Seeking Strong Communication Skills

Posted: August 28, 2017 5:00:00 PM CDT

organizational communication imageAs employers increasingly seek candidates with “strong communication skills,” many have realized that some things can be taught, but communication skills take time to develop.

To address this workforce need, the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Organizational and Relational Communication—a business-based program that’s more than presentations and papers.

“While a business degree often focuses on an organization’s bottom line including the numbers, math, and formulas, organizational communication focuses on communication and the people who make an organization function,” said Dr. George Lawson, associate professor at UNK. 

Learning to develop relationships that will have a positive, productive, and meaningful effect on the workplace is key to organizational communication. Students learn through observation of individuals’ moods, feelings, and fears to identify their perceptions and consider their context. The degree not only helps in a relational sense, but also prepares students to listen, speak, train, persuade, and lead others.

“We strive for our majors to be literate in writing, speaking, listening, and working with others in teams—not to focus on only one way of doing things, but to be open-minded to different paradigms of problem solving. When faced with a changing world of choices, they can look forward to new opportunities and creative innovations to new world problems,” said Lawson. 

Graduates of this degree often become valuable assets in their organizations as they are more open to change and adaptive to advancing technology, as well as becoming a motivation for others in the workplace. Past graduates have built successful careers in radio, journalism, speechwriting, public relations, pharmaceuticals, human resources, recruiting, service learning, training, television and film production, web design, personal buying, higher education, law, and banking.

The degree consists of 45 required credit hours in the major area of study.  Because of this, UNK Organizational Communication students take more courses that focus on developing their communication skills. An added bonus to the program is UNK’s 12-credit-hour support track, which allows a choice of areas of interest: public relations, human interaction, general business, or Spanish. These support tracks have significantly helped with job placement for program alumni.

“An analogy can be made to dining at a buffet or smorgasbord restaurant in contrast to a one-entrée cafeteria. The Organizational and Relational Communication degree provides students with a variety of choices to tailor their degree with skills and training that are unique to a given career path,” said Lawson.

Step up, speak out, and become a leader in your future organization. Learn more about a degree in Organizational and Relational Communication

By: Alyssa Wyant

Category: General

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