What Can You Do With a Communications Degree? 10 Careers & Salaries Revealed

Communications graduates understand how to communicate information effectively, an ability that is useful in all industries. Their course load includes communication theory, research methods, speech, public relations, and mass media. In addition to background knowledge, they gain highly employable skills from critical thinking to interpersonal communication. 

Individuals with a communications degree understand how people send and receive messages and what factors influence communication. They can apply this knowledge to present company goals in the most precise possible way both within the company and to consumers and clients. This ability is especially useful in fields such as marketing, media, and public relations. However, a communications degree can be used in any company that wants to achieve specific business goals through media or needs effective internal communication.

In today’s world, social media and increasing methods of consuming media has produced even more ways to use a communications degree. Social media platforms have large amounts of audiences who consume content to learn about products and services. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, media and communication occupations are projected to grow 4% over the next decade, adding 46,000 more jobs. This demand is due to an increased need to create, edit, translate, and spread information. In 2019, employees throughout the communications and media industries earned a median salary of $60,000.

Without further ado, here are 10 careers and their salaries that you can find success in with a communications degree.


Journalist

What can you do with a Communications Degree? Careers & Salaries Revealed
photo via Wikimedia Commons

Journalists are key players in the media industry. They write about a wide range of topics for outlets such as television, the Internet, and newspapers. Depending on their specialty, journalists cover areas from local news to blockbuster movies and national events. They are responsible for researching and learning about a topic, then finding the most effective way to communicate the information. 

While creating their stories, journalists rely on sources to bring a new perspective. They must work with insiders to learn what information they have and maintain working relationships built on trust and communication. These sources add credibility to their writing and make stories more interesting.

Journalists utilize interpersonal skills that they learned through a communications major to cultivate relationships and effectively communicate through writing. They must also be able to persuade editors and other management that their ideas will be well-received by the audience. The average salary for a journalist in the United States is $41,200.


Communications Manager

Communications managers are in charge of internal and external communications within a specific organization. They work to ensure the company messaging is consistent and aligns with the overall mission of the organization. They are responsible for creating engaging press releases, media reports, and marketing content.

Communications managers help to build brand recognition and attract clients and customers. They need strong organizational and communication skills to work with employees across the marketing and PR departments. Managers work to generate new strategies and ensure all content is ready for publication. In addition, communications managers need strong leadership skills to keep their team on track.

As the name suggests, communications graduates are an ideal match as a communications manager. Their experience in communication practices and techniques, along with proven written and verbal skills, make them especially well-suited for the role. Due to their increased responsibilities, communications managers earn an average salary of $66,000.


Advertising Manager

Advertising managers lead the marketing team in creating unique and brand-specific advertisement campaigns. They make sure that all advertising activities are consistent with the company’s message and work towards meeting company goals. Managers are responsible for supervising and collaborating with other employees to complete the project effectively. 

Along with internal communication, advertising managers must work with clients to understand project objectives and expectations. They drive awareness and interest in specific products and services through well-designed advertisements. Advertising employees must be creative, collaborative, and a proven problem-solver. 

Communications majors do well in the advertisement industry due to their in-depth knowledge of the relationship between marketing strategies and public perception. They understand how to drive consumer engagement and promote a brand’s specific message through print and electronic advertisements. Communication experts will collect and analyze data and then present it in the most effective way to various audiences. Advertising managers make an average base salary of $65,000.


Public Relations Specialist

Public relations specialists help organizations manage their public image through press releases, conferences, and other events. They use other social media platforms to increase public awareness of their specific mission and their work to achieve those goals. PR professionals help attract public attention by working with the media to share engaging stories about their company. 

Along with maintaining a company’s public image from the office, PR specialists attend local activities and events to inform the community about its mission. They are usually good communicators, from speeches to written press releases.

Communications majors are a good fit as a PR specialist due to their background knowledge in effectively communicating information and public perception. Public relations specialists can work with a specific organization or with an agency that serves a broader clientele. PR professionals can also work with government agencies to keep the public informed about government activities and goals. These specialists earn a median annual salary of $61,000.


Human Resources Specialist

Human Resource specialists are responsible for a wide range of internal functions within a company, such as recruitment, orientation, training, company policies, benefits, and company newsletters. They are responsible for presenting important information to the current employees to ensure successful communication between upper management and all employees. 

