A bachelor’s degree in communications carries the potential to launch graduates down a wide range of intriguing career paths. It can lead to dynamic opportunities designed to prepare students for the professional world. If you’re wondering, “Is communications a good major for me?” you might want to start by taking a closer look at how a communications program prepares you for exciting careers in the communications field and beyond.
The Skill Set of a Communication Graduate
Studies indicate that we spend anywhere between 50 percent and 80 percent of our workday involved in some sort of communication, whether it’s face-to-face, phone, email, video conference, or yet another form. Because this element of business is so visible, it may be easy to assume that a communications degree simply teaches people how to take these essential skills to the proverbial next level. This assumption, however, sells both the skills and the profession short.
The most important skill to have in a successful communications career is knowing how to creatively apply the right type of messaging in a specific situation. Doing so requires having substantial knowledge of traditional and modern communication techniques, the ability to seamlessly adapt strategies and tactics to advanced media trends, a deft understanding of the intended audience, and a capacity for conducting extensive research.
Why is communications a good major? Because being skilled in these areas is an element that can help you excel in the professional realm, both in communications roles and in all sorts of other positions. It is a skill set that enables you to deliver an organization’s desired messages clearly and correctly, which could ultimately yield positive results with the public or within an organization’s clientele or demographic.
A Look at a Communication Curriculum
The curriculum for a communication degree is typically driven by a mix of classroom study and applied, hands-on experience. The latter element is partially shaped by the specific area of emphasis the student chooses to pursue.
Typically, the completion of a communications curriculum culminates in at least one internship that corresponds with the student’s concentration. Some curricula recommend multiple internships within the student’s course of study.
Possible Careers for Communications Degree Holders
Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in communications opens individuals up to several careers. Because of the unique and versatile skill set that the field of communications entails, it can also allow you to become involved in a wide range of industries.
Public Relations Specialist
Arguably the profession most readily associated with a communications degree, a public relations, or PR, specialist uses the skills gained in a communications program to develop and maintain a positive public image for his or her business or organization. The PR specialist curates this image by writing press releases, communicating with the media, managing social media, and evaluating promotional strategies.
These professionals may be subject to working long hours and can occasionally function as the “face” of an organization through speech delivery and community activities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for a PR specialist is around $59,000 per year.
Social Media Strategist
As members of an emerging, still-evolving field, social media strategists keep the public informed about a company, product, or brand via social media platforms. People in this position typically run their employers’ social media accounts, using them to build and expand a brand’s reputation. In addition to posting relevant content to these accounts, they also follow online conversations and interact with the public.
Effective social media strategists must be informed on relevant social media trends, such as emerging apps and user demographics. Since they serve as the online “face” of their company, they must be strong communicators and engage with the public in a way that upholds their company’s brand image and values.
They may work in almost any industry and may occasionally have to work unorthodox hours to cover company-related functions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for a social media strategist is about $56,800.
Event planners oversee the coordination of professional events and meetings. This broad responsibility includes arranging the event location, coordinating transportation logistics, and working with various organizations associated with the event to prevent lapses in communication.
The work environment is typically split between the office and event sites, and event planners may have to work long hours in the days leading up to an event. According to BLS, the median pay for an event planner is around $48,000 per year.
Launch your Career with a Communications Major
Is communications a good major? The answer is a resounding yes. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in communications can lead to a wealth of exciting and rewarding career opportunities in a wide host of industries. Each of these opportunities can enable professionals to transform an essential component of the workplace into a tool powerful enough to grow an organization’s reach and influence.
If you’re considering a degree in communications, check out Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Arts in Communication program. Find out how Maryville can help you prepare for a range of exciting career possibilities in communications.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Public Relations Specialists
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts
Bureau of Labor Statistics, You’re a What? Social Media Specialist