Communications master’s students benefit from memberships in professional organizations and associations. Members of these associations find opportunities for exploring careers, undertaking ongoing education, and a network of industry professionals. Some host conferences, offer scholarships, career certifications, and advanced training across the disciplines. The following list provides links to these supportive organizations:
Social Media Association (SMA): In this era of ever-advancing communication options, the SMA helps its members to update their skills to take advantage of best practices in social media. Members participate in association events and have access to a contemporary blog of social media news.
American Communications Association (ACA): The ACA is a not-for-profit virtual professional association with actual presence in the world of Communication scholars and practitioners. ACA is committed to enabling the effective use of new and evolving technologies to facilitate Communication instruction, research and criticism, and to offering a technologically supportive venue for all who study the ways in which humans communicate. While the association is based in the U.S., it is a virtual organization that welcomes participation from academics and professionals throughout the world.
Society for Editing: Members of the society include editing professionals, educators, and post-secondary students. It establishes standards of editorial excellence and networking opportunities for editors employed in journalism, business and government.
National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA): The NSPRA works to assure that university degree programs provide students with the necessary career skills in the planning and execution of public relations initiatives.
Association for Women in Communications (AWC): All disinclines in communication are supported by this national network for women professionals who work in Communications is open to all disciplines. AWC provides scholarships and supports educational research.
Public Relations Society of America (PRSA): The world’s largest society of public relations professionals, the PRSA assists its members in professional development. More than 10,000 members are affiliated with universities.
International Association of Business Communicators (IABC): IABC membership is open to professionals who work in the business communication field. It offers its members access to educational resources, a business communications library certification and an online journal.
The American Marketing Association (AMA): The American Marketing Association offers members access to resources for developing best marketing practices along with cutting-edge initiatives. The group pairs academic members with professional marketers to provide continuing education in the professions.
Licensing and Certifications for Communication Graduates
Certifications for Business Communicators. The Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC), a team of Communication professionals assembled by IABC’s international executive board, has developed two certifications: The Communication Management Professional (CMP) certification and the Strategic Communication Management Professional (SCMP) certification.
The Public Relations Society of America. For communication experts focused on public relations, the Public Relations Society of America offers three types of certification:
- Accreditation in Public Relations (APR): designed for the experienced public relations professionals.
- Accreditation in Public Relations + Military Communication: for people interested in civilian or military positions in military Communications.
- Certificate in Principles of Public Relations: for seniors in and recent graduates of university Communication programs.
Find out which colleges offer Accredited online master’s programs in communications here.
Read more about Accreditation here.
The International Association of Business Communicators. IABC offers two forms of certification in business Communications: Communication Management Professional Certification Communication Management Professional (CMP). For generalist, specialist and other business communicators established in their careers as managers and looking to demonstrate their competence.
Certified Journalist Institute. The Certified Journalist Institute and the Global Academy of Finance and Management awards certifications that can boost your qualifications for employment. In institute offers certifications including the CPS Certified Political Scientist, CPJ Certified in Political Journalism, CIR Certified Investigative Reporter, the CFR Certified Financial Reporter, and the CTJ Certified Technology Journalist.
American Medical Writers Association. The Medical Writing Certification Commission (MWCC), in collaboration with the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA), has developed the Medical Writer Certified (MWC) credential that defines the scope of medical writing practice and distinguishes individuals in the field. The MWC credentialing program is a rigorous, exam-based professional certification. Professionals who hold this credential have demonstrated their understanding of medical writing core competencies.
Media and Communications
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