Also known as public relations managers or public relations directors, they guide the creation of internal and external communications to promote a positive view of their company or client. They write press releases and executive speeches, schedule media events, maintain corporate social media and websites, answer information requests and facilitate communication among corporate departments, executives and employees.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for public relations managers were expected to rise by 7% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). The BLS attributes this growth to an increased demand by corporations and other organizations to promote their public image. The bureau also notes that public relations managers earned average salaries of $119,390 in 2015 (www.bls.gov).
Public Relations Specialists
Public relations specialists, more commonly known as PR specialists, work for public relations firms, corporations, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and individuals. These professionals establish and maintain the client's public image through media coverage and positive relationships. PR specialists are especially valuable to businesses and corporations because they write press releases to generate knowledge and interest in the company, or respond to negative press coverage. They also communicate with media outlets, citizen groups, shareholders, employees and government regulatory bodies on behalf of the client to disseminate information, answer questions and influence public perception. They may focus solely on crisis control, government relations or public affairs.
The BLS projected rapid occupational growth for PR specialists, with employment expected to increase by 6% between 2014 and 2024. Increased use of social media was the biggest factor in this projected growth. As of May 2015, the BLS reported average salaries of $65,830 per year for PR specialists.
Technical writers are responsible for writing instruction manuals, pamphlets, directions, catalog descriptions and promotional releases in clear, concise language. They understand the technical language of an industry, such as information technology, healthcare, scientific disciplines or engineering, and can translate that material so that many audiences can understand it. This may include assisting sales representatives with customer service, technical support and business communication questions. In addition to writing, they edit text, work with visual components of technical communications and interact with engineers, product developers and manufacturers as part of their research.
The BLS predicted demand for technical writers between 2014 and 2024,with 10% employment growth expected in this field. Growth in the technology industry and an increase in technical products and Web-based support would attribute greatly to the demand for technical writers, the BLS said. According to 2015 BLS estimates, technical writers earned an average salary of $73,350 per year.
Communications managers oversee the development of internal and external communications for companies and organizations, while public relations specialists focus on creating and establishing the desired public image of government agencies, companies, individuals or non-profit organizations. Technical writers create the written content for catalogs, pamphlets and other printed materials. A degree is required for all of these professions, and a degree in business communications is an asset because it emphasizes the development of written and verbal communication skills and effective communication strategies.