MINOR IN BUSINESS COMMUNICATION
FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT STUDENTS
Why minor in Business Communication?
Every aspect of organizational life depends on communication – team functions, customer relations,
sales, human resources management, product development, to name a few. Business
communication expertise will help you in all aspects of your work, from communicating with co-
workers, managers, and subordinates to customers, clients, and industry partners. In fact, “excellent
verbal and written communication skills” are specifically requested in the majority of job listings for
ITM graduates. What better way to prove to employers that you have the communication
skills they require than to have a Minor in Business Communication?
• The Business Communication Minor will sharpen your ability to plan, prepare, and
produce messages that are clear, complete, and thoughtful. You will learn to
• focus your ideas
• evaluate your audiences to ensure successful message reception
• select, analyze, and organize information
• choose the best communication channel for effective delivery
• format and edit for accessibility, professionalism, and image
• The Business Communication Minor will give you the ability to
• write persuasive letters, memos and reports
• create news releases, newsletters, corporate communications, and web content
• learn strategies for communicating targeted or sensitive information
• relate to intercultural audiences
• deliver effective presentations with poise and control, using technology and visual
• communicate productively in teams
• The expertise you gain from a Business Communication Minor will give you an edge in
job interviews as well as greater opportunities for promotion and challenging projects.
What do graduates say about the Minor in Business Communication?
Surveys of our students after graduation show that they were extremely satisfied with their
communication education and its relevance to their professional needs in business and industry.
Here is what several had to say:
• Communication skills will get tested the first day of any job. . . . The
company will give employees time to adjust to the database they are
using, but effective communication skills are something the company will
expect them to demonstrate immediately. (Business Systems Analyst –
More from graduates who minored in Business Communication…
• I am the co-founder and Communications Coordinator of Design by
Appetite, a marketing and web design firm. Developing internal public
relations was important for such a small company with partners who
worked at distances from each other and needed to share ideas
efficiently and receive timely information…. I wrote email newsletters to
spur excitement and curiosity on new industry information, scheduled and
chaired in-person team meetings, and maintained communications
through our online discussion forums. My Communications courses helped
me develop stronger writing knowledge for targeting clients’ audiences
and speaking skills to engage business partners in new ideas. Most
importantly, I learned that a communication structure exists in every
company, no matter how small or large it is, and it may have an obvious
or subtle impact on how well the business runs. It is better to plan an
approach to the structure from the start in order to help create a strong
organizational foundation, convey strategy or direction, and maintain
team cohesion in the long run. (Co-founder and Communications
Coordinator – Design by Appetite)
What are Business Communication classes like?
• Most business communication classes have maximum enrolments of 30 students.
• Teachers give detailed feedback and work closely with students in lively interactive settings.
• Many faculty have won teaching awards, including the university-wide GREET teaching
award, the Business students’ award for creating the most positive classroom environment,
and many CESAR (Continuing Education Students Association Ryerson) awards.
What are the requirements for a Minor in Business Communication?
Six one-semester courses make up the Minor in Business Communication.
The following two courses are both required:
CMN 124 Written Communications in ITM
CMN 314 Professional Presentations
You may choose any four of the following elective courses:
CMN 313 Organizational Problem Solving and Report Writing
CMN 315 Issues in Communication and the Contemporary Workplace
CMN 413 Corporate Communications
CMN 414 Interpersonal Communication in Management
CMN 443 Contemporary Intercultural Communication
CMN 444 Studies in On-Site Communication: The Nonprofit Sector
CMN 447 Communication and Law
CMN 448 Introduction to Visual Communication
CMN 450 The Art of Podcasting
Minor in Business Communication for ITM Students Page 2
More Information About Courses in the Business Communication Minor:
Six one-semester courses, two required and four electives, make up the Minor in Business
CMN124 Written Communications in ITM. This course emphasizes analysis, organization, tone, style and
strategy in the development of effective written communications. Data collection and report documentation are
included. This course is specifically designed for students in the Information Technology Management
program. Lab: 3 hrs.
CMN 314 Professional Presentations. Successful professionals achieve their objectives by consistently
delivering high-impact presentations to diverse, demanding audiences. Rising expectations and extensive
technology often complicate rather than improve the presenter's ability to communicate effectively. In this
essential course, students learn to cope with fear, structure content coherently, develop poise and confidence,
and employ technology in a sophisticated way to connect meaningfully with their audiences. Lab: 3 hrs.
