News & Stories
Students talking with a laptop
March 28, 2023

The Communication Major: What You Need to Know Now

Communication is a field of study built on storytelling. Communities have shared information and stories through different media formats for years. Today, the communication field is a rapidly evolving, multi-faceted industry. If you are deciding whether to study communication in college, understanding the value of a communication degree and the job market can give you confidence in your choice. Although the way we share information and the technology we use are changing, the future of a communication major is bright! 


Communication majors usually choose an area of focus such as digital storytelling, public relations (PR), filmmaking or cinematic arts while taking advantage of the opportunity to engage with a wide range of subject matter. With storytelling at the heart of this degree, communication majors explore different approaches to sharing information — video, speech, images, text, etc. — while covering a variety of topics, making it very interdisciplinary. They also learn transferable skills such as critical thinking and rhetorical strategy. Because of this, communication majors often end up in a variety of different job settings.  

Berry College Professor of Communication Brian Carroll clarifies the meaning of communication: “It is not a ‘field of study,’ but rather a multiplicity of fields and industries that we prepare our students to enter: filmmaking and videography, public relations, journalism and by extension content development, scholars in communication studies and/or media studies, writing, editing, publishing, podcasting, and on and on.” 


Still trying to decide if this is the right major for you? One of the best ways to decide is to imagine how you might fit into a communication-related job. Here are some of the best and maybe most surprising jobs communication majors hold in today’s marketplace. Read and consider whether any of the day-to-day job experiences are for you. 

PR specialist – This position helps strengthen and maintain relationships between organizations and stakeholders (e.g., employees, investors, the community, media). Depending on your interests, this job can take various forms. For example, you might work as a crisis communication specialist who creates strategies for managing an organization’s communication during a major challenge (like the COVID pandemic or a company scandal). 

Brand manager – Similar to PR, there are many roles a communication major could play in trying to sell a brand, product or service based on the strengths and skills they bring to the table. A brand manager works with marketing or advertising teams to maintain a company’s or individual’s public image. It is the job of a brand manager to make sure the brand is cohesively communicated across different media. They also research industry trends, identify target audiences and build marketing campaigns.

Art director – This professional oversees how to represent a concept visually — for example, through photography, video, design, illustrations, graphics, graphs, charts and layouts. Often led by a brand manager or creative director, this person makes sure creative content fits with the messaging of the company. Art directors might work in PR, advertising, publishing or film production.

Fundraiser or development officer – Because professionals in this role are often required to be strong communicators with excellent interpersonal skills, jobs in fundraising can be great work for those graduating with a communication degree. The primary work in these roles is to build relationships with donors interested in the mission and vision of an organization. This role may also include event planning skills or data tracking and organizing skills.  

Content writer/producer – Communication majors sometimes take positions connected to content production. This role often includes creating and editing content for different formats such as websites, blogs, social media, print articles, etc. Depending on the industry, this role could also have an educator-like element. For example, a health educator might write content centered on health education for blogs and apps. Finding what you love to write about helps make this job a fit. 

Journalist – If you enjoy keeping up with current events, this may be the route for you. Journalists must stay tuned into their communities as well as regional, national and/or world news, often researching past and present stories and gathering relevant information to disseminate to their audiences through different media channels. As their industry rapidly evolves with changes in information flow, journalists need to be adaptable, lifelong learners.  

Human resource specialist – This position may feel like a different role from other positions covered here, but it has similarities. In this role, the professional must clearly express the mission, vision and brand of the company they work for through the process of recruiting and training employees. This role requires strong interpersonal and communication skills and may involve event planning, content creation and similar responsibilities geared toward an internal audience. 

Sales representative – This job, especially in medical or technology sales, requires professionals to understand not only brands but also products, including technical details. They must find prospective clients and then build and maintain those relationships. Being able to communicate the benefits of their products clearly through a sales pitch is critical to success, so they must know their brand and audience well.

Advertising manager – Typically part of a fast-paced, highly creative agency environment, this individual leads the planning and directing of advertising campaigns for companies. (Advertising is one part of marketing. Whether directed at consumers or businesses, common types of marketing include brand management, digital marketing, social media marketing, global marketing and relationship marketing.) Through advertising, a company pays to place highly persuasive messaging or branding in a certain location. This process uses creative concepts to capture the attention of the audience and connect back to this messaging. For example, humor is often used to tap into the emotions of audiences and reinforce connection to a brand. Advertising might involve paid media like billboards, broadcast and print ads, search engine ads and social media ads.


