Is a Communications Degree Worth It? [2021 Guide]
Is a communications degree worth it? A degree in communications has the potential to help you launch an exciting career in nearly any field.
Communications is relevant to jobs in public relations, writing, marketing, and a variety of other areas. You’ll receive training in delivering clear messages to inform or persuade your audience.
Is a Communications Degree Worth It?
Yes, a communications degree is worth it for many students. With an average salary of $59,230 and 4% job growth (Bureau of Labor Statistics), a bachelor’s degree in communications can help you launch a career in this diverse field.
What you can do with a communications degree includes being a technical writer, copywriter, public relations specialist, event planner, and journalist. If your major is in communications, your career could go many different directions after graduation. Some colleges offer concentrations so you can specialize in a particular area. Others have generalist communications degrees.
One option you may consider is a career in writing and publishing. You may be an author who composes content for clients or a technical writer who produces scientific or instructional material. An editing career might be a possibility with your communications degree as well.
Another field to consider is public relations. Your communication skills may help you craft careful messages on behalf of your clients. Some public relations specialists focus on their clients’ social media presence. Others are press secretaries who represent politicians. Fundraising is closely related to public relations.
The news industry depends on communications specialists as well. You could work as a journalist, a reporter, or a broadcast news analyst. These positions may be available with newspapers, television networks, radio stations, and online organizations.
Your job opportunities with an online communications degree don’t end there. You could also consider jobs in event planning, marketing, community affairs, or grant writing. One key benefit of a communications degree is that it’s suitable for a variety of workplaces.
Companies in wide-ranging fields need communication experts, so you might end up in education, business, healthcare, government, or nonprofit work. Self-employment can be another promising option.
How to Decide Whether a Communications Degree Is Right for You
Communications isn’t a one-size-fits-all field of study, so people with different strengths and interests have the potential to succeed in this field.
Even still, possessing the following characteristics may help you decide whether this college major is right for you.
1. Public speaking doesn’t scare you.
While speech day in high school might have left your classmates trembling in fear, you may have been excited by the prospect of delivering a message in front of your peers.
That enthusiasm may come in handy in a communications program. Communications specialists often deliver public messages in small group settings, in front of crowds, or over the air.
Even if you don’t end up in a line of work that requires public speaking, you can still expect to take speech classes in college. Your love of public speaking will help you succeed.
2. You’re open to diverse points of view.
Being able to relate to others may help you deliver messages that resonate with the people who hear them. Knowing your audience will help you know what to say—and what not to say.
To be successful at this, you may have to be willing to get out of your own box and look at the world from others’ viewpoints. If you’re naturally empathetic and have a desire to continually learn and grow, these traits will serve you well in the communications field.
3. Others have complimented you on your creative-thinking skills.
When new ideas are needed, do people turn to you for help? That could be a sign that you’re wired for a communications degree.
Attention-getting communication sometimes requires creativity. You may need to brainstorm unique presentations or engaging taglines. When things go wrong for your clients, the ability to think creatively may help you cast the situation in a positive light.
4. You’ve got a way with words.
Whether it’s through written or oral channels, communications students use words a lot. Good communicators are skilled at arranging their words to inform, persuade, or evoke responses.
An aptitude for grammar may be beneficial too. Poor writing mechanics can detract from a message, so accurate, professional grammar is especially critical for written messages.
Top 5 Things You Can Do with a Communications Degree
Clear communication is important in nearly every industry. Your communications training, whether it be through a bachelor’s or even an associate’s in communications degree program, can help prepare you for many different careers involving writing, speaking, and other methods of relaying information.
If writing is one of your strengths, copywriting is a career path in which you can use your skills for advertising or marketing purposes.
Copywriters create engaging articles or informative text to encourage readers to try a product or service. The copy may be used in print or online media. Many copywriters are self-employed freelancers. Content writing, which involves writing for informational purposes, is a similar line of work.
2. Event Planner
If you’re detail-oriented and like to see projects come together, a job in event planning could be right for you.
As an event planner, you’d coordinate the many details involved in meetings, conventions, weddings, benefits, or other events. You’d think about venues, catering, guest registration, and more.
Event planning can be thought of as a subset of public relations. This discipline has ties to publicity and marketing as well.
