The art of communication cuts across every discipline and is a major requirement for professionals across several industry fields. Business owners and executive managers who understand how essential communication is to business success actively seek candidates who can validate their effective communication skills through communication certifications or communication degrees.
If you want to prove your expertise in designing, implementing, and managing effective communication campaigns, then read this article. It offers relevant resources on how to start building your career in communication. You’ll also discover the best communication certifications and the highest-paying communication certifications so you can maximize your returns.
What Is a Professional Certification?
A professional certification is a credential earned by proving your expertise in a particular field of communication. An industry-recognized or accredited organization awards professional certifications after the candidate passes an industry-approved examination that measures their knowledge, leadership skills, and competence in a communication specialization.
What’s the Difference Between a Certification and a Certificate?
The difference between a certification and a certificate is their purpose. You earn a certification by completing an industry-standard examination that evaluates your knowledge, skills, and competence in a subject. The purpose of certification is to validate the individual’s skillset.
On the other hand, you’ll need to go through the academic process of completing a course or a series of courses in a specialized discipline to obtain a certificate. Certificates help you build knowledge.
Why Is Certification in Communication Important?
Effective communication is one of the most sought-after soft skills by employers, regardless of the industry. Employers expect employees to possess good communication skills. According to a report by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), strong communication skills are among the top three sources of confidence for recruiters in graduate business schools.
According to Statista, communication skills are among the top three skills IT managers look out for when hiring new employees. Consequently, a communication certification sends a strong message of your competence to hiring managers and automatically gives you a competitive edge over others.
Best Communication Certifications by Salary
|Strategic Communication Management Professional (SCMP)||Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC)||$80,054||$1,100|
|Communication Skills for Business (CSB) Professional Communication||Certiport||$77,599||$69|
|Certified Public Relations Manager (CPRM)||American Institute for Business Management and Communication (AIBMC)||$77,572||$1,695|
|Certified Marketing Communications Manager (CMCM)||Sales and Marketing Certification Institute (SMCI)||$70,828||$1,695|
|Communication Management Professional (CMP)||Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC)||$69,292||$400 and application fee|
|Certified Professional Technical Communicator (CPTC)||Society for Technical Communications (STC) and APMG International||$67,689||$410 (member); $615 (non-member)|
|Certified Business Communication Professional (CBCP)||American Institute for Business Management and Communication (AIBMC)||$52,653||$1,695|
|Process Communication Model (PCM) Certified Coach||Kahler Communications||$52,369||$1,200|
Best Communication Certifications to Further Your Career
How to Choose the Best Communication Certification for Your Career
The best communication certification for your career depends on your ideal communication profession and your communication degree education. Communication is a very broad field, and the skills built from your communication certification can be applied in a variety of ways.
Follow Trends in Communication
If you’re serious about building in-demand communication skills, then consider the industry trends in communication and what communication skills employers are looking for. According to Statista, digital communication and media have taken over marketing.
When placed side by side from 2012 to 2022, digital marketing spending has consistently exceeded traditional marketing. Therefore, if you’re looking to get certified in communication, especially marketing communication, look for certifications that validate your digital media and communication skills.
Find a Certification Program Relevant to Your Career Path
Once you start a preliminary research for your ideal communication certification, you’ll find several options. Choosing the best certification for your communication career might become overwhelming. So, to eliminate this confusion, you should stick to communication certifications that directly help you build the job-ready skills you need for your dream career.
Tailoring your communication certification to your career pursuits will enable you to specialize in a communication field, thus increasing your value to employers and allowing you to achieve your professional goals.
Review the Authoritative Status of Certification Providers
Your communication certification equips you with professional leverage. To a large extent, this leverage depends on the reputation of your certification provider. To increase your chances of career success, you should only get certified by accredited communication certification providers or providers who have worked with notable industry leaders.
The advantages to this are many. For instance, these providers usually offer prestigious memberships to successful students and give them access to career services. Connections to a reputable certification-providing organization can even be a networking tool.
Which Communication Certifications Pay the Most?
The communication certifications that pay the most are the Public Speaking Certification, Strategic Communication Management Professional, CSB Professional Communication, Certified Public Relations Manager, and Certified Marketing Communications Manager.
However, the highest income you can earn with any of these certifications depends on the communication career path you choose. Your income will likely also depend on the area in which you work.
Highest-Paying Communication Certifications
- Public Speaking Certification: $106,177
- Strategic Communication Management Professional (SCMP): $80,054
- Communication Skills for Business (CSB) Professional Communication: $77,599
- Certified Public Relations Manager (CPRM): $77,572
- Certified Marketing Communications Manager (CMCM): $70,828
Which Communication Certifications Are the Best for Beginners?
The communications certifications that are the best for beginners are the Public Speaking Certification, CSB Professional Communication, and the Communication Media Skills Certification. These certifications are ideal for entry-level workers with a maximum of one year of experience.
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These certifications don’t require prior knowledge of the communications industry or techniques, and they offer comprehensive education programs that help students build the knowledge they need to excel in their communication careers. They are also cheap as far as certifications go.
Best College Certificate Programs
How to Prepare for Your Communication Certification Exam
To prepare for your communication certification exam, you need structured training. The best way to receive that training is through the communication prep courses offered by most communication certification providers or third-party trainers. If the communication certification prep courses seem expensive to you, you could study with free or cheaper online courses.
Best Courses to Prepare for Communication Certification Exams
The best communication prep courses for aspiring communication certification holders are below. Most of these programs offer related communication core courses or act as certification course training for these providers.
