Prior to the rise of the Internet, communication specialists were either traditionally employed as journalists or worked for public relations agencies. However, today’s digital world has opened up the scope of opportunities for communication experts. Communication skills are highly sought after and most businesses, large and small, employ dedicated people to handle every aspect of both internal and external communications for them. An online communication degree teaches students how to convey all kinds of information effectively. Internal communications help to educate all employees on company goals, policies, and core values. Effective external efforts are essential to market products and services and build strong relationships with the public, customers, and investors.

Skills Gained with a BA in Communication Degree

A typical curriculum consists of courses that can give students in-depth knowledge and skills in several critical aspects of communication:

  • Effective writing. Written content is essential for communicating a company’s message, whether internally to the workforce, or externally to customers, investors and the public. Students may learn to master a wide array of writing styles, from AP to Chicago, while honing their writing skills.
  • Branding. A company’s brand is the ideal representation of its public image in the marketplace. Companies strive to maintain consistency through all their messaging, including advertisements, web content and social media communications, to ensure all content aligns with the brand. Students learn how to identify and craft brands for companies while developing the skills to ensure consistent branding through all communications.
  • Digital marketing. Digital platforms and social media have largely replaced print media for advertising and marketing. Students learn the ins and outs of digital marketing to cultivate a company’s brand. Digital communication courses provide students with invaluable training in this field to enable them to craft high-quality web content and drive advertising and marketing campaigns on social media to achieve maximum impact.
  • Media intelligence. It is critical that communication experts learn how to identify competitor strengths and weaknesses, and analyze market sectors for new marketing opportunities. Communication students learn how to use media intelligence and competitive analysis tools to develop effective marketing strategies.
  • Data analysis. Analysis of website performance, advertising and marketing campaigns enables companies to evaluate their return on investment and make changes where necessary. Students learn to use data analytics to determine where a company should direct its marketing efforts.

Common Courses for BA in Communication Students

These are some of the common courses offered for this degree. Though actual course titles may vary depending on the university, many communication programs offer courses that touch on the following concepts:

Writing as a Strategic Communication Tool. Students learn the basics of developing and writing persuasive and creative messages to achieve an organization’s strategic communication goals and objectives. Emphasis is placed on using research to develop strategic platforms for message production, evaluate writing and message effectiveness.

Research and Strategy Development. This type of course often focuses on developing research-based strategy and tactics for an organization’s internal and external communications to create new campaigns or solve organizational problems. Course topics include understanding the best practice models and case studies, and how to manage communication situations.

Social Media Campaigns. Designing and creating innovative social media campaigns is an essential tool for helping companies to craft a public narrative about their value in society. Students can learn to evaluate organizational social media efforts, create and design social media campaigns for various purposes, and provide recommendations about how to improve a company’s social media efforts.

Maryville University Online BA in Communication Curriculum

The online Bachelor of Arts in Communication program at Maryville University is designed to prepare you to adapt as the media landscape changes and the program strives to prepare students for lifelong careers in the field of communication. You can specialize your degree with a concentration in Strategic Communication or Emerging Media Strategy and Social Media.

The 128-credit curriculum includes general education courses (48 credits), communication major core courses (27 credits), communication concentration courses (24 credits) and general electives (29 credits).

Learn more about Maryville’s Online BA in Communication course offerings here:

Core Communication Curriculum

Learn how communication is used in social, professional, and global applications.

COMM 121Introduction to Contemporary Communication3 Credits
COMM 141Introduction to Writing for Communication and Media3 Credits
COMM 219Principles of Visual Communication3 Credits
COMM 223Professional and Organizational Communication3 Credits
COMM 231Introduction to Digital Media3 Credits
COMM 232Introduction to New and Social Media3 Credits
COMM 321Communication Research Methods3 Credits
COMM 345Critical Approaches to Communication3 Credits
COMM 422Global & Intercultural Communication3 Credits

Option 1: Strategic Communication Concentration Curriculum

Gain the skills to translate communication into actionable strategy for organizations.

Required course include COMM 251, COMM 347, COMM 363, COMM 472, COMM 473 and COMM 499.

Choose 2 electives from: COMM 327, COMM 390 or COMM 416.

COMM 251Principles of Strategic Communication3 Credits
COMM 347Strategic Communication Writing3 Credits
COMM 363Strategic Communication Research & Strategy3 Credits
COMM 472Strategic Communication Capstone Part 13 Credits
COMM 473Strategic Communication Capstone Part 23 Credits
COMM 499Internship3 Credits
COMM 327Social Media Campaigns3 Credits
COMM 390Advanced Web Design3 Credits
COMM 416Issues and Crisis Management3 Credits

Option 2: Emerging Media Strategy and Social Media Concentration Curriculum

Study the emerging trends that are shaping social media, its users, and our interconnected world.

Required courses include COMM 327, COMM 390, COMM 416, COMM 445, COMM 446, and COMM 499.

Choose 2 electives from: COMM 251, COMM 347 or COMM 363.

COMM 327Social Media Campaigns3 Credits
COMM 390Advanced Web Design3 Credits
COMM 416Issues and Crisis Management3 Credits
COMM 445E-Media & Digital Writing Campaigns 13 Credits
COMM 446E-Media & Digital Writing Campaigns 23 Credits
COMM 499Internship3 Credits
COMM 251Principles of Strategic Communication3 Credits
COMM 347Strategic Communication Writing3 Credits
COMM 363Strategic Communication Research & Strategy3 Credits