Communication and Journalism Careers
Communication, arguably, is the most important skill used in any career across industries, as well as in your personal life, relationships and navigating the world. Communication studies involve mass media and communications (newspapers, journalism, radio, television, etc.), speech communication (rhetoric, speechwriting, public speaking, interpersonal communication), and public relations, marketing and advertising (corporate communications, media messages, social media, etc.)
There are several different facets of communications.
Communication and Media Studies
- Interdisciplinary coursework in mass communications combined with social sciences and humanities prepares you to work in a career that disseminates information, reports noteworthy news items, or critiques media culture.
- Traditional journalism careers focused on writing for newspapers, magazines, or websites, as well as for broadcast media, about current events using facts and evidence. However, with the addition of digital media and content written in blogs, social media, webcasts and podcasts, there can be a much more editorial bent to information produced and distributed.
Radio, Television and Digital Communication
- Studies the theories and processes of planning, producing and distributing information/communication through broadcast and digital communications including television, radio, and online media.
Public Relations, Advertising and Applied Communication
- Using the skills of persuasive communication, this area involves organizational communication, public relations (management of a company or individual’s brand or public persona and internal communications), and advertising.
- Involves the preparation, print and distribution of information through printed materials, most often books, for sale and consumption. Involves editing, content creation, print production and design, professional communication, technical writing and project management.
New Media Management
- Focus in this area revolves around digital communication—search engine optimization, enterprise web and digital strategies, data, social media campaigns—and the management, finance and marketing functions of communication.
You’ll build a wide variety of skills as a communications major, regardless of the tract you focus in. These skills are extremely transferable, meaning that they can be applied over a variety of roles and industries, even if you don’t work specifically in a communications field.
- Strategic communication
- Public speaking
- Persuasive writing/arguments
- Ability to receive criticism/feedback
- Writing press releases, speeches and targeted media
- Social media
- Interpersonal communication
- Research and analysis
- Decision making
- Problem solving
- Ability to explain complex ideas and processes concisely and clearly
- Attention to detail
- Market strategy
- Organizational communication
Communications majors can become:
- Investigative reporters
- News and feature piece writers
- Radio/television announcers
- Labor relations specialists
- Corporate directors and executives
- Development officer/fundraiser
- Communications managers
- Event planners
- Public relations specialists
- Marketing specialists
- Media buyers
- Media relations specialists
- Promotions managers
- Advertising sales representatives
- Film and video editors
- Graphic designers
- Market research analysts
- Public affairs specialist
- Community affairs specialist
Majors and Concentrations
Communication skills, as important as they are, are taught across disciplines, particularly in reading and writing heavy curriculum like English and Literature majors. However, there are many programs specifically focused on how we communicate the right message to the right audience at the right time.
- Speech communications
- Mass media and communications
- Marketing, advertising and public relations
- Corporate communications
- Business and industrial relations
- Media and film
Jobs and Experiences
One of the beautiful things about communications is that it is used across industries and in every field. Building strong speaking, presentation and written skills can prepare you for all kinds of different roles, from business to nonprofit work.
Here are some examples of fields which hire communication experts:
- Public Relations
- Social and human services
- Government and politics