What are you planning to do with your communications degree?
“What are you studying?” is a question that most college students are asked. Unfortunately, many communications majors will then face judgemental blank stares and the inevitable follow-up question “What are you going to do with that?!”
Communications majors often face the stigma that their degrees will be completely useless after graduation. But this negative perception is based on cliches and not on facts. On the contrary, communication skills are amongst the most desired skill sets in the current business landscape.
A communication degree can be incredibly valuable. Media and communication jobs are projected to grow at a rate of 6% in the next 10 years. This degree can prepare you for many exciting careers in the fields of film and video production, public relations, news, media, and many more.
In this blog, we'll explore 24 jobs for communications majors to give you some ideas.
Top skills of communications majors
Communication majors learn a variety of unique and valuable skills involved with taking in, processing, and expressing ideas. In short, they become precise and skilled communicators.
They learn to write effectively in a variety of styles: creative, persuasive, descriptive, and even journalistic.
They learn to assess the needs of readers, viewers, or listeners. Increasingly, communication majors become skilled at the visual aspects of storytelling as well, including the integration of pictures, video, and audio.
Many communications degrees also cover project management, training students to plan, organize, and execute projects, programs, and events.
Here are only a few of the skills that communications majors develop during their studies:
Written and verbal communication
Research and analysis
Attention to detail
Leadership and management
Why are communication skills so important?
Employers value strong communication skills because they are at the forefront of guiding a team toward a singular goal. The ability to articulate a goal, disseminate a plan, and organize collaboration are invaluable to keeping a team focused and working together.
“Communication skills are needed to: speak appropriately with a wide variety of people whilst maintaining good eye contact, demonstrate a varied vocabulary and tailor your language to your audience, listen effectively, present your ideas appropriately, write clearly and concisely, and work well in a group. Many of these are essential business skills that employers seek.” - virtualspeech.com
Further, outside of obvious presentation skills, good communicators make the best leaders. The ability to inspire colleagues, process challenges, or make team members feel heard are unique communication skills that set leaders apart from the crowd. Effective communicators can motivate their teams to accomplish more without misunderstandings.
What kind of jobs do communication majors get?
Communication majors are often interested in effectively informing, entertaining, or influencing others by creating the best content for a particular audience. That's why communication majors find careers in a variety of disciplines, like advertising, marketing, public relations, journalism, broadcasting, media production, and film.
Where can I find jobs for communication majors?
If you're ready to begin your search for jobs that need a communication degree, there are niche job search sites geared specifically towards job postings needing your communication skills.
Mediabistro: Explore creative careers in graphic design, copywriting, social media, marketing, communications, and video
Media Job Board: For careers in media and broadcasting, PR and advertising, journalism, and sales
JournalismJobs.com: Journalism and media job listings for online media, newspapers, TV, radio, magazines, nonprofits, and academia
24 top jobs for communications majors
Below is a list of exciting career paths for communications majors. Some are entry-level positions, while others might require additional training or experience.
1. Public Relations Specialist
PR Specialists develop and maintain public-facing communications strategies to create, guide, and preserve brand identity. This includes writing press releases, building relationships with publications, influencing storylines, positioning branding initiatives, planning and overseeing events, managing media outreach, and tracking and analyzing media coverage. They also work with the news media as a liaison, to keep them informed of their client's or employer's activities and conduct damage control when necessary.
Public Relations Specialists need first rate written and oral communication skills to pitch stories to the media, draft press releases, and interact with the public. They also need to be strategic, organized, and creative.
Average salary: $63k / year
2. Brand Strategist
Brand Strategists develop strategies to position and grow brands. They might work internally or as consultants, to help a brand to achieve its goals such as visibility, repositioning, identity formulation, or, if need be, even reputation control. Brand Strategist is a great job to get with a communication degree.
Average salary: $65k / year
A Journalist reports on important news stories, bringing critical issues to the forefront of public consciousness. They might work in newspapers, radio, podcasts, documentaries, online journals, or blogs.
