Communication skills are critically important in virtually every aspect of human life. The study of communication is aimed at improving human communication and interaction is particular contexts and formats. Although we seldom stop to ponder it, we communicate daily in a variety of ways – sometimes even in several languages. Modern technologies are changing the way we communicate in many very important ways. Perhaps most clearly observed is the shift to being in constant communication with certain others. There has also been a notable shift in expectations for accessibility of information at all times.
Communication is frequently divided into inter-personal communication, media communication, organizational and business communication, media studies, journalism, strategic communication, marketing communication and public relations communication. If we understand communication as the way we share thoughts and ideas, it is clear – if we stop to consider it – that we use many styles and forms of communication every day.
A degree program in communication can be expected to bring together historical, theoretical, practical and ethical issues associated with various forms and styles of communication, as well as research methods. Students learn how knowledge of human psychology can shape the crafting of messages and how it can be used to analyze the success of communications in achieving a desired impact upon the audience. The program will also help students understand how to use communication styles and techniques to share public perception or opinion, how to tell a story and place it before a target audience in the most effective and persuasive way.
In an increasingly “global” society, students will also have the opportunity to address how communication can be improved when it is intended to cross cultural, social, ethnic, religious or other divisions between people. They will also be introduced to analysis of the way the culture of the audience determines the way communication is received.
Perhaps most important, a degree in communication teaches students to use critical thinking and clear expression of their ideas or information in a wide range of settings.