Communications majors have a wide range of career options available to them because workers with strong speaking and writing skills are needed in just about every industry. Some fields that job seekers with a bachelor’s in communications may be able to find jobs in include public relations, advertising, nonprofit fundraising and journalism. In addition to a bachelor's in communications, related work experience is a boon to all these industries, and students majoring in communications should seek internships and work opportunities while still in college.
Public relations specialists are responsible for conveying the public image and mission of their employer. Their duties may include writing press releases, giving speeches and addressing any negative reactions to their employer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary in this field was $57,550 in 2010, and job opportunities in the field are expected to grow 23 percent from 2010 to 2020. Job seekers may be able to get a public relations position with a bachelor’s in communications, provided they can show their employer that they have relevant experience. Higher-level PR manager positions usually require several years of work experience in the field.
Communications majors with strong writing skills might be interested in working in the advertising field as copywriters. Copywriters are responsible for producing written content, such as web pages, brochures and advertising campaigns for their employers. According to PayScale, average salaries for copywriters ranged from $32,758 to $51,867 in 2012. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, some copywriter job openings may require candidates to submit a portfolio of professional writing samples.
According to Forbes, nonprofit fundraising is a great field for someone with good communications skills because there are many positions available and relatively little competition compared to other communications fields. The average salary for a fundraiser with five years of experience was recorded at $64,000 as of 2009, and major gift officers or chief fundraising specialists often make six figures. A fundraiser is responsible for building a positive relationship between donors and an organization, so the main qualifications are excellent written and verbal communication skills, people skills and listening abilities.
Although news of “the death of print journalism” has been circulating for years, many journalists are able to find work with online publications. Whether working for an online or print publication, journalists are responsible for conveying important news to the public in a timely manner. Job seekers with a bachelor's in communications may find this a fulfilling job because it requires strong researching and writing skills and may allow them to conduct interviews for stories. The median salary for journalists is $36,000. A master’s degree is not required, but previous work experience with a college newspaper, internship or other publication helps.
Other Fields for Communications Majors
There is no way to compile an exhaustive list of the careers available to people with a bachelor’s degree in communications. Job seekers with a degree in communications may be able to use their academic background to find a position in any field that requires strong interpersonal skills. Some other popular fields for communications majors include speech writing, government communications, Internet marketing, mediation and entertainment.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts
- Forbes: Where the Jobs Are: Development and Fundraising
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012: Media and Communications Workers
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Public Relations Managers and Specialists
- Advertising Educational Foundation: Guide to Careers in Advertising
- Educational Portal: Copywriter: Salary, Duties, Outlook, and Requirements
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