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What communication degree will best benefit my career?

Employer surveys, including the most recent from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), indicate that communication skills, both verbal and written are highly desirable.  Nearly 70% of employers surveyed said the ability to communicate verbally was an attribute they seek in candidates.  Written communication skills were equally important. 

Choosing a master’s program can be a difficult process.  As a working professional you have to consider the time commitment and a broad range of classes designed to have a real impact on your professional career.

Graduate school has traditionally been focused on a two-year format. Full-time classes can mean you are taking yourself out of the job market for two years and losing out on career growth and having to adjust to several years of reduced income.

There are several types of communication degrees you may want to consider. Your initial searches may bring up master’s degrees in communication that relate to journalism, public relations or marketing. The MSC program focuses its curriculum on three outcomes that employers consistently agree are skills employees truly need in today’s competitive business environment: managing complexity, collaborative leadership and elegant communication.  These concepts are directly applicable to many careers and teach students many of the soft skills that employers are looking for in candidates.  

The MSC program at Northwestern is designed specifically to accommodate your busy life.  The graduate curriculum offers two flexible options for today’s working professionals. For those with an experienced management background, the Hybrid Leadership Program features a mix of online courses and four, three day “sessions” on campus featuring workshops and hands-on learning.   The Custom Leadership Program is a four quarter Saturday-only program. Students take two classes a quarter and receive a master’s degree in one year. Both programs give you the flexibility to remain in your current position while taking classes.

Whether you are thinking of the hybrid or custom leadership programs, MSC students and graduates are able to see a real impact on their careers by teaching the skills employers are looking for most in qualified candidates.

Michael Johnson
Associate Director EPICS