Gaining a postgraduate qualification in communication can really kickstart a successful career in marketing, public relations, business strategy, or campaign management. Taking this online at a top university is a way of achieving a prestigious and practical degree without moving home or leaving your job.

Experts in communicative fields are highly prized by businesses, non-governmental organizations, and governments all around the world. This means that as an expert, you’ll likely be very well rewarded for your work if you succeed. An online masters in communication is a proven pathway into some very well-paid careers. If you are a recent MBA graduate looking to expand your skill set, you could do a great deal worse than studying communication. For obvious reasons, business executives with extensive knowledge about the psychology, history, art, and science of information exchange are in a very good position to grow their enterprises.

This article focuses on what you’ll learn during the course of your postgraduate studies in communication. These are all great reasons to sign up for an online masters in communication or to dive into some study under your own power. Here is the useful knowledge and experience you can expect to develop:

You’ll Learn About The Psychology Behind Successful Messaging

Successful messaging – whatever field it is in – relies upon a deep understanding of the target audience’s individual and group psychology. Part of your studies during the completion of an online masters in communication will be geared towards the understanding of these psychologies.

Psychologists had a hand in creating the field of communication studies. Wilbur Shramm, the founding father of communication studies, completed a postgraduate course in psychology and worked with psychologists during the creation of the first communication studies course. Without Schramm’s expertise and willingness to engage with psychology, communication studies would never have developed the scientific pedigree that it has today.

Information communication is an inherently psychological process – no matter how many people are exchanging information and no matter how they are doing it. Communication psychology is an entire field in itself. You’ll only be able to scratch the surface during your studies, but the overview that you will gain will be immensely valuable.

You’ll Learn About The History Of Marketing And Communication

Every good practitioner is willing to learn from those that came before them. Marketers, campaigners, advertisers, and administrators all need to study the history of media and communication if they are to succeed in their challenging fields. Part of your work during an online masters in communication will revolve around the development of a nuanced understanding of the communicative methods of the past.

Business communications have a long and storied history. Indeed, the first advertising is thought to have originated at the same time as the ‘product’ – around the 4th Century BC. We know that advertising and marketing communications were common in ancient Rome because of plentiful archaeological evidence. The Southern Italian city of Pompeii, so tragically encased in burning volcanic ash, holds many clues as to the nature of marketing in the ancient Roman Empire. Because the town was covered so completely in ash, informal messaging was preserved alongside the official documents that are usually retained by stratified cultures.

One manufacturer in particular left behind evidence of a successful branding and marketing campaign in the city. Umbricius Scauras was a maker of fish oil, a highly popular culinary item in the ancient Roman Empire. His house was decorated with his personal branding extolling the virtues of his mackerel-based liquid. Similar marks carrying his name have been found as far away as France.

You’ll not just be learning about ancient history. With the help of your teachers, you’ll take a look at the evolution of communicative tactics and strategies right up to the present day. Of particular importance will be your understanding of the changes that happened in society during the industrial revolution, when mass production and consumer culture first emerged.

It was during the early industrial period when branding, as we currently know it, first became widespread. Companies like Wedgewood in England sought to mass-market products using cohesive visual strategies. You’ll learn about the ways in which global trade, production methods, aesthetic design, and the emergence of consumer capitalism all became intertwined. You’ll study innovators and theorists that altered and influenced communications. All of this knowledge will give you very valuable context during your quest to become a professional communicator.

You’ll Learn About Strategic Planning

An understanding of strategy is crucial in any executive communications role. Any online masters in communication course worth its salt will include a module designed to help familiarise students with the concepts and practices surrounding strategic planning.

Strategic planning doesn’t always come naturally. It requires a communicator to be able to take a step back and look at the bigger picture while working to the overall aims and ethos of their parent organization.

Creating a strategic communications plan can help a business or organization achieve its public relations goals in many ways. It can encourage employees to take a long-term view. It can focus all marketing and advertising content towards the promotion of an overall brand. It can help solidify protocols for dealing with crises, and it can encourage proactivity from employees who are aware of wide goals. During your online masters in communication, you can expect to learn practical methods for drawing up a well-informed and achievable set of strategic goals from experts in the field.

Strategic planning isn’t just useful in the world of business. The benefits of strategic planning can be felt in a number of fields. In political campaign management, for instance, strategic planning is absolutely essential. Without a strategic plan, political campaigns would veer off messages, fail to make appropriate press appearances, and fail to take opportunities as they emerged. In political campaigning, this is sometimes referred to as a roadmap or critical pathway. Political campaign strategy is a distinct field within communications. You’ll be able to specialize in campaigning during the latter stages of your course if it piques your interest.

