Bachelor's Degree in Communications: Career and Salary Facts
Find out about available career options with a bachelor's degree in communications. Learn about typical job duties, job skill requirements and earning potential. Schools offering Applied Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Jobs Will I Qualify for with a Bachelor's Degree in Communications?
Graduates with communications degrees are often employed within the business, media, education, nonprofit and government sectors. Within each of these sectors, you could work for a variety of organizations and businesses and hold a wide range of job titles. For instance, you might work for an advertising agency, magazine, newspaper, book publisher, health organization or television network.
Some of the more common areas of business communications that you may enter are journalism, public relations, advertising, sales and marketing. You might work as a public relations specialist, marketing assistant, sales analyst, applicant relations specialist or program coordinator, to name a few examples. If you're interested in politics, you could work for a government agency that focuses on public health or cultural affairs. Alternatively, you could seek a career in education and work as a school counselor, speech pathologist, recruiter or educational consultant.
What Will My Job Duties Be?
While specific job responsibilities vary widely according to job title and industry, communications majors generally serve as liaisons between their employers and customers or the public. For example, as a public relations specialist, you might be responsible for maintaining good relationships with clients for your business or organization. You might be in charge of handling inquiries from consumers, clients, interest groups and the media.
If you work for the government, you might work as a press secretary or spokesperson to inform the public about new activities within an agency. This could involve writing reports, delivering speeches or conducting news presses for the media. As a news reporter or correspondent, you are generally responsible for gathering facts about developing news stories and preparing these stories for print or video publication. Individuals working in advertising, marketing and sales work closely with clients to ensure their satisfaction with products and services on an ongoing basis, which may require some travel.
What Job Skills Will I Need to Succeed?
The ability to present facts and viewpoints clearly and objectively is important, particularly if you work in a high-profile position. Strong writing and editing skills are also necessary, as you may be expected to write and publish news stories, press releases, statements or reports. An ability to interpret and evaluate different types of data and information accurately and efficiently is also expected. Jobs in advertising and marketing require creativity, management and problem solving skills.
In addition, you must enjoy working with others and have a likeable personality; your success may depend on gaining others' trust and confidence. While it is generally not a requirement, candidates with multiple language skills may be in high demand in the expanding global economy.
How Much Can I Expect to Earn?
Your earnings potential will depend on your position, the industry in which you work and level of experience. While not all positions available to communications majors can be included here, salary information for a few of the more common occupations held by communications majors are provided.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, median annual wages of public relations specialists were $52,090 in May 2010 (www.bls.gov). In addition, broadcast news analysts had median annual wages of $54,140, and those of reporters and correspondents were $34,530. Advertising and promotions managers earned much higher median annual wages of $83,890, also in May 2010.
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