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Studies & Degrees in Public Communication

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Those who study public communication are geared towards work in national and international communication areas, such as radio, television, advertising and business. Public communication mainly deals with an individual’s ability to maintain professional relationships, communicate a business, product or campaign proposal effectively, plan for new advancements, and perform a variety of other interpersonal tasks that are essential to effective communication. It’s most basic principle is the ability to communicate ideas and messages effectively across various physical, cultural or contextual barriers.
Colleges, universities, and some technical institutions all provide majors in public communications. The degrees attainable through these higher education institutions include an associate, bachelor and master’s degree. Remember that some colleges may offer a course in public relations or public communication technology, instead of simply public communication.
Some companies in radio or television will provide internships for interested candidates. These internships will often not provide experience in public communication exclusively, but a variety of learning in many areas of the media. It is sometimes necessary for an intern to already hold a degree before applying, or at least be studying at a university simultaneously. There are also some organization and educational facilities that may provide small workshops on public communications.
Skills, Qualifications, and Prerequisites for Studies in Public Communication
To study public communications at the college level, students must meet the admission requirements to college, university or technical institution. This typically means possessing a secondary school completion certificate or passing a standardized test. Many of these programs will also require some form of internship near the end of study, before a degree can be obtained.
An internship may not require prerequisites, though they often require students to hold a degree or be attending college at the time of the internship. Workshops often do not have any prerequisites, unless they are being held for employees already working in a related field.
Public communication studies require that students undergo a variety of public speaking experiences and interpersonal communications. Therefore, ideal students should have no fears, reservations or difficulties with public speaking and social interactions. This major also deals closely with teamwork and group communication, so students should be able to work well with others in these environments. Students should have the ability to see and assess a variety of viewpoints, compromise on issues and make informed decisions.
Skills and Qualifications Acquired from Studies in Public Communication
Along with education from the courses that a student may take along with a public communication study (such as media or advertising), a basic course will provide candidates with such skills and knowledge as:
  • Public speaking.
  • Writing styles (media, argumentative, public relations, etc.).
  • Visual and auditory communication.
  • Interpersonal communication (one-on-one and in groups).
  • Nonverbal communication.
  • Media functions, types and uses.
  • Principles of advertising.
  • Principles of campaigning.
  • Communication research methods.
  • Media influence on children, politics, society, race, etc.
  • Economics and business.
  • Laws and regulations regarding communication practices.
Careers for Studies in Public Communication
Due to the skill set earned by public communications graduates, they are adaptable to many different work environments. Many choose to work in advertising or media, providing public relations services to national, international, private or public companies. They may also choose employment as fundraisers, lobbyists, educators, researchers, writers, managers, department officers, consultants or journalists. These individuals may work for television channels, marketing campaigns, advertising agencies, non-profit organizations, health and safety services, government programs, political campaigns, technology industries or law firms.