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Exploring What You Can Do with a Communications Degree
July 28, 2021

Why Study Communications? Exploring What You Can Do with a Communications Degree

Storytelling takes place in all kinds of formats: news articles, books, photo essays, videos, blogs, interactive features and more. If you’re interested in creating narratives, it’s worth exploring possible career paths connected to a communications degree.

What can you do with a communications degree? 10 careers to explore

This list should give you a better understanding of the broad range of what you can do with a communications degree.

1. Account executive

If building and strengthening professional relationships is appealing to you, becoming an account executive could be a great career choice. These professionals act as the point person for their clients, working to coordinate activities ranging from promotional events to influencer outreach. Most account executives work at agencies, some of which specialize in a particular industry or type of client. 

Earning potential: The median annual salary for account executives was $133,460 in 2020.*

2. Creative director

This senior-level role involves overseeing all the work a creative department at an agency or organization produces. Creative directors develop campaign concepts, assign projects to team members, ensure the work comes together cohesively and ensure stakeholders are satisfied with the final products. They need to be creative thinkers who are also effective at managing a team. 

Earning potential: The median annual salary for creative directors was $97,270 in 2020.*

3. Event planner

Event planners are the organized, detail-oriented professionals who are able to execute conventions, meetings, celebrations, banquets and other types of gatherings. These professionals meet with clients to determine their needs, plan the schedule, coordinate relevant services and monitor the event to make sure everything goes smoothly. Many event planners specialize in a particular type of function, such as weddings or professional conferences (both in person and virtual).

Earning potential: The median annual salary for event planners was $51,560 in 2020.*

4. Producer

You can think of a producer as the business-minded leader behind movies and TV shows. They’re responsible for managing the budget, hiring talent and other crew and overseeing all the day-to-day operations. While many producers studied film or acting, obtaining a degree in communications with a concentration in film and cinema can help provide students with a more well-rounded skill set for this dynamic role.

Earning potential:  The median annual salary for producers was $76,400 in 2020.*

5. Product manager

Often considered the CEO of the product, a product manager is responsible for conducting research on the market and its target audience to determine their needs, defining the strategy and roadmap for a product and bringing the company’s vision to life. They also monitor performance after the product launch and collect feedback to identify potential improvements. It’s a highly collaborative role that requires excellent communication skills.

Earning potential: The median annual salary for product managers was $142,170 in 2020.*

6. Public relations specialist

Sometimes called “communications specialists,” public relations specialists are responsible for managing an organization’s image. Their work involves crafting press releases, managing requests from the media, writing speeches for executives and determining whether advertising and marketing campaigns align with their efforts. While not necessary to achieve this role, it can be helpful to obtain a degree that incorporates a public relations concentration.

Earning potential: The median annual salary for public relations specialists was $62,810 in 2020.*

7. Reporter

Whether they’re breaking news or developing a lengthier story, reporters work to ensure people are informed about what’s going on in their communities and the world. They develop story ideas, gather information through research and interviews, verify facts, craft narratives and present stories to the public – online, on TV or in print. Aspiring reporters who wish to focus on a particular niche may want to consider obtaining an education that allows them to select a relevant concentration, such as sports communication.

Earning potential: The median annual salary for reporters was $49,300 in 2020.*

8. Social media manager

Social media has become such an integral part of every modern organization’s identity that it often takes an entire team to run the various channels. Social media managers oversee all those efforts, working to execute campaigns, analyze performance and grow a brand’s audience. It’s a multifaceted role that requires a deep understanding of each platform and what makes it distinct from the others.

Earning potential: The median annual salary for social media managers was $65,810 in 2020.*

9. Technical writer

It takes a skilled wordsmith to translate complex or highly technical information into a digestible format that readers can easily understand. Technical writers do this by studying products, speaking to the corresponding developers, identifying who the intended audiences are and producing the appropriate written materials. There’s often room for advancement in this field, with many experienced technical writers progressing to senior editing roles.

Earning potential: The median annual salary for technical writers was $74,650 in 2020.*

10. Web content writer

These writers craft informational copy that appears online, including blog articles, web pages, social media posts, video scripts and more. Content writers have to adapt to different audiences, be comfortable with diverse formats and maintain a firm understanding of varied web technologies, so focusing your studies around digital storytelling can be useful. While some organizations hire in-house wordsmiths, many opt to outsource content writing by working with an agency or individual freelancers.

Earning potential: The median annual salary for web content writers was $67,120 in 2020.*

Expand your career options with a communications degree

Hopefully, the above roles have given you a taste of what you can do with a communications degree. Pursuing this education path can be a great way to launch your career, particularly if you’re able to start working in the field while still in school.

Learn more about how gaining practical experience at an institution like Berry College can advance your professional life by reading “Working in College: How Balancing Employment and Education Can Benefit Students.”

* Median salary details from the U.S. Department of Labor (June 2021) do not indicate entry-level salaries.

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