Online diploma programs in communication are rarely available, but students could enroll in wholly online certificate and associate's degree programs in communication. These programs seek to teach students several skills relating to journalism, advertising and speech. Associate's degree programs might be geared towards students entering the communications field. Certificate programs are usually designed for current communications professionals who wish to expand their skills.
Online associate's degree and undergraduate certificate programs in this field of study may be found at community colleges as well as private distance learning institutions. Some four-year universities also offer undergraduate- and graduate-level certificate programs, the latter of which is designed for individuals with bachelor's degrees and possibly communications work experience. Students could be able to earn a certificate in a year or less and an associate's degree in about two years.
Certificate in Communications
Some certificate programs are designed for entry-level communications professionals. These programs might include courses in basic communication theories and strategies that prepare students for entry-level employment or for further study in communications or a related area.
- Business writing
- Organization communications theory
- Conflict resolution
- Communication technology
Graduate certificate programs are designed for experienced communications professionals who are seeking skill enhancement. Curriculum in these programs might be focused on a specific area. For example, a program in marketing communications might include courses in advertising practices, visual communications, marketing promotions and consumer buying behavior. A strategic communications program might offer classes in developing communications systems and the impact of communications on an organization's return on investments.
Associate's in Communications
Distance learning associate's degree programs in communications are generally aimed at students getting ready to enter the communications field. Students will learn the skills necessary for entry-level employment or take classes that can transfer to a bachelor's degree program.
Unlike in a certificate program, associate's programs require general education coursework -- in subjects like math, English, science and history -- in addition to the communications core and electives. The curriculum may include the following:
- Fundamental of speech
- Public relations
- Mass communications
- Broadcast journalism
- Business communications
- Conflict management
- Communications technologies
Communications programs offered through distance learning are generally presented in a flexible online format. Students enroll in online courses that allow them to progress according to their own schedule. Coursework and assignments are typically delivered through a virtual classroom environment that also contains tools for interaction between instructors and students. These may include discussion boards, class chat rooms or video conferencing.
Online diploma programs in communication are rare, but online certificate programs are similar, and associate's degree programs are available as well. While these undergraduate programs cover the basic theories and techniques use in the field, online graduate certificate programs include more advanced classes for working professionals looking to hone their skills.