What’s Your Salary Potential with a Communications Degree?

A communication degree can open up a diverse range of potential careers. While in school, communication majors are asked to research many different areas of the communication field, and some communication degrees offer study in several specialized areas. Students can choose to earn their communication degree by focusing on marketing, theatre, public relations, or social media and digital communication.

The communications degree, then, is a flexible and valuable degree to have in the job market. It offers experience and knowledge for several growing careers.

Journalism

Journalism continues to be a popular track among communication graduates, mostly because the field is so wide. Journalism includes print journalism, meaning magazines, newspapers, or online news publications, as well as broadcast journalism, which would include anything on television or radio. There are several positions for journalists in these fields – there is work as reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts. The communication-degree earned skills of research, writing, and relationship building are key for any of these positions.

Becoming an announcer is a similar career path. Announcers typically work for radio programs presenting music, sports, traffic, or news, as well as interviewing guests, but they can also work at events in clubs, weddings, or other public events needing an emcee. This kind of job is well suited for someone who not only understands the fundamentals of interpersonal communication, but also has an extraverted personality.

Because the field of journalism encompasses many different careers, the salaries tend to vary. Broadcast journalists make an average of about $36,000 annually, while announcers tend to make an average of $27,000 a year.

Public Relations Managers and Specialist

The field of public relations is growing faster, on average, than several other career fields. Jobs such as communications specialist, media specialists, and press secretaries are available at organizations and businesses, and are responsible for preparing corporate information for the public. This includes creating and approving promotional materials, writing press releases and organizing press kits, writing speeches, and helping both internal and external clients organize and present information. More and more, website upkeep and social media is becoming part of the PR specialist’s job.

Public relations is a high energy, media driven career path that where interpersonal communication is key. The median salary is about $57,000 a year.

Arbitrators and Mediators

One non-media career that those with a communication degree can pursue are degrees in the legal field. While additional legal training is often required, a communication degree can give anyone going for work in these positions a great foundation.

There are plenty of administrative tasks necessary for this position – setting up appointments for mediation meetings and preparing documents for clients to sign – but there are also challenging communication aspects. Arbitrators are required to interview clients and review claims and all relevant information, and they must also analyze all important documents related to any case. Ultimately, they must facilitate good communication between parties and help find a resolution. While knowledge of laws, regulations, and policies is important, it is also extremely important to have good relational, time management, and organizational skills.

Because of the nature of this position – one that can be high stress, excessively detailed, and full of activity, meetings, and interviews – the average salary is about $77,000, and much higher in some areas of the country and for organizations that have their own private mediators.

Overall, the communication field offers varied and interesting positions for all levels of experience and interest. There is certainly room to grow and thrive in communications industries, as communication, in all its forms, is crucial to any successful business.

Guide to Online Communication Master Programs

Tiffin University Tiffin University is an Ohio-based, private school with undergraduate and graduate programs available. Through online programs like the Master of Humanities in Communication, students can complete and turn in assignments when convenient — perfect for working professionals or students with active personal lives or family obligations.
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Walden University If you are interested in obtaining your communication degree from a small college either online or on -campus, Walden University can be an excellent choice due to its long-established reputation and active student life. The school offers an online bachelor’s in communication degree with a PR or Marketing focus that can be completed relatively quickly compared to traditional study.
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Kent State University Kent State University has an MA in Journalism and Mass Communication available online that follows a two-year plan, but you can schedule classes on a pace comfortable for you. This is a Public Relations program designed for working professionals and requires a bachelor degree or higher for enrollment.
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Spring Arbor University Spring Arbor University is Michigan’s largest Christian University and has both undergraduate and graduate programs available. Some programs like the MA in Communication degree can be taken online and assignments can be completed and turned in from your home, library, and even on-the-go with no special software required.
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Southern New Hampshire University The Southern New Hampshire University is a highly-rated college based in Manchester, New Hampshire, placing it in a city field with a vibrant culture and history. However, you can obtain an MA in Communication Administration or specialize in Public Relations or New Media & Marketing through online classes without having to spend time on campus for completion, cutting down on commuting and living expenses.
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