Written by Dena Counts, Applied Communication program director
Problem-solving, verbal and written communication skills, leadership, analytical skills, and the ability to work in a team are common attributes that employers look for in potential employees, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ Job Outlook 2020 survey. And, they are all skills that are taught in the 100% online Bachelor of Science in Applied Communication program at ACU. Read on to learn more about our Applied Communications degree program and what rewarding career opportunities await you.
Why Study Communication?
The National Communication Association noted that the skills taught in communication courses help students become, “a valued asset in a variety of contexts—from organizations to politics, from families to multinational corporations.” Students learn to think critically about communication and interpersonal interactions as they participate in important topics – those concerning organizational conflicts, race, politics, employee behaviors, the impact of technology, and even family issues. Students in our program learn to ethically communicate with respect and empathy, bringing opposing opinions together across cultural contexts.
Applied Communication courses engage and challenge students in topics relevant to their careers and personal lives. Core courses include leadership, organizational communication, persuasion, public speaking, small group communication, training and development, and crisis communication, just to name a few. In addition, students choose between two tracks: organizational change or healthcare communication. The organizational change track provides students with knowledge and experience in change management skills vital for today’s leaders; skills that can be applied to almost any industry and career. The healthcare communication track gives students tools in administration, healthcare campaigns, crisis management, and organizational analysis to be an effective leader in the healthcare industry.
Courses in the Applied Communication online program provide students with practical, hands-on experiences. In our Communicating Professional Identity course, students explore career interests, perfect their resume, and cultivate their online professional presence. In the Small Group Communication course, students evaluate virtual team-building and communication tools to understand how small group communication dynamics impact a virtual work world. In our Organizational Communication course, students analyze an organization’s communication practices with the aim of improving and understanding how communication impacts work. In our Training and Development course, students learn how to create training videos and resources using adult learning methods. Plus, throughout the Applied Communication program, our students build an e-portfolio of professional work – impacting student employability and advancement.
Expanding Your Career Opportunities
The beauty of an Applied Communication degree is that students learn skills that can apply to almost any position and field, enabling students to be able to adapt to a changing job market. The National Communication Association reported that communication graduates hold a variety of positions; a few of them include communications coordinator, political activist, non-profit director, media assistant, account manager, foundation director, sales, director of marketing, public affairs officer, coach, and program facilitator.
Alumni Testify to the Value of a Communication degree
The most powerful testament to a degree in Communication is from ACU alumni. See what some of our former students had to say about their experience.
Samuel Palomeres is an ACU alum who works in Digital Product Strategy and Development at Dockyard in Dallas, Texas. He shares, “Because of my courses, I can appreciate the complexity and nuances of understanding verbal and non-verbal cues in high-risk/reward team decision making dynamics. I rely on my education in conflict management, small-group, interpersonal communication, crisis management, and rhetoric to inform my communication practice across global teams.”
Claire Fender, a Human Resources Associate at West Texas Gas in Midland, Texas, shares, “I fully believe that my study and practice of communication while at Abilene Christian University was how I secured my career with an amazing organization. My boss has since told me that it was my verbal and written communication skills that made me shine during the interview process. Because of my Communication degree, I am able to speak and write at a high level, as well as grow my organization through listening and solving problems.”
Natalie Jackson, a Recruiter with Aston Carter in Austin, Texas, advocates for the value of her Communication degree. She says, “I liked how my courses were directly applicable to my current role in the corporate world. This degree allowed me to understand how humans operate and how to collaborate effectively. I now have a better understanding of analyzing businesses and tackling the current job market.”
An ACU Applied Communication degree is a great fit for the working professional who wants to advance or change their career. Visit acu.edu/online or contact us at 855-219-7300 to learn more about our program and the potential career paths waiting for you.