Learn business communications with online courses
What is business communications?
Although communication is an often overlooked soft skill, the importance of being able to relay information effectively can have far-reaching implications in a business setting. Business communication skills, which can include a combination of active listening, clear writing, effective persuasion, problem-solving, critical thinking, and conflict resolution, are essential for maintaining smooth day-to-day operations and a cohesive work environment. Business leaders must be able to articulate their vision and goals to both internal and external stakeholders, while managers rely on communication to execute on strategy with their employees and vendors.
Examples of important business communications include:
Earnings calls: a conference call where leaders share details about the financial performance of the company to investors and analysts.
Annual reports: a comprehensive review of the company's yearly activities, which can include financial statements, as well as updates on strategy and major initiatives.
Client pitches: a presentation given to a potential client by a business that outlines the benefits and services offered by the company.
Corporate newsletters: a publication created to share company news, upcoming events, products and services, employee benefits, and other relevant topics.
Employee handbooks: a publication that outlines important company policies and procedures related to topics such as office behavior and time-off.
Company meetings: a summit of employees and executives where companies discuss topics related to the goals, objectives, and strategies.
And while many organizations have entire departments dedicated to communications, nearly every employee relies on some form of business communication to complete their work. From discussing strategy with colleagues to delivering formal presentations on projects to providing feedback to employees, all of these interactions can fall under the umbrella of business communication.
Why learn business communications?
Business communications are essential for any organization. Through clear and concise communication, businesses can develop better strategies, increase productivity, boost morale, and foster innovation.Footnote 1
The ability to effectively communicate in the business world is also essential for individual professionals. In fact, strong communication is consistently listed as an in-demand soft skill by employers.Footnote 2 Developing your business communications skills can help you build productive working relationships, collaborate well with others, negotiate better outcomes, and reach company goals more effectively. These skills can also help you build trust, manage conflict, and reduce misunderstandings.
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Business communications course curriculum
Learners who wish to enhance their skills online may find business communications courses that teach the basics of effective communication. Curricula may provide opportunities to practice writing emails, communicating within groups, delivering presentations, and conducting interviews. Business communications classes may also cover how to use current communication tools, including video conferencing, desktop publishing, collaborative software, and more.
Business negotiations can also be found in communications program curricula. Students can learn to make persuasive arguments, resolve conflicts and disputes, and influence decision-making. They may also gain experience with setting objectives for negotiations and applying methods for assessing outcomes.
People management is another common topic in communications classes. This includes team building, giving feedback, fostering collaboration, and developing leadership skills. Additionally, courses may cover emotional intelligence, leading by example, and managing expectations. edX offers a variety of learning options for enhancing business communication skills to help you stay competitive in today’s workplace.
Jobs that use business communications
Strong business communications skills can translate into many professional opportunities. While all individual contributors and business leaders benefit from being able to effectively communicate, some roles cannot be performed without this crucial skill.
Business communications specialists are responsible for many critical tasks, including managing information, coordinating internal and external communications, representing the company, and collaborating with marketing professionals. Those specializing in business communication might also find work in roles such as:
Marketing specialist: ensure clear and consistent messaging around a brand and implement effective communication campaigns with target audiences.
Account executive: manages client relationships and generates sales for a company's products or services, providing customer service and ensuring customer satisfaction.
Public relations specialist: develops relationships with the public and media to shape and maintain the public image of a company or organization.
These roles can have specific educational requirements depending on the company, including a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree. edX offers a variety of educational pathways for learners ranging from full degree programs to specialized boot camps.
How to become a business communications specialist online
If your goal is to work as a business communications specialist, you may be able to gain the requisite skills through online learning. Earning a bachelor’s degree in business or in communications can provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the field and the necessary skills to excel in various roles. However, you may also pursue individual courses for professional development that allow you to focus on a specific subject. Explore all that edX has to offer and start your learning journey today.