What is communication? It seems like an obvious question, but it bears discussion for two reasons. First, it’s important to have a context for why the study of communication is beneficial. Second, communication is a more broadly encompassing topic than you may realize. 

At the fundamental level, communication is getting some kind of message across to others. This can be achieved in a variety of ways: 

Verbal communication means communicating with others by creating sounds. These sounds are often words, but a laugh or a groan is also considered verbal communication. 

Nonverbal communication includes facial expressions, gestures, body language, eye contact, and other soundless actions: handshake, a thumbs-up, or a nod, among others. 

Written communication iswell, you’re looking at it right now! It’s using words put together in a logical sequence to convey a specific idea, for example: “Why study communication?” 

Visual communication is a type of nonverbal communication that uses signs, symbols, and other methods to convey a message. The green traffic light at the intersection tells you to “keep driving” without using written or spoken words, for example. 

Communication is also technology. Phones that we use to speak with and send text messages to one another. Computers that we use to send emails, view videos, and research university articles. Radios that keep us company while we’re driving from place to place. Televisions that show us original scripted programming, sports, and advertisements—often all at the same time. 

Communication is also a career. From writers who create the content for all of that technology to the people who disseminate that content via the web or other media, and their colleagues, all have careers in communication. Even in roles outside of specific communication fields, good communication skills will play a vital role in your professional success.  

Communication Can Help You in Any Field 
Wanted: Hermit. No prior experience necessary. Competitive salary. Apply today. No phone calls, please. When was the last time you saw a job listing like this? The truth is, no matter what career you pursue, whether you want to be a mathematician or a master chef, communication with other people will be a fundamental part of your job. You don’t have to be a journalist to need solid written and verbal communication skills. Having a firm foundation in communication means that you can translate critical-thinking, research, and interpersonal skills to professional advancement in any career. 

Employers Need Good Communicators 
An online job search in nearly any field will yield a consistent result: employers seeking candidates with strong communication skills. Unfortunately, they’re not always finding what they’re looking for. 

In a recent job outlook survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 77.5% of respondents said written communication skills were a vital attribute on a resume and 69.6% of respondents said the same of verbal communication skills. Among the most valued competencies, employers ranked oral/written communications “essential.”  

EducationWeek.com reported that 80% of executives and 90% of hiring managers responding to a survey placed strong speaking skills at the top of a list of 15 skills important in a new hire. This put oral communication above teamwork, decision-making, critical thinking, and other core skills. 

In an article for Forbes, Blake Morgan asserts that every employee at a business should have communication training as part of their overall company training. According to Morgan, “everyone can learn from communications training, even someone who has been through it multiple times,” employees get more enjoyment out of their jobs, and employees and companies both perform better when intraorganizational communication is strong. 

Yet, for all the importance that communication has in the working world, many employers aren’t finding candidates with these skills. Monster.com reports that employers are “desperate to find” communication skills among their job candidates. And according to the EducationWeek.com survey mentioned above, “companies say they have a hard time finding candidates with the skills they want the most.” While 8 in 10 executives acknowledged the importance of oral communication skills in that survey, only 40% of them said that certain candidates were ready to take on duties for which those skills are a necessity. 

These gaps in important career skills create employment opportunities for those who possess them, particularly those with a formal education in communication on their resumes.  

Get the Communication Foundation You Need Online 
The University of Texas Permian Basin can help you develop skills that are in demand among today’s employers with our online Bachelor of Arts in Communication program. As a student in our program, you’ll learn written and verbal communication skills, as well as critical-thinking and research skills—all of which can benefit you in any role or industry.  

Our BA in communication program is presented in a 100% online, asynchronous format that enables you to complete a career-enhancing degree at your own pace, from practically any location. All you need is internet access and a compatible device, and you’ll be able to complete the program while maintaining your personal and professional responsibilities. All of our classes are taught by the same acclaimed faculty who teach them on campus, and most classes last just eight weeks. 

Earn a bachelor’s degree in communication from UT Permian Basin and put yourself ahead of the competition.