In a career as a journalist, you would deliver information about current events or other topics of interest to the public. Your responsibilities might include investigating situations, conducting interviews, and writing news reports.
Some journalists write articles for newspapers, magazines, and websites. Others prepare reports for television or radio news programs. In this line of work, you might also serve as a commentator who interprets or analyzes current events.
4. Public Relations Specialist
In a public relations job, you’d take responsibility for crafting a public image for your clients. PR specialists use press releases, speeches, and other types of announcements to relay information to the media and the public.
Press secretaries, social media specialists, and fundraisers are specific types of PR professionals. With experience, you may be able to advance to a position as a public relations or fundraising manager.
5. Technical Writer
If you’re good at breaking down complicated information and explaining it to others, then you could be a technical writer.
Your work might involve preparing text or diagrams for owner’s manuals, instructional guides, scientific articles, or grant applications. Science and technology are common topics for technical writers to cover. You may need to have training or experience in a particular discipline before you’ll be hired to write about it.
Bachelor’s in Communications Alternatives
Communications is a broad field of study with many different branches to explore. For a more specialized focus, you may want to consider selecting one of these niche areas as your major.
- Bachelor’s in Journalism. As a journalism student, you’ll study all aspects of the news-reporting process, including conducting interviews, editing stories, and producing broadcasts.
- Bachelor’s in Public Relations. Majoring in PR will give you opportunities to study how to conduct public relations research, craft strategic plans, and communicate your organization’s messages with the public.
- Bachelor’s in Social Media Marketing. With this major, you’ll learn how to leverage online channels and promote your clients’ interests through social media networks, search engine optimization, and digital marketing campaigns.
Alternatively, at some schools you may have the option to narrow your focus by selecting a concentration for your communications degree.
Communications Careers & Salaries
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, media and communications occupations pay an average annual salary of $59,230, and positions in this field are expected to increase at a 4% rate through 2029.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers||$135,900|
|Public Relations and Fundraising Managers||$116,180|
|Market Research Analysts||$63,790|
|Writers and Authors||$63,200|
|Public Relations Specialists||$61,150|
|Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners||$50,600|
|News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists||$46,270|
All of these jobs are typically available to people with a bachelor’s degree, but some companies may prefer candidates who hold graduate degrees for leadership roles.
What Kind of Jobs Can You Get with a Communications Degree?
If you want to be a writer or an editor, a communications degree may help you achieve that goal. Potential jobs include copywriter, content writer, technical writer, and newspaper reporter.
Writing for a newspaper is just one of the many journalism jobs you could do with your communications degree. It could also help you find work as a commentator or a radio announcer.
Public relations is another field to consider after you’ve completed your communications program. PR includes jobs in fundraising, campaigning, event planning, and social media marketing. Communications can also help you succeed in marketing and advertising positions.
What Is a Communications Major?
In a communications major, you’ll study the transmission of ideas and information. You’ll often dive into communication theories and then learn how to apply those concepts in a variety of settings.
The classes may cover written, oral, digital, and mass media communication. Communications is a flexible major that can equip you for a career in nearly any sector. Any job that involves relaying information might be a good fit for you.
A communications major may also get you ready for many different master’s programs. Options may include public relations, marketing, political science, and media studies.
What Do Communications Majors Do?
Communications majors become experts in conveying ideas. In this program, you’ll learn how to use words in powerful ways. For example, you may learn to relay information, inspire change, build confidence, or attract customers.
The curriculum may include courses on public speaking, storytelling, market research, and social media. Being a communications major can lead to jobs in a variety of sectors, including healthcare, politics, hospitality, business, journalism, and education.
You may work as a fundraiser, an event planner, a PR specialist, a press secretary, or a reporter. Writing jobs are popular among communications students as well.
Getting Your Bachelors in Communications Online
Clear, relevant communication helps individuals and organizations succeed. Whether you want to share your own ideas with the world or pass on others’ messages, a bachelors degree in communications can give you the skills to do it well.
A communications degree offers versatility. You may be prepared for jobs in public relations, writing, media, marketing, politics, and event planning. To learn more about the opportunities that can come with a communications degree, you may want to take a look at accredited online schools.
Through flexible online classes, you have the chance to explore public speaking, communications theory, and social media marketing whenever and wherever it works for your schedule.