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Philippines Universities & Colleges Guide

AB in Communication in the Philippines

The Bachelor of Arts in Communication (AB in Communication) is a four-year collegiate program intended for individuals who wish to pursue a career in the fields of media, advertising, public relations and similar industries. The course integrates the mastery of radio, television, print media, as well as other media through which information is transmitted.

The AB in Communication curriculum consist of 63 units General Education subjects; 15 units Communication-Core subjects; 18 units of Required Professional Courses in Advertising, Broadcasting, Information Technology, Journalism and Development Communication; 33 units electives which are Communication-Related or Social Science / Humanities Electives and 6 units Thesis / Special project and Internship.

AB in Communication is closely related with AB Mass Communication to the point that several schools offer either one of these courses under similar curriculum. Some schools offer AB Communication as one of the specialization courses under Mass Communication, and other schools opted to dissolve the Mass Communication program and turn previous majors into separate courses with individual degrees such as AB in Communication.

AB Communication graduates are employed as corporate communication executives, media production staff, PR officers, BPO specialists, advertising executives, video production staff, web designers, teachers, communication and market researchers, writers, and print and broadcast journalists.

Is Communication Arts a profession?


Communication Arts is not regarded as a profession and no licensing is required for working in this field. However, the skills and knowledge acquired by students in this program present careers opportunities in the various fields of the Communication Industry.

What are the admission requirements for AB Com?


Requirements at each school may differ, but these are the common requirements:
  • Must be a high school graduate.
    Those who did not complete high school education may opt to first attend Alternative Learning System (ALS) and pass the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) to qualify for college. However, some universities only offer selected courses for PEPT passers admission.
  • Must pass the college entrance examination
  • Must pass the interview conducted by the college / university admission officer
  • Medical laboratory results and health certificate
  • Good Moral certificate from the previous school (sometimes from enrollees Barangay)
  • Some schools require particular rating in the National Secondary Assessment Test (NSAT)

What skills will help you succeed in this course?


  • High proficiency in writing and speaking
  • Being a good storyteller is definitely a plus
  • Creativity and ability to generate ideas
  • Interpersonal relations, as many activities involve group dynamics
  • Hard work, resilience and time management, especially when working on several projects at the same time
  • Patience and persistence in finishing assignments that need detailed attention
  • Being outspoken and outgoing


How difficult is this course?


The AB in Communication program is definitely challenging, but highly enjoyable. Courses will require hard work from students. Under the new and revised curriculum, Communication students will experience a more interactive learning process where they will be creating their own manuscripts, advertising campaigns, and films.

How long does it take to complete AB Communication in the Philippines?


Normally, the AB Com. Program takes 4 years to complete. Some schools who apply the trimester system do the program in a shorter time.

On The Job training / Internship


CHED requires AB Communication students to render a minimum of 200 hours Practicum undertaking a communication-related work in a media-communication organization or agency engaged in the use of communication resources for development. (source)

Internship is generally taken during the summer period before the senior year. Before this, 33 units of electives or optional courses should have been completed during the lower years. These electives help the students to decide on what tract of Communication Arts they wish to pursue, whether Journalism, Advertising and Public Relations, Production, or Media Studies. It is advisable to do the internship on an agency that caters to the chosen field of specialization.

Specializations


  • Media Arts – focuses on the study of history, contemporary issues and theory of media and culture while developing advanced technical and conceptual skills in film, video, new media and sound, and the interplay among these media forms.
  • Advertising – concentrates on the critical business function of attracting customers and the processes of communicating the value of a product or service to clients for the purpose of selling the product or service.
  • Corporate Communication – offers students a quality learning experience with the key method employed by organizations to align their strategies internally and externally to achieve business excellence. This includes all the processes of facilitating information and knowledge exchanges with and between internal and key external groups and individuals that have a direct relationship with the company.
  • Marketing Management – covers the area of communication in combination with business studies. The study programme provides students with the basic theoretical, methodological and practical tools needed to plan, co-ordinate and carry out marketing and management relevant communication activities in global organizations such as creating and updating websites, preparing press releases, reports, product presentations and company profiles, and planning different types of communication campaigns
  • Media Production – focuses on the value of media arts and production, recognizing that the media and cultural industries are undergoing enormous changes in identities and audiences. Students develop their own creative and conceptual work through the production of a range of exercises and projects in film and video, sound and radio and new media (multimedia and online applications).
  • Multimedia Arts – is designed to provide a broad-based education exploring specific applications of digital technologies in various individual media which constitute multimedia. The course includes digital technology and design, desktop publishing typology, digital design, design for industry, experimental design, advertising, and competitive design and professional practice work.
  • Theater Arts and Media Education – is dedicated to the creation of original works across the whole spectrum of the communication, entertainment and information industries. It comprises studies in classic and modern theatre; devised physical performance; drama workshop facilitation and theatre for young people; digital media; event design; and theatre production for diverse cultural enterprises in both indoor and outdoor settings.


