A variety of associate's degree programs specializing in business technology are offered online. These programs prepare you to enter the workforce or pursue a four-year degree in business. Many of the programs can be completed entirely online, but some have internship, exam or lab requirements that must be carried out in person. Graduates can also enhance their employability by earning online certifications from software companies, such as Microsoft, in the use of their business products.
Bachelor's degrees in communications may have some online and in-person components. Many of the master's degree programs in communications can be completed entirely online, but some do require attendance at seminars or conferences. These programs are designed for working communications professionals, and most required on-campus events are scheduled on the weekends. Specific degrees that have communication and business technology courses include business technology, business, administrative office management, communication, multimedia communication or strategic communication and management.
Business Technology Associate Degree
Online associate degree programs, such as the Associate of Arts in Business for administrative assistants, Associate of Applied Science in Administrative Office Management and Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences in Business Technology, prepare students for office administration careers. Typically, these programs are appropriate for both entry-level job seekers and established administrative professionals looking to improve their skills.
In some cases, applicants who cannot demonstrate basic typing proficiency may be required to take a basic keyboarding class. Some schools offer a range of specializations within the business technology field, including legal or medical office administration.
Program Information and Requirements
It is typical to be able to complete most of the coursework for these programs online. Some programs stipulate that exams for online classes must be taken in-person in an approved, proctored setting. It may also be possible to take an internship as part of the degree program, which must be completed in-person as well.
Online classes in this field may be presented using software like Desire2Learn, a course management and test delivery program. Some online programs give students the option to use the on-campus computer lab to complete their coursework, which means students may not need to have their own computers.
Coursework for these programs centers on procedural knowledge and skills necessary for effective office administrators.
This topic may be split into separate basic and advanced courses. In the basic course, introductory grammar topics like parts of speech will be covered. Advanced students will focus on strong writing skills through a review of spelling, sentence structure, punctuation and vocabulary.
This basic business class introduces students to the standard methods of communicating in an office setting. Proper grammar and spelling are also emphasized.
Office Computer Troubleshooting
Students in this class learn common technical problems that may arise while using a computer. Other common office technology, like networks, may also be discussed. This is typically a more advanced class.
Communications Bachelor's Degree
Online bachelor's degree programs in communications are available, but they are not as common as on-campus programs. The specific focus of an online communications bachelor's degree program may vary, and official degree titles can include Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Multimedia Communications and B.A. in Communication.
The bachelor's degree program in communication may offer concentration in areas like professional writing, conflict management, leadership and public relations. Though the specific focus of the program will vary by school, students earning these degrees will typically gain skills in effective written and spoken communication in addition to learning about different types of media.
Program Information and Requirements
These programs are offered in fully online or hybrid formats. At some schools, each individual online course can take about eight weeks to complete, and the amount of time it takes you to finish your degree will depend on how many classes you can take simultaneously. Some programs may offer accelerated online classes that take about five weeks to finish.
Blackboard, a popular online course delivery software, is one example of a program used by schools offering an online communication bachelor's degree. Programs in multimedia communication may make use of websites like YouTube as a course component.
Though these programs generally have a core that focuses on clear communication and media understanding, the general curriculum will vary based on program focus. For example, an online communications bachelor's degree program that emphasizes public relations will have more business-focused classes than a program in multimedia communications.
This class orients students to the history and trends in mass media journalism. A focus on multimedia and new media techniques may be included.
Students in this class learn basic graphic design principles, including texture, balance, pattern and color. Class projects may include logo and type design.
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Communications Master's Degree
Online master's degrees in communications are available and confer degrees like the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Strategic Communication and Leadership, M.A. in Communication and M.A. in Multimedia Communication. These advanced communication topics cover technology and techniques utilized by media and business professionals. The online M.A. programs are generally designed for communication professionals pursuing advanced positions in their field or related industries, such as marketing or journalism.
Program Information and Requirements
These programs are typically available fully online and can take less than two years to complete. Other programs offer all coursework online, but require students to be on-campus for several weekends during the program in order to present and discuss speeches and other coursework to professors and fellow students.
These online communications master's degree programs often allow students to access course materials on their own schedules, but also provide an online community for students to interact with each other. Some schools even use video recordings to include online students in on-campus events like lectures by influential professionals in the field.
Like online communication bachelor's degree programs, the focus of the program drives the curriculum, and a program that emphasizes multimedia communications will differ greatly from a program that focuses on strategic communication and leadership.
Advanced communication techniques, like presentation skills, interviewing and interacting with the media are covered. Leadership and executive skills may be a particular focus for this class.
This course treats persuasion as an important foundational theme in the field of communication. Students learn to use techniques like trust building, emotional manipulation and message sequencing.
Broadcast Interview Techniques
The main purpose of this course is to allow aspiring broadcast professionals to create resume reel content. Students learn how to use industry-standard equipment like teleprompters and ear prompters in addition to gaining on-camera interviewing experience and writing news scripts.
Depending on the focus of the program, graduates may be prepared for work in a variety of business office settings, or for specific areas like medical or legal office administration. Potential job titles may include secretary, administrative assistant or office manager.
The focus of these programs varies, so specific career paths for recipients of online bachelor's degrees in communications are hard to predict. A graduate of a program that focuses on multimedia communications can find work in different media outlets, from websites to radio stations. Those whose training focuses on public relations might find work for marketing or advertising firms. If the program concentration is on professional writing or journalism, a career as a writer for a website, newspaper or magazine may be within reach.
Students who take an online master's program focused on strategic communication and leadership will be prepared for executive and leadership positions in a variety of industries, including public, private and non-profit organizations. These programs may be specifically designed for established professionals who want to advance their careers. Multimedia communications master's graduates can work as news correspondents, media directors, consumer reports journalists and other media-focused career paths.
Continuing Education Information
Students interested in continuing their education can enter a 4-year administrative assistant program with this degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a bachelor's degree is a desired credential for executive and managerial assistants (www.bls.gov).
At the associate's degree level, online programs in business technology are available, while bachelor's and master's degree programs may be in a hybrid format or contain some face-to-face requirements. These programs focus on a range of topics including conflict management, persuasion and leadership development. Graduates of these degree programs can pursue careers as administrators in a variety of industries.