You’ll Study Examples Of Successful Crisis Management

All public-facing organizations can expect to suffer some sort of public relations crisis during their existence. Managing and mitigating these crises is never a simple task. During the course of your online masters in communication, you’ll be looking at some examples of successful crisis management. One of the career paths that can lead on from a qualification in communication is in public relations. Public relations professionals are in charge of the communications between the public and their organization. Crisis management is one of their primary tasks – and it can be extremely high pressure. This is why an experienced public relations professional is such a highly valued person in the world of business.

Good crisis management is not just about putting out fires as they start. A well-trained and proactive public relations professional will spend time devising a strategy for risk mitigation and prevention. This involves the analysis of market research, the identification of potential conflicts within your organization, and the construction of contingencies and protocols.

Public relations professionals will often be expected to act as spokespeople for companies facing a crisis. Performing a spokesperson’s role well is very difficult. A great reason to study communication before diving in at the deep end in a public relations job is that the deep end can be exceedingly deep. Failures to respond correctly to a crisis in an organization can lead to complete disaster. You’ll want to learn from experts and receive training in risk mitigation, crisis management, and press relationships before you try and deal with the often cutthroat public.

You’ll Foster A Network Of Peers

In the world of business, nothing is more important than your network of peers. Even though you might be remote from your cohort during your completion of an online masters in communication, you’ll still have the opportunity to build a really solid network of collaborators. Good online courses usually offer plenty of opportunities to network and form relationships with your peers. Online seminars, group tasks, and an emphasis on teamwork all help build networks amongst online students.

The extent of your network doesn’t have to stop at your classmates. Your professors and course convenors will be experienced communication professionals, and you could do a lot worse than building a network that includes your teachers. Your professors are likely to have spent time working in public relations, marketing, or another communicative field. Feel free to pick their brains!

You won’t stop networking after you finish your online masters in communication. Postgraduate learning environments are the perfect places to develop your networking skills and learn who you want to form your mutually beneficial working relationships with. Quite often, the network that you develop during study helps you decide what kind of field you want to go into.

You’ll Learn How To Design Successful Visual Strategies

Visual design and strategy is a key element in almost all communicative work across most fields. Successful visual strategy involves the implementation of all of the findings that your market research and psychological insights dig up, as well as your graphic design and business acumen. Think of visual design strategies as the public-facing result of all your hard work.

The art and science of ‘branding’ is essentially reliant upon good visual strategies. Building cohesive public-facing materials that speak directly to your intended audience and that embody the long-term strategic aims and ethos of your organization or client isn’t just about graphic design. Setting the correct goals is half the battle. Syncing up your public relations strategy with your visual strategy and your organization’s product design is also a hugely important area of work.

Studying for an online masters in communication will give you the opportunity to take a closer look at successful visual strategies employed over the years. The most successful visual strategies have been extremely cohesive. Take the visual strategy employed by Apple during the launch of their iPhone as an example: everything from the product design to the clothing worn by the executives was carefully crafted to help secure a distinctive and suggestive visual identity. The success of the iPhone was not just related to the capabilities of the product. The strong, long-term visual strategies employed by apple helped to insert their mobile phone into the popular cultural consciousness.

You’ll Learn How To Adapt To New Technology

All communicative fields are inherently tied to developments in technology. From 18th Century merchants making use of newspaper distribution chains to their modern equivalents using machine learning algorithms to develop data-based strategies, communicative innovators have needed to be nimble in their adaptation of new modes of information accumulation and exchange. Technology has undoubtably been the catalyst for numerous watershed moments in communication history.

The biggest sea change in communication in the last 100 years has undoubtably been the introduction of the world wide web in 1991. Its inventor – Tim Berners Lee – couldn’t have possibly known how hugely his creation would shake up society. The internet is an inherently communicative medium. Its widespread adoption across the world has led to some wholesale changes in the way people in communicative fields do their jobs. In order to find work as part of the next generation of marketers, public relations executives, and campaign managers, you’ll need to really deeply understand the ways in which the internet has changed society.

As part of an online masters in communication, you’ll have the opportunity to research and write about emerging communicative trends made possible by the ever-shifting online environmental state.

Part of any long-term success in a communicative field is the ability to quickly adapt to changes in technology. Your online masters in communication course won’t be able to teach you exactly how technology that affects your field will change. Instead, it can give you the tools to predict and react to changes before or as they emerge. This nimble adaptability is crucial if you want to have a long career in communications.

These seven reasons why you should study online masters in communication are just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty more reasons why this is a worthwhile subject.

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