Is there a board examination for AB Com?


There is no board examination for AB in Communication graduates.

If you plan on working in the government sector, you can take competency examination called the Civil Service Examination. Those who pass the civil service examination are conferred civil service eligibility, a basic requirement for entrance to government service.

Career opportunities for AB Com. graduates


  • Entry Level jobs

    Jobs requiring no prior to minimal level of experience:
    • Runner – the most junior role in the production department of a broadcast, film or video company. Acts as general assistants and undertake whatever basic tasks are required to ensure the smooth running of the production process. This role offers the opportunity to gain vital experience and knowledge of the production process, offering valuable networking opportunities, and is often seen as the first step on the ladder for people aspiring to roles in broadcasting media.
    • Junior Reporters – write up stories allocated to them by the news desk
    • Editorial Assistants – provide support to the senior editorial staff in all stages of the publication of books, journals, magazines and a broad range of publicity materials.
    • Advertising Account Executives – work within advertising or multi-service agencies, acting as a link between clients and other agency staff, ensuring its advertising campaign work is all completed on time and on budget.
    • Public Relations Account Executive – manages and proactively promotes the profile and information of individual client or organization to the general public through news items, press releases and product placements.
    • Sales Promotion Account Executive – aims to increase sales or usage of products and services by providing ideas and strategies for promotional marketing campaigns.
    • Radio Broadcast Assistants – provide vital support in the development and day-to-day production of local and national radio by giving practical assistance to programme producers and presenters to ensure that shows run as smoothly as possible.
    • Television Production Assistant (or PA) – work includes assisting actors and the crew, issuing scripts, dealing with travel and accommodation bookings and sorting out enquiries and other paperwork involved in producing a television programme.
  • Mid-Level Positions

    Require trainings and prior job experience of a few years:
    • Public Relations (PR) Officers – use all forms of media and communication to build, maintain and manage the reputation of their clients. PR officers monitor publicity and conduct research to find out the concerns and expectations of an organizations stakeholders.
    • Account Manager – handles subordinate Executives and manages higher profile clients with their promotion or campaign needs.
    • Programme Researcher – provides support to the producer and production team in organizing, planning and researching everything that will happen during a programme - who will be interviewed; location; will the film crew fit; does the budget stretch?. The researcher has the responsibility for fact checking, writing briefs for presenters and ensuring that there is adherence to appropriate legislation relating to the production.
    • Press Sub-Editors – check the written text of newspapers, magazines or websites before it is published. They are responsible for ensuring the correct grammar, spelling, house style and tone of the published work. Subs make sure that the copy is factually correct and that it suits the target market.
    • Newspaper Journalists – research and write stories for national, regional and local press. Aside from news and politics, they report on sports, arts and culture, science and business. They also cover national and local events, entertainment and human interest stories.
    • Magazine Journalists – research and write news articles and features on specialized area of interest for magazines, consumer titles, business journals or trade publications.
    • Public Affairs Consultants – are referred to as political lobbyists that offer public policy advice to their clients by keeping abreast of political developments. Clients may include private sector companies, trade associations, charities, not-for-profit organizations and overseas governments.
    • Television Floor Managers – ensure that sets, props and technical equipment are safe, ready to use and in the right position prior to filming. Coordinates the director to the production staff, and make certain that events go according to a set plan and that people taking part knows their particular roles.
    • Magazine Features Editor – responsible for the content and quality of publication and ensures that stories are engaging and informative.
    • Communication Analyst – gather information from customers and business or marketing strategists. Based on this information, the analyst is responsible for maintaining a systems network by monitoring performance and making changes based on data size or user quantity requirements.
    • Instructional System Designers – use learning principles to develop the appearance, organization and functionality of educational learning and materials. Many instructional designers work in e-learning, perhaps converting in-person teaching materials into online courses.
  • Advanced Positions

    Require years of extensive experience and practice:
    • Advertising Account Planners – responsible for writing the formal creative brief and for providing the ideal environment for creative development. A Planner uses research data to identify suitable audiences and the best methods of communication and marketing strategies.
    • New Media Administrator – works in content management systems to keep clients website and internet up to date, writes and proof-read article, analyzes data from the website and initiates changes and improvements
    • Public Information Officers (PIOs) – are spokesperson of certain government agencies who is tasked to provide information to the media and public about government policies, programs, projects, and other public services especially in times of crises.
    • Brand Communications Manager – leads a team in continually enhancing a particular brand image, increasing brand awareness, and providing after-sales support through advertisements, media, point-of-sale, partnerships, and relationship marketing.
    • Television/Film/Video Producers – are the key people who oversee a TV/Film/Video project from conception to completion and may also be involved in the marketing and distribution processes.
    • Radio Producers – are responsible for the audio content of broadcasts via radio, the internet and other mobile platforms. They are involved in the entire process, from generating ideas to managing the audience response after a programme.
    • Academician – faculty members, instructors, and professors in an institution that provides Communication education lectures in a college or university
  • Jobs not related to Communication that graduates can apply to