Other Resources to Prepare for Your Communication Certification Exams
An alternative or complement to communication certification prep courses are free or affordable books, podcasts, and tutorials on communication. If you’re a proactive and self-motivated learner, you’ll find the content from these resources very useful to your exam success.
Integrated Marketing Communication: Creative Strategy from Idea to Implementation
Integrated Marketing Communication was written by Robyn Blakeman, an associate professor of Advertising Design at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. This book centers on helping the reader build their brand.
The book covers all the communication categories, including direct marketing, sales promotion, public relations, digital media, alternative media, and social media. Because of the academic and industrial focus, it can be used as prep material for industry certification in marketing communications.
Integrated Marketing Communication Overview
- Type of Resource: Book
- Cost: $61.19 (e-textbook); $93.19 (hardcover); $54.42 (paperback)
- Ideal For: Learners who want a holistic approach to mastering marketing communication
This is a free series of short tutorials on business communication. This written or video series on business communication is by GCF Global and helps interested learners build knowledge of the basics of communication and business writing.
The series covers communication cues, messaging techniques, conversational skills, and the business writing essentials. This tutorial can complement your certification exam study on business communication.
Business Communication Overview
- Type of Resource: Written and video tutorials
- Cost: Free
- Ideal For: Beginners prepping to become skilled business communicators
The Business Communicator Podcast
The business communicator podcast is a complementary virtual learning resource offered by the International Association of Business Communicators. It is a bi-weekly podcast designed to keep you updated and educated on the latest news, success tips, and industry trends in the digital communication business space.
Because of its focus on communication in the business industry, it is an excellent complementary study material for candidates preparing for professional certifications in business communication.
The Business Communicator Podcast Overview
- Type of Resource: Podcast
- Cost: Free
- Ideal For: Prospective members and professionals in business communication fields
Introduction to Technical Communication
The Introduction to Technical Communication offers comprehensive knowledge of technical communication to graduates looking to transition into corporate roles. This press book covers the meaning and ethics of technical communication, basic design, and the research process.
The book also includes content in collaborative writing, outlining, revisions, and usability. If you’re preparing for a technical communication certification, this book can help you build a solid foundation on the subject.
Introduction to Technical Communication Overview
- Type of Resource: Press book
- Cost: Free
- Ideal For: Individuals new to the principles and real-world applications of technical communication
A Modern Guide To Public Relations: Unveiling the Mystery of PR
The Modern Guide to Public Relations by Amy Rosenburg is a detailed account of what it means to launch a career in public relations or grow your marketing career. It offers new approaches to SEO public relations, content public relations, and social public relations.
If you’re looking to get certified in public relations, some of the ideas and knowledge from this book can ease the certification process for you.
A Modern Guide To Public Relations Overview
- Type of Resource: Book
- Cost: $9.99 (Kindle); $12.95 (Paperback)
- Ideal For: Individuals looking for practical wisdom on public relations outside of an academic setting
Best Online Courses
Communication Job Outlook and Average Salary
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average median salary for communication professionals is $62,340. Specifically for public relations specialists, there is a projected job growth of 11 percent from 2020 to 2030. During this period, it’s expected that 29,200 positions will open each year.
Best Communication Jobs After Certification
The best communication jobs after a certification include major account manager, digital content marketing manager, and public relations manager. You can access a wide range of professions with a certification in communication.
Best Communication Associations
The best communication associations will help you develop your career through networking and mentorship opportunities. Below are ideal professional communication associations to help you accelerate your career in communication.
International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)
The IABC offers a wide array of resources, including certifications, podcasts, journal articles, insights, events, and career services to help professionals in business communication roles excel in their careers. It offers three membership plans to interested individuals: IABC membership, IABC global membership, and IABC group membership.
Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
This association was designed for public relations and communication students and professionals looking for educational and career advancements. It offers an array of communication materials, educational programs, and access to agencies and professionals in the communication industry. Its private online community is ideal for exchanging ideas.
Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management
This is a confederation of associations and institutions in the public relations and communication industries. Its membership comprises public relations and communication academics and practitioners across the world. The United Nations recognizes this association, and it is an opportunity for you to boost your industry leverage through networking and training.
Are Communication Certifications Worth It?
Yes, communication certifications are worth it because they play a critical role in validating your hands-on experience and broad knowledge base, so you can break into a communication field or sharpen your professional communication skills for career advancement.
Listing communication certifications on your resume is an ideal way to validate your professionalism to prospective employers and corporate leaders. Certifications lead to professional memberships and networking opportunities with a variety of audiences, career services, and educational programs.
Additional Reading About Communication
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Communication Certifications FAQ
The best course to improve your communication skills allows you to build the key skills related to your job or career path. Because communication is a broad field, covering every area in it will be time-consuming and overwhelming. You should choose a course in public relations, marketing communication, business communication, or advertising to enhance your communication skills.
Yes, you should put certifications on your resume if they directly relate to the role you’re applying for. For example, if you are writing a marketing coordinator resume and cover letter, you should include certifications relating to this field. Certifications validate your education and experience in a particular field. Because of their mode of acquisition, employers regard certifications as a true measure of an individual’s expertise or competence for a particular job role.
Yes, you can take communication classes online to reach your objectives. You can also make the decision to enroll in communication courses and earn communication certifications from the comfort of your home. You can also opt to pursue an online communication associate degree if you want to access higher-paying jobs, learn more about key communication principles, and become an effective communication consultant.
You can improve your communication skills in three months by combining result-oriented learning approaches. You can start by taking a professional training course in communication. However, you should tailor it to your ideal career path. You should also read books and join online communication communities to help build your skills. There are many things you can do with a communications degree, but getting a communications certification can also put you on the career path you want to pursue.
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