Average salary: $63k / year
4. News Anchor
News Anchors might work for television or online platforms to deliver major news stories. They are responsible for imparting information in an engaging, concise, and clear manner.
Average salary: $67k / year
5. Business Reporter
Business Reporters are Journalists that cover business trends, like financial news, economic policies, and government issues that affect businesses.
Average salary: $43k / year
6. Marketing Coordinator
Marketing Coordinators are in charge of the creation, organization, and execution of marketing strategies. They generate and monitor marketing campaigns, track marketing metrics, and communicate with management about performance results.
Average salary: $45k / year
Copywriters are wordsmiths who create compelling, persuasive, and interesting marketing materials. They write for brands, appealing to their audiences and elevating their marketing success with blogs, advertising initiatives, slogans, website content, social media posts, email campaigns, and brochures.
Copywriters need to be top communicators, both written and verbal. They must be able to understand the client's goals and distill complex information into easy-to-understand and persuasive phrases.
While many copywriters are self-employed, some work in-house for employers or in advertising agencies or PR firms.
Average salary: $69k / year
8. Managing Editor
A Managing Editor is responsible for the written content that is published in print and digital media outlets. They manage and oversee production and publication, working with Writers, Designers, and others to ensure that the final product is interesting and accurate. They hire and recruit staff, approve publication plans, and make final editing choices. Editors also ensure that the publication meets any legal obligations.
As editors use communication skills daily, reviewing text, interacting with staff and supervisors, pitching content, and more, it's a natural fit for someone with a communications degree.
Average salary: $107k / year
9. Social Media Manager
A Social Media Manager is responsible for creating and managing a company's social media presence. In other words, they develop, implement, and guide marketing and advertising strategies on social media platforms. This includes creating content, monitoring traffic, and generating both organic and paid campaigns to bolster a client's marketing goals.
Social Media Manager is a great role for a communications major, as it makes use of creativity in content creation and communication skills in interacting with customers and followers.
Average salary: $60k / year
10. Product Marketing Manager
Product Marketing Managers develop strategies to position the company's products to customers. They work with their Sales Representatives to generate talking points, incentives, and audience clarity.
Average salary: $153k / year
11. Content Marketing Manager
A Content Marketing Manager oversees an organization's content portfolio, including media, articles, videos, infographics, and podcasts. They develop content strategies and plan, create, and manage content, across platforms such as websites, blogs, and social media, to expand a company's reach.
They maintain editorial calendars, work with writers to generate content, and measure content traffic. They also adapt content to changes in the internet and social media.
Content Strategists need excellent communication skills, as they're managing a team of Writers and Designers and pitching content to clients and management.
Average salary: $122k / year
12. Web Producer
Web Producers ensure that websites offer the best possible user experience. They develop plans to optimize websites by creating content, changing layouts, rearranging menus and structures, adjusting navigation, and more.
Average salary: $57k / year
13. Social Media Planner
A Social Media Planner generally analyzes online platforms and determines strategy and viability for specific advertising or marketing campaigns. They communicate with the platforms to buy spots and track campaign performance.
Average salary: $72k / year
14. Event Manager
An Event Manager plans and manages small and large-scale events and conferences. They coordinate all aspects of events, from start to end, including booking venues and vendors and managing logistics and promotions. They must be highly organized, creative, and able to handle multiple tasks at once. They work with many people throughout the process.
Event Managers work primarily in an agency for outsourcing event planning; however, some are positioned in-house in larger firms.
Average salary: $53k / year
15. Human Resources Manager
HR professionals make a workforce safe and successful. They cover a variety of duties, from recruiting and hiring staff, selecting insurance, improving morale, handling personnel complaints, and managing company-wide communications.
Average salary:$62k / year
Recruiters seek out and screen candidates for open positions. They post job listings, connect potential candidates, conduct interviews, and present the best candidates to the hiring manager.
They need to be strong communicators in order to build relationships with candidates, explain the requirements of a job in detail, and present the company to potential employees. They also need to actively listen to both candidates and hiring managers to find the best match.
Average salary: $52k / year
A fundraiser raises money for nonprofits. They build relationships with donors, write grant proposals, and run fundraising events. Fundraisers need to be capable of crafting compelling appeals and giving persuasive presentations. They are also organized, detail-oriented, and can manage multiple projects simultaneously.
Fundraising allows communications majors to use their skills to make a difference in the world.
Average salary: $61k / year
18. Media Buyer
A Media Buyer guides the planning and purchasing of advertising space and time on behalf of their client. They work with all media types: print, broadcast, digital, and out-of-home.
Media buyers have strong analytical and negotiation skills. They should also be creative, to manage innovative marketing campaigns. They need to be able to communicate effectively with clients, co-workers, and media representatives.
Average salary: $75k / year
19. Public Affairs Specialist
Public Affairs Specialists are in charge of the public-facing communication of their organization. Slightly different to Public Relations Specialists, Public Affairs Specialists tend to be found more often in government agencies and NGOs. As such, they build and maintain relationships with the Media Representatives, government officials, and public information platforms. They create and manage content, press releases, website copy, and social media posts.
Public Affairs Specialists need to be excellent verbal and written communicators, as they're often charged with explaining policy or an organization's actions to the public at large. They need strong interpersonal skills and to keep up with the latest trends in digital and social media.
Average salary: $70k / year
20. Technical Writer
Technical Writers draft user manuals, how-to guides, assembly instructions, and equipment documentation. They are adept at making complex products and systems easy to understand. Working with Engineers and Designers, they ensure that operations are conveyed clearly to the intended audience.
Technical writing is a great career for communications majors, because it combines writing with technical knowledge. You'll also get to learn about a lot of different topics and products.
Average salary: $81k / year
A producer oversees the development, production, and post-production of creative projects, like films, TV shows, plays, or podcasts. They guide and support creative teams to ensure the project stays on the right track creatively, maintain the schedule and budget and ensure that the final product is up to par with the network or studio.
Producers are constantly coordinating with the production team, Directors, Writers, cast, and crew. They need to be able to think swiftly as production work is often unpredictable.
Average salary: $102k / year
A Speechwriter crafts speeches for politicians, businesspeople, and other public figures. They work to capture the voice of that person and deliver persuasive messages to their target audience. Speechwriters might also write answers for interviews or ghostwrite articles or books.
As a Speechwriter, you help to shape the messaging for a public figure and have an impact on how that message is spread. It's highly collaborative work, as you'll interact with other Writers, Editors, and, of course, the person who will be speaking.
Average salary: $96k / year
23. Advertising Account Executive
Advertising Account Executives work with clients to develop advertising campaigns that achieve the client's marketing goals. They manage the account team and ensure that the strategy is upheld.
Advertising Account Executives are excellent communicators, who present ideas to clients, build relationships, and sell concepts. They are also strategists, who often run advertising campaigns for their clients.
Average salary: $133k / year
24. Creative Director
Creative Directors orchestrate the vision and execution of a project or campaign. They coordinate a team of Designers, Writers, and creatives, incubating and birthing concepts. They must think strategically, generate big ideas, and translate them into a cohesive and effective plan.
Creative Directors use communication skills to pitch ideas, give feedback, manage teams, and work with clients.
Average salary: $101k / year
The bottom line
If you're a communications major facing the daunting question, “What are you going to do with that degree?”, rest assured that there are plenty of exciting and lucrative jobs for communications majors to be found. Communication skills are in high demand across multiple industries and in a wide variety of roles. The ability to absorb, process, and communicate ideas and concepts with clarity and ingenuity is, for many businesses, the key to success.
Though you may be becoming a wordsmith, crafting an effective resume is a different task. Let the experts at TopResume help you to hone your document by submitting it for a free resume critique.