2 answers

Is a graphic design major worth more than a communication major ?

Asked Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, Western Province, Sri Lanka

2 answers

Zainab’s Answer

Updated San Jose, California

Based off my own personal experiences, I consider a Communications major to be more beneficial than a graphic design major. Here's why:

I started off my freshman year as an undergrad pursuing a B.A. in Graphic Design. After a semester full of an intense graphic design course, I realized that I didn't want to limit my educational and professional career, so I switched over to Communication Studies instead. Through the Communications major, I was able to focus on many different areas of communication, while still maintaining my passion for graphic design and pursuing it recreationally, and through volunteer work. As a result, I actually think my Comm major benefited my skills in graphic design, because I learned what it means and how to have effective communication and apply that from a visual, design perspective.

Generally, most graphic design programs have, naturally, a strong focus on the technical and hard skills associated with graphic design. However, they may not always have the soft skills needed to succeed in the workplace, such as effective communication, knowledge of marketing, customer experience, and much more.

In other words, through my experience, the communication major allows greater flexibility in allowing people to market themselves. Everyone needs to communicate, no matter the medium, and communication programs generally offer a huge focus with crucial transferable skills.

There is also the option of taking one as a major, and another as a minor, if the schools you're looking at offer either option as a minor. This is a great way to get your foot in the door with both positions.

Zainab recommends the following next steps:

  • Research graphic design programs, look at the focus and learning outcomes, as well as the courses offered.
  • Research communication programs, look at the focus and learning outcomes, as well as the courses offered.
  • Which program aligns most closely with your values? Does this program allow for you to grow and change as an individual? Remember that what you like and want to pursue right now may not necessarily be the case in the future.
Thank you so much for your advice. It really helped me alot! I think I will go by it. I was in quite a tight situation but now I guess I have some rough idea where I'm standing rn. Thank you!
And could you give me a bit if more advice regarding jobs in California. What are the best liberal arts jobs there? And what could I do if I majpr in history if art? I'll be attending as an international student, so any other thing I should know?

Judy’s Answer

Updated Alpharetta, Georgia

Hi Angel,

That's a great question but a little hard to answer. I'm in marketing communications in a very specific industry and channel -- high tech, network security. But, I didn't start out thinking that's what I would do. I ended up here through a long journey. Having started my career as a copywriter and graphic designer for a large pharmaceutical company in market research, that led me to being an account executive in advertising in which I was still able to use my graphic design skills to develop multi-faceted ad campaign materials (e.g., corporate logo design, brochures, pamphlets, business cards, etc. mostly print-based). That led me to becoming a multimedia designer for a university which led to developing computer-based training for a large tech company. That led me to digital marketing where I am today. I didn't plan it all that way. But, through the years, I took many

For you, I would suggest deciding where your passion is and what your skill strengths are and build upon those two things. You could start with a couple of things I highly recommend. See my suggested next steps below.

Good luck to you!

Judy recommends the following next steps:

  • Take the GALLUP StrengthsFinder test and read the book. It's amazing what you'll discover about yourself https://www.gallup.com/press/176429/strengthsfinder.aspx
  • Watch this YouTube video from Stephen Covey on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and take his course if you can: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaJt6LTTcwY