Communications Schools and Colleges
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Top Communications Schools

Top Communications SchoolsCommunications is a two-pronged field, on one hand there is the real skill of communicating en mass, such as mass communication in both print and broadcast and one-on-one, on the other is the facilitation of communication in our modern technological world. Pulitzer Prize-winning writers could create up the best works the nation has ever seen, but no would read a word they wrote if not for the printing press. Reporters could be on-the-spot to capture a history making moment but no one would see it were it not for broadcast engineers.

While corporate brass needs managers who can properly communicate their ideas and goals, they also need to hire telecommunication technicians which allow those managers to reach their employees. Because of this, make sure to look through both communication schools and schools for communication. Learn how to become a DJ or broadcast personality on the radio, or even digitally, or produce and edit videos. There are also schools which can prepare you for the maintaining the nation’s communication infrastructure.

U.S. News & World Report has published their 2012 rankings of the top graduate communication schools for multimedia and visual communications based on a U.S. News & World Report survey of art school deans and other art school academics.

1.   Carnegie Mellon University

2.   California Institute of the Arts

3.   School of the Art Institute of Chicago

4.   Rhode Island School of Design

5.   University of California, Los Angeles

6.   Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

7.   University of California, San Diego

8.   New School - Parsons School of Design

8.   University of Southern California

10. School of Visual Arts

Below are some of the communication focuses available from schools and colleges through

Media communications

While it began on the radio and television, media communication personalities have become fully rooted in the online world, producing podcasts and video-blogs that are both entertaining and informative. Although these productions may seem simple, degrees in communications can teach people how to voice and dictate clearly, which words to avoid (as they sound similar to words which are prohibited from being broadcasted) and how to write a broadcast script. Some courses may also provide experience working with radio and television equipment.

Both online and in broadcast, on-air personalities need to have a calm and comfortable communication style that fosters a sense of communication between listeners and the broadcaster. The BLS (, 2012) notes that this experience can take years to master and such experience can be a potential avenue for career advancement. Additionally, for those looking to be employed in a more traditional broadcast setting, rather than digitally, a bachelor’s degree in communication or journalism may be required for employment.

According to the BLS, radio and television announcers earned a national salary of $27,280 median in 2011, with the bottom ten percent earning up to $17,150 and the top ten percent earning $74,350 nationally in 2011 (, 2012). Announcers could see up to 7 percent job growth between 2010 and 2020, notes the BLS (, 2012).

Broadcast communication engineers

All the work of a broadcast personality would mean nothing were it not for the broadcast engineers who kept audio volumes level and allow for multiple camera shots during a TV broadcast. Broadcast engineers typically fall into three categories, the audio, the video and the field technician.

Broadcast audio engineers can record or mix audio, as well as operate the necessary to broadcast their work. Sometimes they may be required to create sounds or noise, these engineers are known as foley artists. Video engineers can supervise camera operators or use editing equipment to seamlessly create uniformed and engaging content using multiple angles and personalities. Field technicians do the work of both audio and video engineers expect in a mobile operation. The size and scope of these engineers is large enough that the BLS (, 2012) reports that many organizations assign their technicians exclusively to news.

Additionally, the BLS notes that most broadcast technicians have an associate degree or a vocational certificate which can take up to two years to complete, depending on the program, student aptitude and class scheduling. In most, technicians typically receive on-the-job training.

According to the BLS, broadcast technicians earned a national annual salary of $36,570 median in 2011, with the top ten percent earning up to $74,650 nationally and the bottom ten percent earning up to $18,430 nationally in 2011 (, 2012). Employment growth could increase up to 10 percent between 2010 and 2010, notes the BLS (, 2012).

Telecommunication technicians

A company might hire a manager with experience in direct communication, but if the employees are crowd sourced, or working remotely, the manager may have to rely upon telecommunications to do their job, and get the employees to do theirs. To accomplish this, businesses, office buildings, homes and schools need to be interconnected with Internet and phone connections which are properly wired to facilitate communication.

While some technicians may set up a station’s broadcast network (sending and receiving radio communications) and updating the infrastructure for the digital age, some may set up private branch exchange switchboards at large office buildings or schools. Other technicians may spend their time setting up and maintaining switches, routers and fiber-optic cables at a central office environment or at a central hub. Without these hubs and switchboards, customers would not get access to the internet or cable TV. They would also not get television or radio broadcasts as the central hubs amplify the broadcast signal which increases the broadcast range.

The BLS reports the national annual wage for telecommunication equipment installers and repairers was $53,960 median in 2011, with the bottom ten percent earning $30,770 nationally and the top ten percent earning $73,890 nationally in 2011 (, 2012). The BLS also expects the profession to employment growth of up to 15 percent between 2010 and 2020 (, 2012). Growth is projected to be a result of an increase in high-speed internet connections, increased of cable TV stations and continuing maintenance of buildings and networks.

Learn more about accredited communication programs through schools and colleges on

When researching colleges and universities, make sure to verify that your choice of school is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council or by another accrediting agency that approved by The U.S. Department of Education or The Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or both. DETC and CHEA both provide a searchable list of approved schools.


Sources and further reading:

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation

The U.S. Department of Education

The Distance Education and Training Council

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

O*NET Online