Graduating with a degree in communications is a great way to leave you with the verbal and written skills employers love. In fact, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the ability to communicate verbally and the ability to write and edit written reports are among the top 10 skills employers are looking for.
But what can you do with these skills? Does it pay to study communication? Certainly, it does! Consider pursuing one of the following career paths ideal for communication students, listed in no particular order.
1. Public Relations Specialist
Average Salary: $54,170
Suggested Minor: Public Relations or Marketing
At a minimum, public relations specialists need a bachelor’s degree to get into the field. Majoring in communications makes you a great candidate for this position since you’ll be designing media intended to communicate with a large audience. Understanding how to send the right message is crucial in this field. As a public relations specialist, you’ll be in charge of maintaining a positive public image with the company or organization you represent through media and personal interactions.
2. Advertising or Marketing Manager
Average Salary: $115,750
Suggested Minor: Marketing
Most advertising and marketing job openings require that applicants hold a bachelor’s degree. Working your way up to become a marketing manager for a large company can mean some big bucks, but even if you’re not leading the team, marketing is a great career path for communication students. In an advertising or marketing position, you will create projects designed to promote a business, product, or service. You may work with visual, verbal, or written media, and your background in communications will help you understand your audience and how they will react to your messages.
Average Salary: $37,090
Suggested Minor: Journalism
While there are many journalism programs available, most journalism openings prefer applicants have either a journalism degree or a communications degree. If you’re already on your way to finishing your communications degree, this can be a viable career path for you. As a journalist, you’ll research current news stories and create reports designed to inform the public.
Average Salary: $55,940
Suggested Minor: Advertising or Marketing
Copywriters must have excellent communication skills as their job duties include writing advertising copy meant to persuade an audience. A communications background is excellent because you have a firm handle on how to convey your message and how your audience will react.
5. Technical Writer
Average Salary: $65,500
Suggested Minor: Computer Science, Web Design, or Engineering
Technical writing is a fantastic career choice for communication majors for much the same reasons as copywriting is. However, technical writing involves a lot more background knowledge in the subject you’ll be writing about, which is why it’s good to take classes in computer science or engineering. As a technical writer, you will prepare instruction manuals and other materials to convey complex and technical information in simple terms.
6. Graphic Designer
Average Salary: $44,150
Suggested Minor: Art, Graphic Design, or Visual Communication
Graphic designers possess incredible communication skills that they convey through artistic designs, usually by hand or through computer programs. They may work on web development, in advertising, or in publishing. Given the depth of communication skills needed, communication majors who have experience in design are wonderful candidates for this career path. Some colleges offer a graphic design emphasis to communication majors along with art, visual communication, and related minors that will help you develop the artistic skills you need for the career.
Average Salary: $55,050
Suggested Minor: Education
With a degree in communications, you can pass on what you’ve learned by becoming a teacher. Teaching language arts, English, speech, or debate are all areas you can get into. Make sure to check your state’s requirements for licensing if you choose to pursue this career.
8. Social Media Manager
Average Salary: $45,207
Suggested Minor: Social Media or Marketing
As a fairly new job title, social media manager jobs are bounding with opportunities. As a social media manager, it is your job to manage a company’s social media accounts by writing and posting updates, responding to customer comments, developing content strategies, and maintaining a positive image for the company. Social media managers must have excellent communication skills and a strong knowledge of social media platforms.
9. Human Resource Assistant
Average Salary: $37,680
Suggested Minor: Business
While working in human resources doesn’t require a degree, almost every job listing will require that applicants have above average communication skills, both written and verbally--for good reason, too. Working as a human resources assistant involves managing and keeping records, conducting employee orientations, and assisting in the hiring process.
10. School or Career Counselor
Average Salary: $53,610
Suggested Minor: Psychology
Given a school counselor’s job, it’s important that candidates have strong communication skills. As a school counselor, you will help students develop social skills, assist students in making career and postsecondary choices, and oftentimes teach workshops. Many job openings for school counselors require a master’s degree and licensing, so be sure to check your state’s requirements.
What do you think? Can you see yourself pursuing one of these career options? Let us know in the comment section below.
Salary statistics not linked have been compiled from BLS.gov.