Electives (Choose four of the following):
CMN 313 Organizational Problem Solving and Report Writing. Organizational Problem Solving and
Report Writing focuses on the selection, treatment and solution of a complex problem in an organization,
through the development and preparation of a formal, analytical report. Students learn how to identify a
problem, define its purpose, customize a message for multiple audiences, create a work plan, apply primary
and secondary research methods, and structure an argument logically and persuasively. Students will
strengthen their critical thinking skills as they evaluate findings and formulate conclusions and
recommendations. Lab: 3 hrs.
CMN 315 Issues in Communication and the Contemporary Workplace. Effective communication has
always been an essential component of business. It is particularly important today, when business people
communicate in increasingly complex and diverse workplaces. They must deal with ethical dilemmas,
intensifying organizational change, global and multicultural partners, increased specialization, and constant
technological developments. Using practical examples and case studies, this course both explores
communication challenges that business professionals face today and helps them develop strategies and
practices designed for the contemporary workplace. Lecture: 2 hrs. Seminar: 1 hr.
CMN 413 Corporate Communications. How does a company communicate its reputation and image and
manage these intangible features when damaged? Through examining high-level communication strategies
and products, students develop sensitivity to the language, formats, and images organizations use to manage
their concerns. Students also practice skills corporate communication professionals employ to communicate
with a variety of audiences. Prerequisites: Any one CMN course. Lecture: 2 hrs.; Seminar: 1 hr.
CMN 414 Interpersonal Communication in Management. In this workshop course, students participate in
a variety of group and individual exercises designed to develop the interpersonal skills necessary for effective
management. Emphasis is placed on understanding how varied backgrounds, personalities, and cultural
perspectives affect group processes such as problem solving, decision making, resolving conflict, and
negotiating. Some sessions may be videotaped. Prerequisite: Any one CMN course. Lab: 3 hrs.
Minor in Business Communication for ITM Students Page 3
Business Communication Minor Electives Continued:
CMN 443 Contemporary Intercultural Communication. In today's global environment, success or failure
of almost any venture requires a clear understanding of intercultural issues. In this course, various
communication strategies and theoretical frameworks are analyzed in cultural context. Prerequisite: Any one
CMN course. Lab: 3 hrs.
CMN 444 Studies in On-Site Communication: The Non-Profit Sector. A driving force of modern
corporations is social responsibility: supporting the nonprofit charitable sector through donations, sponsorship,
and employee volunteerism. To appreciate this key business area, students independently study, through first-
hand experience and primary and secondary material, the communications of a specific nonprofit organization.
Students will gain in-depth understanding of the agency's planning and preparation process, and potentially
have the opportunity for hands-on training under the supervision of an agency mentor. Prerequisite:
Students must achieve a minimum grade of 'B' in at least one CMN course prior to enrolling in this
course. See the Department of Professional Communication for more information. Lab: 3 hrs.
CMN 447 Communication and Law. Communication practitioners must be sensitive to the legal risks and
implications of their messages. They must consider ethical responsibilities to clients, employees, and
themselves. Clear and accessible documents, in language and design, help the company manage internal and
external relations. In this essential course, students study such communications as contracts, briefs, client
letters and proposals, to gain a firm understanding of the legal dimensions of organizational communication
and to contribute that knowledge to the company’s enterprise and obligations. Prerequisites: LAW122 or
LAW321. Lab: 3 hrs.
CMN 448 Introduction to Visual Communication. This challenging course introduces students to the study
of Visual Communication. Students learn a vocabulary of visual meaning-making (i.e., a visual language).
Building upon the vocabulary, they learn how visual texts can be rhetorical and persuasive within a
professional communication context. They learn how visual texts manipulate and become manipulated by a
surrounding visual culture. It is recommended that students be in their third or fourth year of study. Lab 3 hrs.
CMN 450 The Art of Podcasting. One of the most exciting new communication delivery channels is the
podcast—the method of distributing multimedia files over the Internet for mobile playback. This course
blends theory and hands-on practice to teach students the art—and mechanics—of podcasting. Content
development, distribution, Web syndication, marketing, and aggregators will all be covered. Students are
expected to have basic familiarity with the Internet; from this base, they will learn how to manage the entire
podcasting cycle—from concept to implementation. Lab: 3 hrs.
Each of the 300 and 400 level Minor courses is a Professionally-Related Elective
Where do I go for more information about the Business Communication Minor?
Contact the Department of Professional Communication
Room RCC 370A
Rogers Communication Centre
80 Gould Street
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