In addition, they work with prospective hires to make sure they understand the company’s mission and job requirements. HR specialists help employers find qualified candidates who will meet and exceed the company’s needs. They are the bridge between applicants and hiring managers and help organize interviews, offers, and background checks. HR specialists also help communicate with prospective employees to inform them of their candidacy status and necessary next steps.

Those who work in HR need strong public speaking and writing abilities to deliver information throughout the company effectively. Communications majors are a strong fit for this role because they understand the best ways to present information to current and future employees. HR specialists typically make an annual salary of $62,000.


Brand Manager

Brand managers help sell a specific product or service to the public. This is done by analyzing the public perception of their product and adjusting consumer experience, packaging, accessibility, and marketing necessary for effective promotion. Brand managers are also responsible for creating advertising campaigns to improve sales for a specific product. 

The marketing and advertising activities that brand managers perform help to develop the brand’s personality. Factors such as consumer experience and packaging can affect public perception of a specific product. Well-designed campaigns will share the company’s message interestingly and honestly. This brand management helps to drive customer engagement and product sales.

Brand managers must communicate with other sales, marketing, and advertising groups to ensure that the product is well-promoted. Communications majors are trained in evaluating the effectiveness of various marketing techniques, understanding how to analyze consumer reactions. Due to their advertising and communication expertise, brand managers earn an average salary of $71,000.


Event Planner

Successful and engaging events could not happen without the dedicated work of event planners. These workers must understand the overall mission of the company and attract attendees through compelling promotion. Before the event even starts, event planners must promote the event to appeal to the broader public through press releases and exciting descriptions. This advertising can occur through the company website, social media, or other media sources.

Event planners also need strong attention to detail and organizational abilities to ensure that the hosts and attendees have everything they need. This will help the event run smoothly and maintain the reputation of the hosting organization. In addition, the theme and event itself should align with the company’s public image. Event planners resolve any problems as they arise so that the company comes off as professional.

Event planners need strong communication skills to work with vendors, clients, and event attendees to create a successful event. Graduates who study communications understand how to work with the media to promote the event and have strong organizational skills to ensure that it runs smoothly. Event planners earn an average base salary of $50,100 per year.


Announcer

Announcers present music, news, and sports and provide their own individual commentary. These hosts share information through a variety of platforms, including television, radio, and podcasts. Some announcers interview guests about important topics or moderate larger panels of professionals. These presenters need strong public speaking abilities and an engaging personality to keep audiences entertained.

Announcers may also be responsible for other aspects of broadcasting, such as advertising and content editing. Radio and television announcers attract a larger audience through a solid social media presence. These platforms allow another way for them to interact with audiences and promote their specific brand.

Communications majors make good radio or television announcers due to their ability to communicate important information effectively. They also understand factors that influence consumer engagement and ways to bolster views and ratings. Many announcers, along with a communications degree, have experience broadcasting through a college radio or television station. Announcers make a median salary of $34,000.


Social Media Manager

Social media managers understand how to effectively communicate with audiences to attract large numbers of viewers and fans. They are responsible for selecting what content to use and where to post it to promote the company’s brand. They need to present their planned content to their clients effectively and convince customers to contribute honest and personalized reviews. 

In addition, social media planners must have strong writing abilities to promote their organization’s message through social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Social media is less formal than other methods such as press releases, but still needs to get the company’s mission across.

As social media becomes a more popular way of communicating, people who study communications are especially well-suited to social media management jobs. They know how to analyze communication patterns and can confidently use various social media platforms to help organizations promote their messages interestingly and effectively. Social media managers make an average salary of $51,000.


Speechwriter

Speechwriting is the field of creating compelling speeches for others to deliver. They work with a variety of clients, including executives, philanthropists, athletes, and politicians who want to share a streamlined message that will interest audiences. They work with their specific client to develop the overarching message and key talking points.

Because these speeches will be delivered to live guests, these writers must take audience reactions into account. While some speeches are written to convince the audience of something, others thank donors or outline company history. Effective communication is an integral part of speechwriting to share the client’s mission, background, and overall message. 
Experts in communication understand interpersonal communication and how to make a speech stand out. Successful speechwriters will be able to adapt their writing to meet each client’s necessary tone and mindset. Speechwriters make an average base salary of $84,000 due to their specialized communications knowledge.

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