Graduates with a strategic communication degree from Florida Tech enter the workforce with an array of skills that prepare them for a career in a variety of communication disciplines. Strategic communication expertise opens the door to jobs in public relations, marketing, publishing, media, organizational communication, intercultural communication and more. Much like a public relations degree, students create and present communications to diverse media outlets. But a strategic communication degree also provides mastery of research, analysis, critical thinking and technology, developing graduates who are able to offer strategic counsel in a leadership capacity for any organization.
U.S. News & World Report ranks Florida Tech a Tier One Best National University (2013) and the Times of London Higher Education ranks Florida Tech in the top 200 World Universities (2013-2014). In addition, Florida Tech ranked in the top 10 percent for return on investment 20 years after graduation in the 2016 PayScale College ROI Report.
The rapidly changing communications industry demands professionals with relevant experience who can guide students to master professional excellence, ethics and leadership. Students earning a strategic communication degree at Florida Tech are part of a small, collegial community where professors mentor students in a collaborative learning environment. The faculty boasts a wide range of industry expertise in fields including public relations, journalism, marketing, multimedia production, crisis management and politics.
Students in the first year of a strategic communication degree program immediately begin an integrated marketing communications focus with hands-on exposure in the media practicum course. Students work for the campus newspaper or WFIT, the on-campus public radio station. In addition, students complete an internship with a local newspaper, radio, television, social media, public relations or marketing organization. Learning inside and out of the classroom expands students’ experience from Florida Tech’s intimate learning environment to understanding the many career options available in the industry.
Strategic communication degree students complete a senior design course in the final year of their program, where they create a media-related project. On-campus media experience, internships and other program activities provide students with specific knowledge to develop projects such as marketing campaigns for a class “client” or the production of an in-depth multimedia project or documentary. Florida Tech’s computer labs include video, audio, and visual editing software to assist in this project.
With a strategic communication degree, graduates find employment in positions including corporate communication officer, social media coordinator, editor, marketing communication specialist or public relations practitioner. Many students choose to continue their education in graduate school pursuing corporate communication, publishing, instructional design, multimedia development, teaching or law.
Eligible students in strategic communications can take graduate level course work while still an undergraduate, allowing them to finish a graduate degree in less time than they could in a traditional program.
Being in the heart of Florida’s Space Coast positions students in a strong Orlando media market providing a wealth of communication-related internships and employment opportunities. The area also boasts large corporations, government institutions and military organizations.
Top communication schools like Florida Tech prepare students with the consultative expertise they need in one of the most diverse careers available today. An integrated marketing communications curriculum focuses on the critical topics in the industry including public relations, marketing and media, corporate social responsibility and political communication. As a result, students gain a breadth of knowledge and skills essential for today’s global communication environment, making Florida Tech one of the best colleges for public relations and strategic communications.
Florida Tech has long been recognized by media outlets such as U.S. News & World Report, the Times of London Higher Education and Barron’s Guide for the quality of its programs. Florida Tech has been ranked a Barron’s Guide “Best Buy,” and the top private university in Florida by Washington Monthly, while U.S. News & World Report ranked Florida Tech a Tier One Best National University (2013).
Experienced faculty is key to these recognitions. Florida Tech’s professors design and update curriculum to reflect the demands of a professional communications practitioner in today’s global environment. Working closely with students, the faculty is regularly available for advising and one-on-one mentoring, establishing relationships that exist long after graduation. The faculty is involved in communication research, often collaborating alongside students, on topics such as corporate social responsibility, reputation management, or political communication. This intimate learning environment, coupled with hands-on internships, are two reasons Florida Tech is considered one of the best colleges for public relations.
Students interested in being involved in the industry immediately choose Florida Tech for access to hands-on learning opportunities. Working on projects with colleagues, faculty and real clients challenges a student to use classroom learning in the real world, encouraging critical thinking, problem solving and leadership skills. The senior design project demands students craft a media-related project, which puts their classroom knowledge and internship experience to the test, showcasing their ability to plan, execute, and analyze a communication issue.
Another reason Florida Tech is considered one of the best colleges for public relations is the FastTrack Master’s Program. Communication students may be eligible for entrance into the program for a master’s in global strategic communication. Eligible students can take graduate course work while still an undergraduate, allowing them to finish a graduate degree in less time than they could in a traditional program.
With a strategic communication degree, graduates find employment in positions including corporate communication officer, social media coordinator, editor, marketing communication specialist or public relations practitioner. Many students choose to continue their education in graduate school pursuing careers in corporate communication, publishing, instructional design, multimedia development, teaching or law.
Communication students at Florida Tech have access to a variety of opportunities for practical experience and industry networking, including the student chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association, the Florida Tech Crimson student-run newspaper, FTCR student-run radio station, the Communicator newsletter and Kaleidoscope literary magazine.
The best colleges for public relations find it hard to compete with Florida Tech’s location. The campus is situated on central Florida’s Space Coast, an area with year-round warm weather, low cost of living and access to a busy media market, as well as internship and employment opportunities. Florida Tech has a rich campus life that includes intramural and collegiate sports, clubs and social activities.
Florida Tech communication students participate in different activities outside the classroom to enhance their skills in devising a strategic communication plan while also experiencing the type of work they’ll likely face on the job.
Students in the first year of a strategic communication degree program immediately begin gaining practical experience through the media practicum course. Working for the the campus newspaper or WFIT, the on-campus public radio station, students engage in an active communication role to strengthen their skills. Students also complete an internship with a local company working for public relations, social media or marketing organization, or media organizations like newspaper, radio, or television.
Learning inside and out of the classroom expands their experience to better understand what is involved in different fields such as advertising campaign planning or developing an integrated marketing communications plan.
All strategic communication students must complete an internship in their junior or senior year. Students have worked for local public relations agencies, in corporate communication offices, for media organizations, in healthcare agency marketing departments, in athletic communication departments from college to professional leagues, in fundraising and development offices, in event planning and marketing, among others.
The senior year design project gives students a chance to create their own media-related project. The experience they’ve gained while working on campus or in an internship provides them with specific knowledge that allows them to create a marketing campaign for a class “client” or produce an in-depth multimedia project or documentary. This experience gives students a chance to explore what area of strategic communications they may wish to find employment.
With a degree in strategic communication from Florida Tech, students have excellent training to begin a career in strategic communication, working as a public relations specialist, social media coordinator, campaign planner and strategist, or public information officer.
Communication careers involve a wide range of opportunities. Being an effective writer is central to these career options. Conducting research, writing content, developing messages, working with the media and managing response or crisis scenarios are part of the critical duties communication careers demand.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics provides detailed information about hundreds of careers, including median annual pay, working conditions and job outlook, among other things.
According to the bureau, employment in communication careers such as a public relations specialist are expected to grow six percent through 2024, as organizations continue to emphasize community outreach and customer relations to enhance their reputation and visibility. Digital media including websites, blogs and social media also increase employment opportunities for a career in public relations and strategic communication. Experienced writers also find work in public relations departments to support efforts in reputation management initiatives.
A career in strategic communication includes positions such as: