Best Jobs for Communications Majors
If you are fascinated by how you might influence, entertain and inform others by creating the best possible media content for an audience, a communications major may be right for you.
Communications majors learn how to assess the needs and preferences of readers, viewers, and listeners. They have the creativity to devise innovative strategies for conveying their messages. Communications majors learn to write effectively in many different modes including creative, persuasive, descriptive, and journalistic styles. They also exercise the ability to integrate pictures, video, and audio into the communications which they create.
Students who major in communications learn to plan, organize, and execute projects, programs, and events. They must be attentive to detail but at the same time understand the big picture. Since communication projects are often subject to criticism and failure, communications majors learn to tolerate critical appraisals of their work and to cope with less than successful ventures.
Your final decision about a career following a major as diverse as communications will be influenced by your individual interests, skills, and values, but here are some promising options for your consideration.
Review some of the best job opportunities for communications majors, along with the skills you will need to get hired.
1. Public Relations Specialists
Organizations of all types are concerned about how they are perceived by the public. Communications majors are well positioned to think strategically about how to influence public perceptions through the media. PR professionals write press releases, organize press conferences, and other events and convince the media that stories about the organization have journalistic merit.
Some public relations representatives work for public relations, marketing, and advertising agencies which service a roster of different clients. Others work directly for corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations in communications departments to get the right messages out about their employer.
2. Meeting/Event Planner
Successful events require a compelling theme and effective promotion in order to attract a viable group of attendees. Communications majors are favorably positioned to assess the interests of consumer groups, members of professional organizations and interest groups, and to package events in an appealing way. They have the detail orientation and organizational skills to think through the process and consider all the needs of presenters and attendees.
Event planners can tap the public speaking skills developed in their communication studies to make announcements and introduce speakers at programs. Their writing skills help them to compose press releases, write descriptions, and biographies for event literature and create online content about meetings.
3. College Alumni and Development Officers
Alumni officers evaluate the needs of various alumni groups and plan events such as reunions, networking receptions, and social events to maintain an alumni connection to their alma mater.
Development officers study prospective donors and present the aspects of the college which correspond to the interests of particular individuals.
The ability of communications majors to create carefully worded and concise written communications helps the development officer to make their pitches effectively. Development and alumni officers both need to exercise a great deal of social finesse in their interactions with alumni, parents, and other potential donors.
4. Media Planner
Media job planners need to understand the web surfing, viewing, reading, and listening inclinations of consumers in order to select the best mix of media outlets for an advertising campaign.
Communications majors are uniquely qualified to examine the way demographic groups consume the media so they can anticipate the optimal placement of advertisements within television/ radio programs, websites, and magazine, and newspaper articles.
Media planners also tap the presentation and writing skills developed through communication studies as they pitch their plans to advertising colleagues and executives.
5. Social Media Manager
The social media is all about communicating with people of interest. It is no surprise that communications majors, who are trained to analyze patterns of communication, are well qualified to help organizations leverage their brands within the social media.
Social Media managers must be good writers in order to compose messages about their organization which will appeal to visitors within media outlets like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. They must also have the persuasive abilities and presentation skills to pitch their plans to staff and convince colleagues and customers to contribute testimonials and other content online.
6. Human Resources Professional
Human Resources professionals are responsible for communication intensive functions within organizations including recruiting staff, orienting new employees, developing training programs, conveying policies to staff, educating employees about benefits and creating employee newsletters.
HR staff use public speaking skills to deliver presentations to current/prospective staff and writing skills to create employee manuals, compose web content and produce recruiting literature. They use verbal communication skills cultivated by the communications major to counsel/advise employees and interview candidates for jobs.
7. Business Reporter
The proliferation of financial and business media has opened up opportunities for communications majors with an interest in business and finance. Business reporters tap journalistic writing skills to cover developments within businesses, industry and the economy in general for websites, television stations, newspapers, and magazines. They must be able to convey business information in language, which is understandable by the general public.
In order to cover stories, business reporters use the interpersonal skills developed by the communications major to cultivate relationships with insiders within the business sector. They must have the persuasive ability to convince editors about the viability of their ideas for articles.
8. Health Educator
Health Educators assess the health-related problems and needs of a target population and formulate programs to address those issues. A key component of their work is understanding the attitudes and perceptions of their constituents regarding health concerns. They must develop and present workshops and seminars geared toward their audience. Health educators produce web content and literature which will appeal to their constituents.
Organizational and event planning skills are essential when orchestrating and promoting health fairs and other programs. Verbal communication skills are critical when advising students, employees, or the general public in one on one sessions.
9. Brand Manager
Brand Managers oversee the positioning of products and services within the public's consciousness. They analyze consumer reactions to their products based on factors such as price, consumer experience, packaging, and accessibility. Brand managers supervise the development of communication intensive campaigns including advertising, promotion, and public relations to enhance sales.
Brand managers must have the interpersonal and communication skills to engender the cooperation of other sales, marketing, and advertising partners. The critical eye of the communications major is needed to evaluate ads, commercials, and other marketing copy.
10. Sales Representative
Most communications majors won't be thinking of sales as an eventual career when they enter college. However, they will learn many skills while studying communications which can lead to a successful and lucrative career in sales.
Communications majors learn to assess the preferences of an audience just as a salesperson must be able to anticipate the needs of her customers. The verbal, writing and communication skills mastered through the major will equip the salesperson to devise and deliver the right pitch to various types of consumers or businesses.
Communication Major Skills
Here's a list of the skills that employers seek when hiring communication majors. Highlight the skills you acquired during your studies, internships, and jobs held during college in your cover letters, resume, and job applications.
A - C
- Accenting the Positive
- Active Listening
- Administering Surveys
- Aesthetic Sensibility
- Articulating Clearly
- Composing Text for Websites
- Conducting Research
- Conflict Resolution
- Constructing Valid Arguments
- Coordinating Events
- Convey Organization Perspective and Mission
- Create PowerPoint Presentations
- Critical Thinking
- Critiquing Text
- Cultivating Relationships with Media Contacts
D - I
- Deciphering Non-Verbal Cues
- Decision Making
- Designing Surveys and Questionnaires
- Detail Orientation
- Establishing Quick Rapport with Constituents
- Facilitating Group Discussions and Meetings
- Furnishing Marketing Content
- Gather Information
- Graphic Design
- Identifying Marketable Aspects of a Product, Service or Organization
- Identifying Stakeholder, Client and Consumer Preferences
- Interpreting Research Data
- Introducing Speakers and Panels
L - N
- Logical Reasoning
- Maintaining Composure with Challenging Clients or Constituents
- Managing Others
- Managing Stress
- Marketing Research
- Measuring the Impact of Promotions
- Mediating Conflicts
- Meeting Deadlines
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Mitigating the Impact of Damaging Publicity
- Note Taking
O - R
- Overcoming Objections to Proposals
- Predicting Outcomes
- Problem Solving
- Promotional Writing
- Public Speaking
- Reading Critically
- Receiving Criticism
S - W
- Selecting Appropriate Sources of Information
- Social Media
- Sourcing Information
- Speaking with Confidence
- Speech Writing
- Team Building
- Time Management
- Understanding an Audience's Perspective
- Verbal Communication
- Written Communication
- Writing Copy for Advertising
- Writing Essays
- Writing Memos
- Writing Press Releases
- Writing Reports