Settling on a career can be a daunting task, but the good news is that your prospects as a communications major look pretty good.
Indeed, a communications degree encompasses skills which are required in a variety of sectors, whether that is government, human resources, digital marketing, education, mediation and non-profit.
If you’re wondering what to do with your communications degree, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 15 exciting careers you could pursue.
Average salary: $41,300 / £40,000
Journalists inform the public about news and events on a local, national and international scale. Your duties would range from article writing to carrying out interviews and conducting research to investigating stories and editing media content.
As a communications graduate, your critical thinking skills and ability to produce attractive media output would be a true asset here.
Just like communications, journalism consists of multiple disciplines. Topics of focus can vary from current affairs to economics and daily news to fashion. This means that you can pursue topics you’re interested in within the field and create content which you are passionate about.
2. PR Specialist
Average salary: $60,000 / £54,000
The ultimate objective for a PR specialist is to help companies keep a consistent public image. They achieve this by producing and sharing articles, press releases and events on media platforms. Consequently, as a PR specialist, you would be responsible for shaping the audience’s awareness of the company’s brand.
You would be in charge of crafting positive exposure for a company and increasing awareness of its objectives through different communication channels such as advertising, social media, print and radio.
As a communications graduate, your abilities to craft engaging messages will definitely come in handy.
3. Fundraising Manager
Average salary: $114,800 / £30,400
They say that money makes the world go round; this is also the case for any company and organisation, especially non-governmental.
Your job as a fundraising manager would be to come up with creative promotional campaigns and strategies to raise funds.
One day you could be hosting fundraising events, and the next you could be contacting sponsors and filling in applications for funding grants. Of course, this means that you need to be a great communicator who can appeal to prospective sponsors and donors.
There is a level of charisma and tenacity that’s required to take on this role. As a communications major, both should come naturally to you!
4. HR Manager
Average salary: $113,300 / £92,500
It’s safe to say that HR managers had something to do with the phrase ‘people person’. Their role is integral within any company, as they act as a medium between the management and the employees.
A day in the life of an HR manager revolves around managing, planning and coordinating administration. Besides that, they oversee the interviewing and hiring of new employees.
Your interpersonal skills and refined communication abilities will be crucial for this particular job. Indeed, as an HR manager, you will have to engage with staff on a daily basis, create a good professional relationship with them and, of course, be a people person!
5. Management Consultant
Average salary: $83,600 / £57,500
Management consultants are the problem solvers within any organisation. They work closely with the executives and the management of a business and help them improve executive strategies and organisational designs.
Typically, as a management consultant, you would focus on a specific area of expertise – such as healthcare, IT or marketing – but you could also help the organisation’s leadership to improve the overall performance of the company.
To pursue this career, you need to have strong analytical abilities and an aptitude for communications – two things which should come naturally to a communications graduate!
Average salary: Variable / £108,300
If you are interested in social and political issues, public affairs and legislation, pursuing a career in politics could be an ideal path for you.
As a communication graduate, you will most probably be a seasoned public speaker who knows how to get a message across a diverse group of people. If there is one skill that’s invaluable to a political figure, it’s the ability to communicate their rhetoric persuasively and appeal to large audiences.
Average salary: $120,900 / £62,500
A typical week in a lawyer’s life includes advising and representing clients, drafting legal documents and researching legal records.
The ability to convey convincing arguments and handle complicated cases is a must. Of course, that’s something that comes with experience. To practise law legally, you need to pursue further education and training.
Although law is a career that demands logic and critical thought, the human factor is also an essential element. You need to be diligent not just with how you tackle legal matters but also with the way you approach others. Being an excellent communicator is crucial, then, to present persuading arguments and to mediate with your clients.
8. Technical Writer
Average salary: $71,900 / £58,900
Have you ever wondered who wrote the user manual for your washing machine, smartphone or gaming console? That would be the work of a technical writer, also known as a technical communicator.
As their title might suggest, technical writers deal with technical content. They convert data into accessible, readable texts, graphs or visuals such as instruction manuals, reference guides and white papers.
