When you slice open the melon of your educational aspirations, you find many practical questions. Is this what you want to do with your life? How much time and money is this going to cost you? Will the program you hope to enter be compatible with your other responsibilities? And perhaps most importantly, are you going to be able to earn a comfortable living based on what you’re studying? In this wild, rapidly oscillating world economy, you’d better hope so. Most people should expect to work multiple careers in their lifetime, and try to cultivate disparate skills with far-reaching possibilities. That’s why earning a bachelors degree in communications is so valuable: because it builds skills that are applicable to so many different fields and organizations (in the likely case you need to switch careers at some point), and it prepares you for jobs that aren’t yet in danger of being replaced by automation. That being said, the fields you ply your trade in, and the specific tracks within them you enter will have a heavy influence over your earning potential. Other major factors include any industry connections you may have, where you live, and your willingness to pursue the most lucrative jobs available vs. wanting to work in positions you’re more passionate about.

Great benefits to earning communications degrees online include the flexibility to continue working full time while attending classes, and the savings
on boarding and tuition that often come with these programs. Students gain all of this while still receiving the same education you’d find in more traditional and expensive on-campus programs.

PayScale.com lists several common occupations graduates with Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Communication often hold, and their respective salary ranges from the tenth to 90th percentile ranges. Marketing managers made between $29,200 – $96,750, while marketing coordinators came in at $23,355 – $60,608. Other surveys found a range between $40-60,000 for recent graduates in Account Management, Marketing Specialties, Content Strategy and Development Officers. Communications is a field where entry-level salaries are often quickly converted into lucrative, powerful positions for those who excel in their duties.

Many executives in public relations, marketing or advertising started in entry-level positions, before working their way up to six-figure salaries. According to Chron.com, the average salary for communications majors in 2012 was $42,286, based on a National Association of Colleges and Employees salary survey.

But when you look at the averages for executives in public relations, corporate communications, marketing and advertising, a much rosier picture begins to bloom. Directors, vice presidents, senior vice presidents, etc. earned approximately between $112-160,000 during 2012 surveys. Those numbers have only gone up since then, and for comparison, look at an entry-level communication specialist at the same time period, who was averaging $73,900 in national surveys.

If you pursue more traditional (and perhaps more fulfilling) communications work, you might find lower salaries, but also potentially more rewarding work. For example, in 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found the median annual income for journalists was $36,000, with broadcast journalists earning $54,140. Those numbers have likely gone up as well, although not precipitously.

An online communications bachelor degree will open the door to many opportunities. What you choose, and earn, is largely up to you.