Since the advent of the internet, the communications field has expanded from its traditional analog nature to also reflect the multitude of ways in which we communicate digitally.
Today, communication programs in college can incorporate web design, political campaigns, crisis management, law, and a number of other fields of study. Communication graduates emerge with an education in social media, digital marketing, corporate and product branding, writing, and data analysis. Knowledge in these areas is valuable across industries, making graduates appealing to a wide range of employers.
Why major in communications? Because degree holders have access to a wide array of career possibilities.
Benefits of a Communication Major
Communication degree graduates not only learn how to pitch and lead media campaigns, they learn how to create content that is designed to engage an organization with its clients. In addition, graduates often find they’ve developed enhanced media relations and public speaking skills, problem-solving and decision-making skills, and a flair for writing with clarity and precision.
The knowledge and skills graduates gain in a communication degree program are transferable to a range of industries in both the public and private sectors. Examples of some of the fields that employ communication major graduates include the following.
- Government agencies
- Digital marketing
- Higher education
- Public relations
Careers with a Communications Degree
Students who complete an online bachelor’s in communication degree program can choose to pursue a wide variety of positions.
A media strategist helps companies reach their target audiences by planning their communication strategies, including inbound marketing, email newsletters, paid advertising, social media, videos, and graphics. Strategists research target audiences and track customer data and habits to refine a company’s strategy.
Some media strategists work in-house for larger companies, while small businesses may opt to hire a digital agency that has a media strategist on staff.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates employment for this occupation is expected to grow by 4% between 2018 and 2028, about as fast as what’s projected for all other occupations. The compensation website PayScale reports that as of May 2020, the average starting salary for media strategists was $36,000, up to an average annual wage of $52,762.
Account managers oversee the sales cycle by communicating the benefits and features of a product or service to potential customers. They also handle negotiations and maintain the client relationship once they close a deal. Most companies have a sales department, and account managers are typically the senior sales staff, applying their experience and finesse to cultivating client connections.
Account managers do most of their work in an office, with some positions requiring travel anywhere from 25% to 90% of the time.
According to PayScale, as of May 2020, the starting salary for account managers was $37,000, up to an average annual wage of $54,275. Most account managers earn a base salary plus commission. In terms of anticipated job growth, the BLS projects employment for this occupation will increase by 5% between 2018 and 2028, which is about as fast as what’s projected for all other occupations.
Public Information Officer
A public information officer (PIO) typically works in a government setting, handling communications. Professionals tend to attain this position after working in a public relations capacity that reflected increasing levels of responsibility for conveying information to the media and public.
Work typically takes place in an office, but may require speeches on location and attending meetings or events.
The BLS projects employment for this profession will grow by 6% between 2018 and 2028, which is as fast as the average for all other occupations. The BLS further reports that as of May 2019, the starting salary for PIOs was $34,590, up to an average annual wage of $61,150.
Social Media Manager
Social media managers are increasingly in demand as the number of social media outlets increases, proliferating from platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and many more. Social media managers are responsible for analyzing the platforms for highest engagement, writing posts, creating videos, and creating a content schedule. They may also respond directly to customers.
These professionals perform many of their tasks in an office, but may need to occasionally travel to locations to capture photos, shoot video, or coordinate event activities.
The BLS classifies social media managers under the blanket category of advertising, promotions, and marketing managers. Consequently, the projected job growth for social media managers is consistent with what’s forecast for advertising managers, and that’s predicted to be 8% between 2018 and 2028. This anticipated growth is faster than what’s forecast for all other occupations.
In terms of annual earnings, PayScale reports that as of May 2020, the starting salary for social media managers was $35,000, up to a median annual wage of $50,816.
Your Path Toward a Career in Communications Starts at Maryville University
The natural answer to why you’ll want to major in communications is that the career possibilities are exciting, especially if you’re driven to reach others with compelling, well-crafted messages.
Enrolling in Maryville University’s online bachelor’s degree in communication program is the first step toward pursuing careers in this field.
The program’s coursework is available in one of two concentrations: strategic communication or emerging media strategy and social media. This choice enables students to focus their energy and resources in the specialization that interests them most, whether devising strategies for organizations, or learning about the latest media trends and how they’re changing our world. Are you ready to be brave and take the first steps toward a dynamic career in communications? Discover how completing an online bachelor’s degree in communication from Maryville University can help prepare you for the future you want.
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Future Communications Trends: An In-Depth Look
Effective Business Communication for Millennials & Gen Z
PayScale, Average Media Strategist Salary
PayScale, Average Social Media Manager Salary
Sprout Social, “Social Media Manager vs. Community Manager: What’s the Difference?”
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Media and Communications Occupations
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Public Relations Specialists