Is a Master of Communication Management Worth the Cost?

A young entrepreneur is presenting her startup’s marketing strategy to investors

The communication landscape has evolved dramatically in the digital age, making an advanced degree a valuable asset to recent college graduates and industry professionals alike. Completing an advanced degree, such as an online Master of Communication Management, can provide you with a strong background in contemporary business communication and equip you with the skills needed to interact successfully with colleagues, corporate stakeholders and clients. More important, it can give you the tools you need to successfully grow your career.

Benefits of a Master of Communication Management

Students wondering if a Master of Communication Management is worth it should know that professionals in a variety of industries can benefit from an advanced degree in communication management. In fact, graduates from USC’s online MCM program often find that they’ve developed the potential to pursue new career paths and opportunities for advancement.

Although many people talk about born leaders, professionals can learn the skills necessary to command a team successfully. Investing in your education can provide the foundation you need to rise to the top of your field. This could include aiming for a seat in the C-suite or some other professional communication position.

Skills Learned in the Master of Communication Management Program

Graduates from an MCM program often find that they’ve gained a variety of in-demand skills that can help them advance in their careers. Examples include entrepreneurial, public speaking and marketing skills.

Gain Entrepreneurial Skills

An MCM degree offers an excellent educational start for aspiring entrepreneurs as communication skills are essential for successful business owners. Strong communication skills help professionals educate, motivate and lead employees. Great ideas don’t necessarily translate well to others unless they’re communicated effectively. Additionally, communication skills can help entrepreneurs listen more closely and more effectively.

Learn How to Speak in Public

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or employee, you’ll likely find yourself in a situation that requires public speaking. It could involve a presentation delivered to 20 colleagues or perhaps a speech to thousands of people. Public speaking skills have often been described as necessary for all but possessed by almost none.

At USC Annenberg, the core of an MCM degree involves learning how to communicate effectively in writing or speech. By developing your public speaking skills, you’ll be more effective at communicating your ideas to the public or colleagues.

Hone Your Marketing Skills

In addition to good public speaking skills, marketing skills can be useful in any career you may pursue with your MCM degree. Even if you don’t work in a position related to marketing, you can use these skills to be more effective in your communication.

Marketing skills are particularly relevant for careers related to marketing (of course), but also sales, public relations, advertising and other related specialties. You may find that you use marketing strategies when searching for and hiring new employees or when negotiating contracts.

If you haven’t considered master’s-level coursework in the field of communication management, you may want to investigate an MCM program. An MCM degree provides students with the skills and education necessary to develop as professionals and advance in their careers.

Synthesize Data More Effectively

The use of big data is expanding. Consequently, students wondering if a Master of Communication Management is worth it should know that communication professionals are looking for new ways to use data to their advantage. Why? Because massive amounts of data are being created and stored each day.

For example, by the end of 2020, it was estimated that more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data were being created each day, with an estimated 463 exabytes of data projected to be generated daily by 2025. This wealth of information can yield valuable information about your target audience, but only if you know how to utilize and translate it properly.

An MCM teaches students to gather, interpret, analyze and translate data, to transform complex analyses and ideas into actionable strategies. An MCM degree program also lets you explore the myriad uses for communication research and teaches students how to synthesize information from qualitative and quantitative sources for enhanced problem-solving in any industry.

Improve Your Writing Skills

Writing skills have always been essential for effective communication. However, writing today has evolved dramatically due to social media and other communication tools. For this reason, seasoned communication professionals can benefit from an online MCM degree. This program helps you tailor your skills to suit innovative means of communication, so you can effectively reach your audience using a wide variety of media.

Regardless of the industry, excellent writing skills help you communicate with your audience in any medium. Emails, blog posts and white papers are all important forms of communication in which the right word choice, tone and writing style are critical to conveying a message effectively. A graduate-level communication degree helps you improve your writing skills, so you can send the right message to the right audience.

How a Master of Communication Management Can Help Your Career

If you’re a busy professional considering obtaining your MCM degree, you might wonder how you’ll find the time for work and school and what you’ll learn. Professionals on many career paths, including you, can benefit from an MCM.

Identify Organizational Challenges

An online Master of Communication Management is worth it because coursework in the program covers far more than interpersonal communication skills. It can also help you evaluate communication from others. With this advanced degree, you’ll be better able to identify organizational challenges and make sound research-based decisions about communication practices within your business. Resolving difficult issues and improving organizational communication methods may also help you increase employee engagement, tackle workplace incivility, build trust, thoughtfully manage emotions in the workplace, delegate effectively and provide meaningful coaching.

Moreover, pursuing an online communication degree allows you to hone your organizational communication strategy while completing your coursework on a schedule that’s convenient for you. This type of degree program tends to be ideal for busy professionals who are already engaged in a satisfying career, as they’re able to maintain their professional foothold while advancing their education.

Analyze Your Audience Accurately

Understanding your audience — internal or external — is essential for successful communication. Knowing how to accurately analyze your audience helps you perform better in nearly any position, from the administrator level to senior management. Whether your audience consists of managers from whom you’re seeking buy-in or online followers as the target of your social marketing strategies, effective audience analysis can serve you well no matter what form your communication takes.

An advanced communication degree trains you to think critically about the makeup of your audience and how best to reach it. With this degree, you learn how to use available data to understand and connect with a particular demographic. With an MCM, you’ll also learn to identify gaps in your analysis, so you can enhance your own research design and gather relevant information on your audience. With a comprehensive profile in hand, you may find that you’re better able to tailor your communication strategy to make meaningful connections and drive results.

Master Evidence-Based Decision-Making

Effective decision-making is a key component of a strong communication strategy. Professionals must learn to analyze each situation, taking into account the promotional strategy, the campaign objective, the consumer profile and product branding. Strong communicators typically refrain from relying on emotional responses to guide their business decisions. Instead, they understand how to gather relevant evidence, analyze the available data and arrive at an informed decision based solidly in fact.

An MCM degree provides the tools you’ll need to hone your evidence-based thinking skills to ensure that you pursue data-supported decisions and have the ear of key stakeholders. Whether you’re trying to influence frontline managers, C-suite executives, cross-departmental stakeholders or customers, taking an evidence-based approach lets you establish solid grounds for any proposal or decision you wish to communicate.

Master of Communication Management Cost: Worth It?

Students wondering if the Master of Communication Management cost is worth it should know that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment in communications operations to grow by 4% between 2019 and 2029, about as fast as what’s projected for all new occupations. Demand for qualified professionals is expected to arise from an increased need to create, edit and disseminate information through a variety of print and digital platforms.

An online communication degree gives you valuable perspectives on new media, cutting-edge technology and the current state of the digital workplace. Understanding how best to leverage a wide and growing array of communication tools is critical for success in today’s marketplace.

If you’re eager to hone your skills and grow your career, explore USC Annenberg’s online masters in communication management. This online graduate program includes courses designed to deliver advanced skills and practical training, all while meeting the needs of working communication professionals.

Recommended Readings
Crisis Communications: 2021 and Beyond
How Business Communication Rules Have Changed (and Stayed the Same)
Communication Management: From Degree to Career

TechJury, “How Much Data Is Created Every Day in 2021?”
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Media and Communication Occupations