4 answers

How do you choose a career as a Communications major?

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I am in my second year of college as a Communications major. Communications is extremely broad and there are countless avenues it could take you. I was wondering as someone with a very broad major who has several passions, what is the best way for me to choose a career path? Have any other Communications majors found themselves in a similar predicament? #communications #public-relations #career-path

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4 answers

Tracy’s Answer

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Hi Sydney. This is exactly what happened to me. I went into school with a completely different major and then switched to Communication Studies second half of freshman year. I chose that major because I liked how broad it was, and I thought that would allow me more options after graduation since I wasn't quite sure what career I wanted at that point. I didn't choose the radio path of communications, but I took public speaking courses, public relations, and I minored in journalism. I believe this allowed me a good foundation for the sales role that I took after college, and since then I have worked in business for 20+ years now and held various management positions.


Your question prompted me to do a little research and I found this article titled "What can I do with a Major in Communication Studies?" [ https://cla.umn.edu/wcidwami/communication-studies ] where it states that a Communication Studies major can prepare you for having strong core competencies, specifically:

  • Strong verbal and written communications skills
  • Ability to assess and interpret communications, media theory, and public discourse
  • Ability to formulate clear and persuasive messages
  • Strong critical-thinking and analysis skills
  • Listening, clarifying, questioning and responding skills
  • Intercultural communication and the ability to work well with diverse groups
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively

These are all life skills that you will need for any career that you choose. Also, you should take advantage of counselors at school, or the Communications Studies teachers, as they should be able to give you more examples of exactly what you might be able to do with your degree after graduation. Best of luck to you!


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Alex’s Answer

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I'd recommend getting a variety of experience. Get internships in different areas: non-profit, development, events, social media, corporate, whatever you're interested in. Those experiences will help you narrow down what you're interested in. Also, stay open to different opportunities. I did a virtual internship once summer and it taught be how to connect with people via email and over the phone. It wasn't what I was looking for but I learned a lot.

Alex recommends the following next steps:

  • Attend career fairs and talk to career counselors to finds internship opportunities.
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Lindsay’s Answer

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I have a communications major and I've worked in for-profit sales and marketing, non-profit higher education, a startup accelerator, and now at Dell - a large corporate. The core competencies you develop during that major are extremely valuable across industries and opportunities. Use it as a stepping stone to try a career of your choice, maybe your first stop won't be your favorite but treat each as a learning opportunity to get to your next gig or advance in your current company. I know this answer may seem vague but I find the beauty of a communications major is the major itself is a bit vague. Wishing you the best!

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Rick’s Answer

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You may not hear this much but sometimes it's best to let your career choose you. Not everyone is going to work for a glamorous highly visible company but you can do some great work, both important and fulfilling in a variety of careers. Focus on what you want but be open to new opportunities as they present themselves to you.

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