Communication Studies

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Area

Business 

  • Sales
  • Customer service
  • Management
  • Insurance:
    • Underwriting
    • Claims management
    • Sales

  • Real estate:
    • Property management
    • Sales
  • Human resources
  • Training and development

  • Labor relations
  • Writing/Editing
  • Corporate communication
  • Office management

Employers

  • Product and service organizations
  • Retail stores
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Manufacturers

  • Banks and financial institutions
  • Insurance companies
  • Hospitals and other healthcare organizations
  • Print and electronic media

  • Real estate agencies
  • Consulting firms
  • Research firms
  • Other business corporations

Strategies

  • Earn a minor in business or take business classes.
  • Develop strong verbal and written communication, interpersonal, and analytical skills.
  • Learn to work well on a team.
  • Seek leadership roles in other campus organizations.
  • Gain experience through internships, part-time, or summer jobs.
  • Develop computer skills in areas such as spread sheets, databases, and presentation software.
  • Join related professional associations.
  • Conduct informational interviews to learn about jobs of interest and to build a network of contacts.
  • Be prepared to start in entry-level positions such as management trainee programs.
  • Look for companies that have an interest in hiring “any major.”

Area

Public Relations/Advertising

  • Public relations
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Corporate public affairs

  • Investor relations
  • Development
  • Event coordination
  • Media analysis/planning

  • Creative directing
  • Writing/Editing
  • Audience analysis
  • Public opinion research

Employers

  • Private corporations
  • Public relations firms
  • Advertising agencies
  • Radio and television companies
  • Public opinion research firms

  • Sports and entertainment organizations
  • Hospitality and tourism industry
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Government agencies

  • Labor unions
  • Educational institutions
  • Consulting firms
  • Freelance

Strategies

  • Take courses in marketing, advertising, public relations, or other area of interest.
  • Gain experience through internships, even if unpaid.
  • Develop excellent writing and public speaking skills.
  • Serve as public relations officer of an organization.
  • Develop a portfolio of writing samples, ad campaigns, and other relevant work.
  • Join related professional associations.
  • Find a mentor in a related field to provide career guidance.
  • Consider moving to cities with larger numbers of job opportunities.
  • Be prepared to start at the bottom and work into positions with greater responsibility.

Area

Media 

  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Copywriting
  • Publishing

  • Producing
  • Managing/Directing
  • Research

  • Media sales
  • Media planning
  • Broadcasting

Employers

  • Publishing firms including newspaper, magazine and book
  • Wire services and syndicates
  • Literary agencies

  • Internet sites
  • Television and radio stations

  • Film industry
  • Freelance

Strategies

  • Take elective courses in journalism, broadcasting, public relations, and advertising.
  • Develop excellent interpersonal, presentation, and research skills.
  • Work for campus or local newspaper, radio station, or television station.
  • Get related experience through internships, even if unpaid.
  • Learn webpage design and software packages relevant to publishing and media.
  • Develop a portfolio or audition tape depending on the industry.
  • Be willing to take any job in the field to get a foot in the door.

Area

Non-Profit

  • Administration
  • Management
  • Grant writing
  • Writing/Editing
  • Fundraising/Development

  • Public relations
  • Volunteer coordination
  • Program coordination
  • Research

  • Religious Work:
    • Pastoral and other religious leadership
    • Mission work
    • Religious camp administration
    • Local ministries, e.g. youth, adult, education

Employers

  • Local and national nonprofit organizations
  • Professional associations
  • Chambers of commerce
  • Community centers

  • Philanthropies
  • Hospitals
  • Foundations

  • Churches, synagogues, mosques
  • Religious organizations (e.g. camps, retreat centers, denominational boards)
  • Think tanks

Strategies

  • Take courses in psychology, sociology, or social work to broaden perspective.
  • Develop a wide array of skills including writing, speaking, budgeting, and grant writing.
  • Obtain leadership roles in relevant campus, church, or community groups.
  • Complete one or more internship(s) with nonprofit organizations.
  • Learn to work well with different types of people.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and experience in a specialty area, e.g. public health, environment, urban issues.
  • Research organizations’ values to find a good fit with yours. It is critical that you are knowledgeable about and and care about the organizations’ missions.
  • Consider earning a master’s degree in public administration or non-profit administration.
  • For religious work, research requirements to enter leadership in the faith you want to pursue. For example, Master of Divinity and denominational ordination are required for most clergy positions.

