Are you a college student debating on being a communication major or a soon-to-be college graduate with a communications degree?
This blog will break down why communication majors are important, what skills a communication major needs, how to build a communications resume, career options for a communication major, and further resources for communication majors to utilize.
Why Choose a Communication Major in College
Whether we realize it or not, good communication is needed in nearly every aspect of our lives. This makes it the most versatile degree. A communication major can enter nearly every field if they strategically plan it.
For communication, not everyone is able to do it in an effective manner. Broadly, a communicator’s role is to tailor messages to certain audiences.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), communication roles will see a growth of 4 percent through 2029. The demand for communications roles is increasing as we see a need for communicator roles on various digital media platforms.
BLS has found that the average salary for communication occupations was $59,230 in May 2020, which is a bit higher than the median annual wage for all occupations.
What Skill Sets to Have to Work in Communication
If you are working in communication or plan to, work on developing these skills through coursework and experience.
A common skill that is forgotten is analytical thinking. For effective communicating, the communicator will need to do data analysis and market research to understand the target audience.
Right now, digital media is important in the communication career field. Someone with a communication degree should understand the basics of social media marketing and website development.
Currently, in the digital age, communication is constantly evolving. New technologies come out daily and new media is being used for digital communication. For someone in the communications field, they should keep up with the newest communication trends and adapt to learning the new platforms.
Having good presentation skills is a hard skill that all communicators need. Within bachelor’s degree communications programs, many times they will require public speaking courses and nearly every communications course will require a presentation.
A communications major should have strong writing skills to have effective communication. Whether you are desire to be a writer or not, every communications career is heavy in writing.
While there are hard skills to learn as a communicator, soft skills are always important to have and highlight as well. Being flexible, adaptable, work ethic, and being a good team member will be necessary for the communication field.
How to Build Your Resume as a Communication Student
When building your resume, use those communication skills that you have! First, develop a strategy. Do this by understanding your audience that will receive this resume. What do they want to see from a candidate?
At the top of your resume, consider writing a summary that sums up yourself but also includes your skills, education, and soft skills.
When able to, focus on numbers. This will show your impact that you have had in past positions. If you are writing this resume without having an internship, or past job, highlight your participation in group projects in relevant courses. For example, highlight a mock strategic media planning brief. Then, you can include this in your portfolio as well. This shows off your hard skills, even if you have not had an internship.
Within a communications resume, highlight any experience with data analysis systems like Tableau, Simmons Data, Qualtrics, SurveyMonkey Audience.
Highlight any specific specializations that you may have in communication.
A good resume communication example from a university, here.
Top keywords in communication resume
- Adobe systems
- Customer retention
- Event marketing
- Event planning
- Graphic design
- Market research
- Marketing communications
- Media strategist
- Newsletter design
- Press releases
- Public relations
- Relationship management
- Sales marketing
- Social media
- Social media management
- Video production
Fields that Communications Majors Can Work In
Because of communications majors’ versatility in skills, they have a variety of job opportunities available in nearly every field.
Communications graduates can get jobs within corporate communications. There are jobs as office managers, as representatives, as sales, human resources specialists, and as executive assistants.
Communication majors make great educators because of their strong public speaking, interpersonal, and presentation skills. Some education programs do require further licensing, depending on the state.
Public Relations and Advertising
This broad career path of public relations and advertising fits within mass communications. Their goal is to use communication to reach and influence groups.
To do this strategic communication, it is necessary to do market research, engage with possible consumers through mediums, and maintain or revamp images of organizations.
Roles in this field are content writers, social media specialists, communications specialists, public relations specialists, copywriters, event planner, social media managers, and media planners.
For this path, it can be more helpful to get beyond a bachelor’s and have a master’s degree.
A communications degree can lead to film making, advertising director, broadcaster, or other positions working with visual media.
As a communications major, you can specialize in writing by focusing on writing-based courses, having a minor or certificate in it. This can lead to jobs in copywriting, journalism, and blogging. A nontraditional route to consider is freelance writing.
Further Resources for Communications Majors
It is a good idea to connect with other communication professionals through organizations.
Then, there are specific clubs within fields in communication such as the Society of Professional Journalists, Public Relations Society of America and Public Relations Student Society of America, and National Association of Black Journalists.
Learn more about other college major options like psychology and marketing on the Scholars blog! And, learn information about internships and post-grad jobs directly from companies that are hiring on The Internship Show.