College Major Spotlight: Communication Studies
What is communication studies?
Communication studies is a program that looks at various types and aspects of mass communication and interpersonal communication, examining communication theory, the role of communication in society, interpreting different forms of media and putting it all into practice. Types of communication covered in a communication studies program could range from mass media and journalism, multimedia communication such as film and broadcast, strategic communication, and sometimes even theatre.
What do graduates of communication studies programs do?
Graduates of communication studies programs take on a variety of careers. Communication graduates can go into public relations, print journalism or broadcast journalism, advertising or marketing, publishing, writing, editing and many other pursuits.
Types of jobs available to communication studies majors:
There are several jobs open to graduates of communication studies programs, especially since the concepts and skills learned in communication studies apply to arguably any field, such as teaching and business. Often, graduates of communication studies integrate their written and spoken communication skills into journalism as reporters, writers, news analysts, editors, broadcast correspondents and broadcast newseditors. Other communication studies graduates may apply interpersonal communication skills in public relations careers as consultants, promoters, spokespersons and writers.
Job outlook for graduates of communication studies programs:
There tends to be tight competition in fields common to graduates of communication studies programs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of public relations specialists is expected to grow by 18 percent from 2006 to 2016, faster than average for all occupations, however, there are still more graduates in related programs than jobs available.Employment of advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales managers should be similarly competitive and is also expected to increase by 12 percent through 2016.
However, employment in writing, editing and broadcasting are only expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations or slower, from 2006 to 2016, and employment of news analysts, reporters, and correspondents is expected to have little or no change in employment (an estimated 2 percent between 2006 and 2016), making these fields particularly difficult to break into, especially in large cities and metropolitan areas. In these fields in particular, many find that the lifestyle of freelance writing or working with the news can be too stressful or less glamorous than anticipated, producing more job openings for more serious candidates.
As in any field, employers will seek candidates who have notable work or internship experience, especially since careers in communications are so competitive. Candidates with computer skills, especially those familiar with new media and social media, will also have a much higher advantage.
What type of a communication studies program should you consider?
Practical career experience is extremely important when searching for a career in communication studies, but many in communications careers have a bachelor’s degree in communication studies or a concentration of communication, such as journalism or strategic communication. Those interested in a career in communications are also encouraged to take courses in the liberal arts and should look for communication studies programs that encourage both hands-on experience and a broad foundation in the liberal arts. Consider taking the myUsearch college match quiz to find communication studiesprograms that meet your needs.