Graduate Degree in Communication
Obtaining a graduate degree in communication is a big step that should be well thought out before the decision is made. International students who decide to earn a master’s degree in communication should know what to expect from their degree before applying to a graduate school. Graduate programs in communication are available across the US and can help students to strengthen their skills and knowledge of the communications discipline.
Deciding to continue your schooling with a graduate degree is a big decision. After you graduate with a bachelor’s degree, there are many options for you to choose as to what your next step will be. The two most popular choices are either to enter the workforce or to move on to graduate school. Although obtaining a graduate degree in communication may seem like the best way to get a better job or a way to pass the time until the job comes, it is a decision that should not be taken lightly. International students should know what the results —good and bad—of earning a communication master’s degree will be.
International students who have decided that graduate school is the right choice for them should next decide what area of communications in which they would like to concentrate. When trying to decide on your area of focus, consider long-term career goals. A Master of Art (MA) in Communication will offer students a perception of the field of communication through film, cultural studies, oratory and more. A Master of Science (MS) in Communication details a more research and practice-driven focus. Walden University, for example, offers a MS in Communication which help students create their messages for local, national, and global audiences and then helps them get the message out there using a variety of media options. International students can study advertising and public relations, corporate communications, journalism and media studies, marketing, radio and television. Students should research which specific graduate programs best suit their needs and interests.
What to Expect
International students enrolled in graduate programs should expect a more focused schooling than they received as an undergrad. Classes in graduate programs will be more tailored to the specific area of focus and will require a more detailed look at the skills, lessons and issues learned when receiving a bachelor’s. Though degree requirements will vary, most will entail 40-60 credit hours, an internship and/or a practicum. International students can expect to finish in one or two years depending on the program. When applying to programs, it is best to have a good academic standing in undergrad, with at least a 3.0 GPA and other honors. In earning a communications master’s degree, students should be aware that the skills they are learning may in some cases be the same tasks they completed in undergrad but with a superior level of liability.
Is It Worth It?
It is not unusual for students to create a pro/con list before deciding whether or not a graduate degree in communications is worth it. Considering that you will be adding thousands of dollars of tuition to the already considerable loans you’ve probably already accrued as an undergrad, taking a few months to really think about this decision is both wise and encouraged. Some feel that a communication master’s degree is not worthwhile because clients are not seeking applicants with graduate degrees unless the candidate is looking for an elevated strategy focus. If this is the case for you, but you would still like to receive a master’s, a Master of Business Administration may compliment your undergraduate degree in communications more fully. Others say that a graduate degree in communication is valuable, as those with graduate degrees can expect to make more money in a personal field than those with a bachelor’s and the degree will allow the student to earn a more specific focus that may help with job security later on. Since there is no clear-cut answer to the question of whether or not a graduate degree in communication is “worth it”, it is important to know what is best for you and your future goals.
There are hundreds of graduate degree programs for communication in the US. These opportunities may set you apart from other applicants in the job field or they may help you to better understand the field of communications in a deeper and more significant level. Some areas of communication are receiving a growth outlook, such as public relations positions, which are expected to grow by 21 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Whether or not a communications master’s degree or doctorate degree will help to forward your goals, the degree program will help you to open your mind and discover a communication education beyond that of an undergraduate study.