A communications degree is all about learning how to communicate information effectively. Good communication is essential in all industries, helping to sell products to the public, maintain strong relationships with investors, clients, and customers, and to make sure everyone within and outside the business is operating on the same page.
Your communications degree will build awareness of how to convey information to diverse audiences effectively, with specific business goals in mind. Strong communication skills are invaluable in order to provide meaning and resonance to the companies’ aims, and to present the company and its services or products in the best (and clearest) possible way to consumers, clients and colleagues.
For a closer look at some common and not-so-common jobs with a communications degree, read on!
Typical careers in communications
Here we look at a selection of more typical careers in communications; from HR departments to the world of advertising – these are the typical roles where your communication skills are most in need.
Careers in business
With communications playing such a key role in any business or organization, a communications degree is a great way to enter the business world. Regardless of product or industry, entry-level communications roles will require you to demonstrate strong written and oral communication and presentation skills, along with knowledge of how business functions across departments. There is also the potential for career development into executive, managerial, and training roles after gaining some experience.
Careers in human resources
A key department of any large business, human resources is vital for developing and maintaining worker ethics, performance, and motivation. Your role as a communications graduate is likely to be in providing the right information at the right time to the right people within the company. You may be involved in recruiting new staff, raising awareness about training or professional development programs, or ensuring company guidelines and regulations are clearly communicated. Communications careers in this area will benefit from an aptitude for nurturing relationships and communicating well with many different types of people.
Careers in marketing, public relations and advertising
Marketing, public relations, and advertising are three more great fields you can enter with a communications degree, delivering effective written and oral communication to consumers, colleagues, or clients. This could be in the form of press releases, advertising scripts, company presentations, and print campaigns, as well as attendance at media events and the ongoing development of professional relationships with clients and the media.
Careers in media
Media jobs with a communications degree are extensive – as you’d expect since the main aims of the media sector are to communicate information and provide entertainment. Whether you’re interested in becoming involved with TV and film production, magazine and newspaper journalism, or online and digital channels, media careers all require graduates with excellent communication skills, and the ability to curate and disseminate information in engaging and relevant ways.
Media is, however, a very competitive industry, and it’s unlikely (though not impossible) that you will be hired by a big media corporation such as the BBC or the Huffing ton Post straight after graduation. Relevant work experience is essential, so those interested in entering the media world should consider undertaking internships or getting involved in student media productions while still studying, to increase their chances of getting a related role upon graduation. Those interested in journalism may also consider building a portfolio of their own journalistic work and/or gaining a relevant postgraduate degree.
Less typical careers in communications
What can you do with a communications degree if you don’t want to go into the typical careers outlined above? Read on for a selection of less typical jobs with a communications degree, from film producer to legal secretary. Bear in mind that this is not an exhaustive list; communications graduates are sought-after in almost any industry you can think of!
Careers in digital media
The digital media industry is reshaping the way society consumes media and information. Online news sites, social networks and digital technologies are all areas of the industry continuing to expand, leading to significant increases in job opportunities for those with a combination of communication skills and digital proficiency.
If you’re interested in a media career but concerned about the longevity of print media, digital media is the way to go! This expanding field incorporates careers in journalism, video production, web design, social media and online publishing, to name but a few – and more roles are appearing as technologies and audience behavior continue to evolve.
Careers in law
Although most people entering the legal industry do so with a postgraduate qualification or specialized law degree, communications graduates may be interested in pursuing administrative and organizational roles, working for local or national civil and criminal courts, or even governmental and independent legal firms. For example, legal secretary roles and paralegal roles are often held by communications graduates. An undergraduate communications degree could also be a great starting point from which to apply to law school.
However, if you do not wish to gain further qualifications there is a limit to your advancement in this industry, due to the requirements for roles such as a solicitor or barrister. Depending on the hiring company, however, there may be the possibility of gaining some additional qualifications while you work.
Careers in education
Another option is education, where your communication skills will certainly be needed daily! To be hired within primary or secondary education, you’ll need a teaching qualification. Depending on the country you want to work in, this will take at least a year to obtain. For tertiary education, at institutions such as colleges and universities, it is more likely that you’ll need a postgraduate qualification in a related specialization in order to teach.