Area

Government

  • City or town management
  • Community affairs
  • Campaigning
  • Legislative assistance
  • Public information

  • Research
  • Lobbying
  • Conflict negotiation
  • Program administration

  • General services
  • Social services
  • Foreign service
  • Legislative, executive, or judicial services

Employers

  • There are over 170 departments and agencies in the federal government. Conduct research to determine which are a good fit for you.
  • Local and state government
  • Political parties

  • Political action committees
  • Legislatures and other elected public officials
  • School districts
  • Court systems
  • Think tanks

Strategies

  • Minor in an applicable interest area such as business, political science, or public administration.
  • Take courses in conflict management and develop negotiation skills.
  • Volunteer to work on a local or national political campaigns.
  • Join related student organizations and earn leadership roles. Get involved with student government and campus campaigns.
  • Complete an internship with a government agency to get a foot in the door.
  • Maintain a strong grade point average as many government programs are very competitive.
  • Learn local, state, and federal government job application procedures. Visit the campus career center for assistance.
  • Develop a network of contacts through informational interviews and referrals.

  • Prosecution
  • Defense
  • Contractual

  • Corporate
  • Nonprofit or public interest
  • Government

  • Mediation
  • Other specialties
  • Law assistance

Employers

  • Law firms
  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Private practice
  • Corporations

  • Special interest groups
  • Universities and colleges
  • Legal aid societies

  • Nonprofit and public interest organizations, e.g. ACLU, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Legal Services Corporation
  • Legal clinics
  • Other private legal services

Strategies

  • Develop strong research skills and attention to detail.
  • Participate in debate or forensic team to hone communication skills.
  • Choose courses or a minor to specialize in a particular area of law, e.g. a minor in business for a career in corporate law.
  • Find part-time or summer work in a law firm.
  • Shadow an attorney to learn more about the field and various specialties.
  • Get involved in pre-law organizations.
  • Plan to attend law school and earn a law degree. Maintain a high grade point average and secure strong faculty recommendations. Prepare for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test).
  • Obtain specialized certification for paralegal positions.

Area

Higher Education 

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Information/Library science
  • Fundraising/Development
  • University communications/Outreach

  • Administration and Student Support Services:
    • Admissions, financial aid. advising, development, alumni affairs, international education and study abroad, student affairs (e.g. residence life, student activities, orientation, leadership, Greek life, multicultural affairs, recreational sports)

Employers

  • Four-year colleges and universities
  • Two-year and community colleges

  • Technical schools
  • Medical and professional schools

Strategies

  • Ph.D. required for teaching and research in colleges and universities. Maintain a high grade point average and secure strong faculty recommendations. Assist a faculty member with research.
  • Earn a master’s degree in information science for librarianships or college student personnel/higher education administration for other positions.
  • Develop strong interpersonal communication and public speaking skills.
  • Get involved in campus leadership roles in residence halls, student unions/activities, programming boards, orientation, admissions, etc.
  • Learn to work well with a variety of people.

General Information

  • Communication Studies is a broad degree that can lead to job opportunities in many different fields. Skills and experiences gained through co-curricular activities, internships, part-time jobs, and volunteering are critical in shaping a career path. Develop a career goal and seek the right background to become a strong candidate.
  • Communication Studies is good preparation for graduate school in many disciplines including communication, law, education, business, public administration. Maintain a strong grade point average to increase opportunities for admission into graduate programs.
  • Explore specializations within major and professional field. Select electives to enhance knowledge in area(s) of interest or find a minor that will add value.
  • Develop strong written and verbal communication skills and excellent interpersonal skills. Gain experience with public speaking by joining Toastmasters.
  • Get involved in campus activities and professional organizations. Learn to work well on a team and develop leadership skills.
  • Build a network of contacts. Once in a position, find an experienced mentor.