The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports media and communication occupations are growing at an average rate of 6% with a median income of $62,340 as of May 2021. Others argue these positions will grow even quicker, as the COVID pandemic pushed organizations and individuals to be more aware of how and why information can be shared effectively.

Other global business leaders, however, describe our world as “VUCA” volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous leaving many wondering if the job market will look the same in the future. Considering these opinions and how communication industries will weather technology changes and AI, experts agree there are several characteristics that give communication majors an advantage in a VUCA world. 

Creativity Getting the attention of audiences in today’s fast-paced information flow can be challenging and requires innovative thinking. Communication majors are often equipped with this skill, as they have practiced brainstorming, analyzing facts and figuring out the best ways to position information in different forms. Being creative gives graduates an edge in whatever industry they enter. Although AI has been used to write reports, articles and even poetry, it’s built on input and data — and is only as good as the data it holds. For now, an organization requires a more complex form of creativity while making critical decisions. Organizations need the flexible, creative thinking skills required of communication majors to produce new ideas and assess long-term consequences. 

Transferable knowledge – Just about every business and organization needs help communicating its mission and vision to the public, especially as the future feels uncertain. Because high-quality communicators are needed in every field or industry, communication graduates have opportunities to use their portable skill set (e.g., active listening, public speaking, presenting, negotiating, persuading) in different spaces and places. Not all degrees or majors experience this level of malleability in the job market. 

Position flexibility – Communication graduates are also equipped for a variety of positions. They are well-practiced in giving presentations and researching. They can critically think through how to plan a social media campaign or an in-person event. Although they tend to concentrate on a certain area during their college career, communication graduates have a lot of flexibility in the roles they can play within a company or organization. 

Emotional intelligence – Self-awareness, empathy and strong relational skills are necessary for dealing with the complexities and nuances of understanding the big picture or context of any organization. AI does not have these skills to apply to real-world scenarios, though its capabilities are accelerating. For example, as of this publication date, GPT-4 demonstrates significant enhancements in language understanding, content recognition, emotional intelligence and expertise in domains. However, these capabilities cannot replace human input that goes into making strategic, informed decisions that require considering large groups of people or thinking through inclusivity. In general, the interpersonal skills that make so many communication majors good at their work are invaluable in a VUCA world and cannot be replaced by AI. 

Ethics – Another crucial element missing from AI is a moral compass. AI was not built to make ethical decisions. For example, as of today, Chat GPT sometimes fabricates answers. It is also difficult to figure out where a chatbot’s information comes from and whether the information is accurate. Sharing information often requires an ethical code — how to share it, when to share it, with what purpose, and so forth — and this is not a role AI can play. 

Describing how college professors are equipping communication majors today in this ever-changing landscape, Brian Carroll says, “As a faculty, we are attempting to guide students in this new era of decentralized information sharing, and at the same time instruct in the best practices and techniques of writing, editing and storytelling. Better understanding audiences and exploring how different media behave because of their unique capacities and constraints is the way to developing smarter content.” 


Want to strengthen your repertoire of skills for industries connected to communication? Consider how these minors might pair with a communication degree. 

Data analytics – Depending on your college, this minor may be housed in the business school, or it could be connected to statistics or computer science. No matter the program affiliation, understanding data is a powerful skill and sets you apart in the job market. For example, knowing how to examine large data sets to glean audience trends and patterns to tell stories or make decisions about your organization is a skill universally needed in government, science, medicine, health care and other sectors.

Business – Having some knowledge of business principles, the corporate world or the foundations of marketing can strengthen the communication degree. This sets up the graduate to have bigger picture understanding of an organization and its structures whereas the communication degree often focuses heavily on storytelling elements.  

Related field – If you already know that you want to work in higher education, policy or the sciences, consider minoring in a related area. For example, maybe you don’t want to be a doctor, but you want to help public health personnel communicate and educate the public. That’s great! By taking courses in public health, you’ll better understand how to communicate in this field, leveraging an interdisciplinary approach.

Have more questions about being a communication major? Consider reaching out to your admissions counselors. They can help direct you and connect you to professors and alumni at your college choices that can give you knowledge from personal experience. 

 Back to Top

Footer Menu