Business communication describes the sharing of information in a professional context. Whenever professionals write letters or emails, speak at conferences, seminars, or meetings, or give presentations, they are participating in business communication. Some of the most common types of business communication programs are shorter programs, normally lasting no longer than several weeks, that give students tips and methods for communicating in a number of different professional scenarios. Business communication programs might also focus on specific kinds of interactions, such as international business communication or business communication for information technology professionals. While professionals seldom major specifically in business communication, it is possible for social scientists, such as sociologists, to study this field.
More often than not, people who enroll in business communication programs are aspiring or established business professionals who are interested in improving their basic communication skills. Some business programs, for example, might offer courses that last for a portion of a semester and which cover some basic functions, such as writing concise business emails, communicating online with colleagues and clients, and giving effective presentations. Social scientists who enroll in business communication programs tend to be interested in subjects such as organizational behavior and are interested in the ways in which people construct organizations and how they interact within these institutions.
Some of the most common kinds of business communication programs are those for international communication. For example, a person from the United States who is entering a profession in which he or she has to communicate with individuals from China might take basic courses in Chinese. Aside from learning a language, however, students in these business communication programs also have to learn about behaviors and cultural signs that can help them to make the best impressions and also to avoid inadvertently misleading or offending clients and colleagues from other cultures.
It also is common for people to enroll in business communication programs when they simply want to improve their performance at work or make themselves more desirable job candidates who can earn higher level positions. For example, a person who would like to move into a managerial position might be required to give regular presentations to clients and shareholders. If he or she has not yet gained experience in this area, taking management or executive business communication courses could be a valuable experience. People who work in fields such as information technology, on the other hand, might enroll in business communication programs to learn to communicate with coworkers from other departments who do not use technical jargon.