Careers in Communications and Media

Explore some of the many careers in the communications and media fields, such as public relations, broadcasting and marketing. Learn about the duties and educational requirements for these job options. Review the salary potential for each career discussed. Schools offering Applied Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Careers Are in Communications and Media?

A career in communications and media involves utilizing various media platforms to help publicize news, events, people, products, or an artistic message. Public relations specialists focus on how to represent and gain awareness for an organization through press releases, media, drafting speeches and assessing advertising and promotion programs. Journalism and broadcasting jobs use television, newspapers, magazines, websites and radio to report news. Those in this field conduct interviews and research in order to prepare news articles. Marketing and advertising jobs are another option for those interested in a career in communications and media. Employees in marketing and advertising create marketing plans, negotiate contracts and choose advertising media to create interest in a product. For deeply creative individuals, jobs in writing, acting and producing also involve communication, though often on an artistic, personal level. Learn some more important details about these careers below:

Public Relations SpecialistReporters & CorrespondentsMarketing ManagerWriters & Authors
Degree Required Bachelor'sBachelor'sBachelor'sBachelor's
Education Field of Study Public Relations, CommunicationsJournalism, Broadcasting, Mass CommunicationsMarketing, AdvertisingEnglish, Communications, Journalism
Key Responsibilities Handle an organization's public image, write press releases, handle media requestsDelivering the news, conducting interview, researching news storiesPromote a client's products and servicesWriter books, short stories and articles
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 6%-8%9%2%
Median Salary (2015)* $56,770$36,360$128,750$60,250

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Need to Start a Career in Public Relations?

Communications and media are two broad professional fields, and public relations is one way to go if you're interested in learning how people and businesses communicate to wide audiences. As a public relations account executive, account manager or director, you'll represent clients to their consumer base. You can determine the public message a client wishes to send out and then devise a strategy to execute it. You might publicize new products or services, write press releases and handle media requests.

Consider earning a bachelor's degree in either public relations or communications. While enrolled in such a degree program, you could learn how to hone your writing, critical-thinking and communication skills. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), public relations specialists made a median annual salary of $56,770 in May 2015 ( This career was expected to see an employment growth of 6% between 2014 and 2024, due to the growth of social media.

What Jobs are Available in Journalism and Broadcasting?

Jobs in journalism and broadcasting also make up a large portion of the communications and media fields. If you choose to become a news analyst, correspondent, reporter or freelance journalist, your responsibility will be to gather information on newsworthy events and present them to the public in a written or broadcast format. You might consider completing a bachelor's degree program in such a major as journalism, broadcasting or mass communications. You'll want to complete courses that can provide you with the skills to interview sources, research news documents and write news articles.

The BLS reported that employment for reporters and correspondents was expected to decrease 8% in the 2014-2024 timeframe. This decline is due to declining revenue for advertising. Reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts earned a median annual wage of $36,360 in May 2015.

What Job Duties are Involved with the Marketing and Advertising Professions?

A position in marketing or advertising sales may suit you more if you're interested in the business end of communications and media . As a marketing manager, you'll promote the goods and services of a particular business or client. You can help determine prices and distribution sites for those goods. You might also decide to become a promotions or advertising manager, and you'll decide how to best market a product through commercial, print or radio advertisements.

A bachelor's degree in advertising, marketing, journalism, sales or business administration can prepare you for a career as a marketing or advertising manager. According to the BLS, marketing managers should see a 9% employment growth from 2014 to 2024, while advertising managers are predicted to see a 5% growth. Marketing managers received a median annual salary of $128,750 in May 2015 and advertising and promotions managers earned $95,890.

What Creative Jobs are Linked to Communications and Media?

The creative end of the media and communications field could lead you to a career as an author, actor, producer or director. As a writer, you might find yourself authoring articles, short stories, essays, poems or novels. The BLS stated that $60,250 was the median annual salary for writers and authors in May 2015. A bachelor's degree program in English, communications or journalism can help you hone your writing and editing skills.

A bachelor's degree program in media studies, cinema studies, film production, creative writing or theater can help you pursue jobs as an actor, screenwriter, director or producer. A background in dramatic training improves your career chances. Some training in theater management also benefits your resume. Actors received a median hourly wage of $18.80 in May 2015. In the same year, producers and directors made a median annual salary of $68,440.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

One career option for those interested in communication and media is meeting, convention, and event planning. This involves coordinating events and professional meetings. Graphic design would be another alternative that requires designers to use artistic tools to communicate ideas for advertisements, brochures, magazines and reports.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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