What Can I Do with a Communication Degree?
A communication degree is one of the most flexible undergraduate or graduate degrees you can acquire in today’s professional market. Communication degrees vary widely in their area of focus. Generally, a communication degree teaches students how to use important tools to communicate through written word and voice, including grammar, style, and composition, but the increasing prevalence of video has become a much more lucrative avenue as well.
Programs may instruct you how to prepare press releases, write copy for Web sites, administrate social media, or how to communicate through corporate correspondences. Depending on the type of communication degree you get, you may be taught how to prepare visual or multimedia messages and how to present material in front of a camera or microphone. These programs may also include instruction in video or sound editing programs or web software.
Communication research is yet another area that communication degrees cover. Through research you will learn theoretical aspects of modern communication. This includes how people communicate the way they do, and what comprises cultural communication channels. Communication research is a very integral part to the overall field, simply due to the fact that communication is a field that is rapidly evolving. With contemporary implementations of communication, such as Facebook or Twitter, communications research majors often sift through large amounts of data to gain a better understanding of the intricacies of the communication process.
As you can see, the areas of focus that communication degrees cover are large and encompassing, and the concentration you choose within your degree will depend on what you want to do within the communication industry.
Communication Career Prospects
The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers a complete profile on media and communication works. Some possible communication career choices include, but are not limited to:
- Business manager
- College or university professor
- Communication consultant
- Communication researcher or statistician
- Community relations director
- Customer service representative
- Developmental officer
- Fund raiser
- Human resources manager
- Political analyst or campaign director
- Public affairs director
- Public relations officer
- Public speaker
- Marketing communication researcher
- Media critic
- Radio producer, host, or director
- Speech writer
- Sports publicist or announcer
- Telecommunication specialist or director
- Training specialist
As you can see there are a plethora of job options available to a communication graduate. The best way to determine what career path is the right fit for you is to understand what interests you the most. You should ask yourself:
- What inspires and motivates me the most?
- What are my natural strengths and abilities?
- How do I see myself working with others versus working alone? What kind of people do I want to work for? What kind of company or organization do I want to work for?
- What specific goals do I want to achieve through my career?
Then you should research your top career options.
Communication degrees also open a wealth of options for graduate school, but this will include more specialized subject matter, with Masters degrees available in areas such as organizational leadership and communication, integrated marketing, and others. Many universities offer programs that allow students to complete a bachelors and masters in a five-year program, so researching this can save you time and money, as well as enter the job market with a distinct edge over the competition. Many of the five-year programs allow students to begin graduate coursework in their fourth year, which enables them to complete all the required classes by the end of the fifth year. Some students though do prefer to use a successful undergraduate academic record as leverage to get into a more selective graduate program and choose to opt out of a five-year program. If you believe your grades will allow you to move to an institution with higher recognition in communications, this is an option that should be taken seriously. Otherwise, the amount of time and money invested in a particular communications program will likely make taking a five-year program the more logical decision.
After asking what you can do with a communication degree, it’s still important to ask what it can do for you. With all the options for different college majors and a variety of careers each one opens, make sure a communication degree is in line with the course you want to take with your life.