    • Call center agent – answers phone calls and inquiries of clients and provides customer support, usually to people from other countries
    • Administrative Staff – personnel responsible for the organization and management of office duties and tasks; positions that include office secretary, personal assistant and office clerk
    • Freelancer working online – doing online jobs for clients abroad, such as data entry, article writing, SEO, customer support, administrative support etc., which mainly depends on your skills
  • Career Opportunities Abroad

    There are only a handful of job opportunities for Filipinos in Communication-related jobs abroad. (source)
  • Salary Levels

    Based on the JobStreet.com Annual Salary Report; in the Philippines, a fresh graduate should expect an average of P16,500 on the first job.

    Junior Executives who are in Journalism or Public Relations and with a monthly salary of about P25,000 are ranked 6th and 7th respectively on the List of Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs In The Philippines. Managers in the field of arts and communication get well-compensated with an average monthly income of P72,000, while Media planners earn about P51,000. Senior Managers in Advertizing earn as much as P180,000 per month.

Reviews of AB in Communication graduates:

K. W.
Studied BA Communication
at University of the Philippines Baguio , Baguio City
Graduated: 2011

About my college education:
I was frantic as the frigid air that has been sweeeping my warm cheeks for sometime now became just normal. I arrived in Baguio weeks before the enrolment, and I was thinking how prepared I am now for the upcoming journey. I was able to initially adjust to the cold weather, and also to the new faces around.
This was my choice, and here I am now, at the pedestal of the famed Oble.

The interesting thing about Communication Arts is that it brings out something in you that is creative, and at the same time objective. The part where you scholarly investigate a place or even a person for a specific, academic purpose is something that wakes up your curiousity of the real world. It's difficult, yes, and even dangerous at times, but that is actually the point of taking this course. You explore, then you discover, then you think and process everything through your mind. It is a combination of interpersonal and logical skiils, along with good decision making and unprecedented hard work. It is an experience of gradual delectation as you weave through the remarkable maze of Journalism. At first, challenges come at its fullest, however as you push forward, it becomes more and more familiar thus awarding you with immeasurable gratification. The base of this course is that you act and react to serve the people you are with, or confronted with. It is a learning process, of being able to atone the information needs of the society and its people, your people.

My current job:
English Teacher

Am I using what I learned in college:
Speaking of practicality is usually not the topic that is fair with this course. Communication Arts itself is a wide array of seeemingly "sub-courses" that you can choose from depending on your specific set of skills. It is a degree that requires you to basically start from the bottom up. Compared to technical courses, people who stay under the umbrella of Mass Media looks for ways to improve, and move on with their careers. Work itself serves as a motivation to keep trying to reach the top. As of the current, working as a teacher serves me well, because the foundations of this career has been entirely grasped by my course. Me as a product of years and years of training in speech, writing and research blends well with the surrounding I am into now. I have become someone who is capable of handling conversations well with ease, someone who is able to write better, even persuade readers, and someone who is good at listening to other people, and responding in a way that is, comforting and satisfying.
I am using my course not only to earn money, but also to earn people.

How long did it take to find a job after graduation:
I was already working even before I graduated.

Do I recommend studying BA Communication:
Honestly speaking, having a degree, and a major that is related to the Mass media offers a lot of opportunities. It is a course that is often regarded by a lot of people as boring, or moreover, not even practical. Nevertheless, we should take into consideration the fact that Journalism is not a linear course, which means that graduates tend to have options, or say branches of work possibilities. For instance, individuals who majored in Broadcasting, can specifically fulfill the path of television anchoring, program hosting, and other connected jobs. On the other hand, Speech majors can basically cover all that has to do with communication-related workloads. The point here is that whether it's broadcast, or print media, a person who has a degree in Communication Arts has the ability to cope and adapt to the environment around and subsequently find a suitable job.
Lastly, the idea of getting a high salary is actually dependent on the job you are wishing to get. Having this kind of educational background usually requires you to persevere at first, and then gradually reach that projected monthly income. It is not an easy course, but the fulfillment of this is that it is the only line of work that directly serves the people. It comes as a form of public exposure, and with that a chance of being recognized by the audience watching, reading or listening.
Yet still, whatever the case may be, the decision always lies inside you, because that one always knows what you utterly like regardless of the expected salary or employment potential.

You should choose what you think suits your talent or style, then
go get a hold of your track to success.
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