Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Why major in communication?

Next to the decision to go to school, the single biggest choice you'll face is choosing your major.  As a college student, you’ll inevitably be asked what your major is roughly 1,873 times.  This question is almost always followed by: “What will you do with a degree in that?”

Well, if you’re a communication major, you could easily fill an hour listing career options.  The truth is, you’ll find communication majors working in every industry.

Among the most widely known communication related fields are journalism, film and video production, public relations, advertising and marketing. These fields host positions such as: social media specialist, marketing communications manager, public relations strategist, communication coordinator, script writer, and public information specialist—to name a few.

We encounter media and communication messages daily—it can’t be avoided. As a society, we rely heavily on seeking and receiving information.  An education in the construction and dissemination of effective messages will provide you with a skillset that can be applied in almost any profession, many of which carry the ability to influence the world.

A communication degree allows you to develop the skills needed to write and speak well, manage multiple communication contexts (including public, interpersonal, and online), and to construct effective persuasive messages. Focusing on communication arms you with the knowledge and skills needed to deliver a clear message, using multiple platforms, to a variety of audiences. 
Maybe you aren't sure which career is perfect for you, but you know you want to get a job when you complete your degree and you want to have options. And--a decent salary wouldn't hurt either! A degree in communication has a longer list of options than many other degrees as well as a higher than average median salary.

If that wasn't enough, communication skills are most often cited among the top skills sought by employers.  All employers are looking for someone that can write and speak effectively, as well as listen and critically analyze information.

Successful communication is critical in all industries—and most facets of life.

Next to communication skills, employers are looking for interpersonal, leadership, and teamwork skills. Each of these is impacted by your ability to communicate.  If you are able to connect with people, especially in an interview, employers are going to want you on their team. 

An earlier blog post cited celebrities with English degrees. Well, rest assured, with a degree in communication, you'll be among good company. David Letterman, Stephen Colbert, Spike Lee, Oprah Winfrey, Matthew McConaughey—they all studied communication.

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