You would need to be able to create resources that can communicate a clear message. As a communications major, you have probably been faced with such tasks before.
If writing clear and factual text is something you would enjoy, technical writing is another career you could pursue with a communications degree.
9. Event Manager
Average salary: $49,400 / £48,500
Planning parties can be a lot of fun. However, an event manager has a lot more responsibilities than what you might think. This job involves planning, organising, and executing all types of events, including festivals, parties, concerts and conventions.
As an event planner, your to-do list would involve travelling to venues, liaising with vendors, coordinating staff and managing the budget and schedule of an event.
It is not only necessary to have excellent organisational skills but also to possess good interpersonal and communication skills. This will allow you to maintain good relationships with clients and help you make their visions come to life.
10. Social Media Manager
Average salary: $49,700 / £49,000
A social media manager is not only tasked with producing content but also managing companies’ social media accounts. Essentially, your job will be to monitor online traffic, curate the brand’s social channels and craft content that targets the key audience.
Being fluent in social media is, of course, a necessity, but having an aptitude for marketing and visuals will also be essential.
If you have ever dreamed of making a living out of Instagram and Snapchat, here is your chance!
11. Social Worker
Average salary: $49,500 / £32,000
Social work entails helping people in disadvantaged positions cope with various challenges. It involves working in a variety of settings, including mental health clinics, schools, hospitals and private practices.
Social workers are highly empathic and need to assess others’ needs to determine the best way to help them. Having strong interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence is, therefore, crucial, as you would work closely with a variety of individuals in difficult situations.
If you want to use your degree for a greater cause, becoming a social worker could be worthwhile.
12. Higher Education Lecturer
Average salary: $78,500 / £44,000
If you don’t want to leave academia behind after graduation, why not pursue a career within it?
If you are passionate about a subject that revolves around your communications degree, you could become a higher education lecturer. To do that, you will need to complete a master’s degree and a PhD in the speciality of your choice.
Your work will include teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students while carrying out your own research. Moreover, you could also pursue different projects within your department or institution. You’d also have the chance to travel abroad for conferences and collaborate with other institutions.
Academia doesn’t seem so bad after all, does it?
13. Sales Representative
Average salary: $46,100 / £32,500
A sales representative is responsible for – you guessed right – sales! More specifically, their job involves selling a product or service, bringing in new clientele and securing a regular customer base.
As a sales representative, you would rely on your communication abilities to establish good client relationships and sell products and services.
If sales and customer service is something that interests you, this profession might be the one for you! After all, you don’t need to be Jordan Belfort to be able to make a good sales pitch!
14. Graphic Designer
Average salary: $50,400 / £33,000
Graphic designers produce visual communications via different mediums. This includes things like posters, billboards, packaging, logos and marketing materials, depending on their chosen industry.
Your work will involve working with both pictures and text to communicate a visually appealing message. It’s no surprise, then, that you will need to have a good eye for detail!
As a graphic designer, you would use images, text and colour to transform statistical data and make complex ideas accessible. Your communication abilities will extend beyond the messages in your projects, meanwhile, as you will need to delegate with clients and understand what their needs and vision are for every project.
Average salary: $49,900 / £29,000
You would have the chance to work with written communication in various formats, including journals, articles, speeches, prose and poetry. You’d also need to do research and collect relevant information regarding the subject of the text and its target audience.
Having impeccable communication skills is a no-brainer for this career route as it often involves delegating with clients to understand the message they want to convey.
If you are fascinated by the linguistical aspects of communication, this could be an ideal route for you!
The truth is, as a bright-eyed graduate deciding on a career can be challenging. While some people have five-year plans that are as detailed as George RR Martin’s novels, most graduates need some time to figure out their next step.
Regardless of which category you fall into, your degree will grant you access to a diverse list of careers that you can choose from. Use that to your advantage, and gain experience in the fields that interest you.
Even if you are not exactly sure which career to pick, there’s only one way to find out which one is the right fit. And if it’s not, remember that the choices for communications jobs are endless!
Which of these careers did you find the most interesting? Leave your comments below!
Salary information is based on data compiled and published by various sources, including the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the National Careers Service and PayScale.