One of the most popular majors in college is a communications major. Students will be able to do many different things after graduating with a communications major. The major is very broad and allows students to learn many different skills that they can apply to many different jobs and industries.
If you want to learn more about communications majors, you came to the right place. We will be reviewing everything about the major including common jobs, common coursework, skills that communications majors should have, and helpful resources. Read below for more information on everything related to communications degrees.
Table of Contents
- What is a Communications Major?
- Common Classes
- Different Types of Communications Majors
- Skills and Traits
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Communications Major?
A communications major is very broad and encompasses many different things. Students who decide to major in communications will focus on how to communicate information in the most effective way possible. Students will take a wide variety of classes that focus on the different aspects of communications. Some of those aspects include communicating with different audiences, conducting research, presenting information ethically, and communicating visually.
Students may find that their college or university may offer different study tracks within the major. This is great for students who know exactly what they want to study. Some examples of common study tracks are:
- Visual Communication
- Public Relations
- Organizational Communication
- Health Communication
Students pursuing a communications degree will most likely be earning an associate degree or bachelor’s degree. An associate degree will take around 2 years to complete while a bachelor’s degree will take around 4 years to complete.
Common Classes for Communications Majors
Communications majors should expect to take a variety of classes encompassing many different topics. The type of communications major you are will determine what kinds of classes you will be taking. However, most students who choose communications will have to take the following general courses:
- Mass communication
- Communication theory
- Public speaking
- Group communication
These courses will help communications students establish a nice base foundation of knowledge and will prepare them for the more in-depth communications knowledge they will learn down the road.
Different Types of Communications Majors
What is Visual Communication?
Visual communication has become more important throughout the years. Everything is going digital and people always expect things to look nice and presentable. Visual communication dives into this by studying how people communicate visually. This field is ever changing as technology changes and evolves which makes the field exciting for many prospective students.
What is Public Relations?
Public relations majors will focus on learning persuasion techniques and how beneficial it can be to organizations and people you will be representing. Many companies have very large public relations teams that spend a crazy amount of time building and influencing their audiences. Students will spend time developing their critical thinking, writing, and researching skills while pursuing a public relations major.
What is Organizational Communication?
Organizational communication focuses on communication in a business or organizational setting. Students will learn how to think, write, and speak clearly and concisely. Students will become comfortable communicating in a more professional setting and will learn different tactics and techniques to communicate in modern workplaces throughout the professional world. Students will also take courses on ethics and learn best practices throughout the professional world.
What is Health Communication?
Health communication is relatively new in the field of communications. Students who choose to focus their studies on health communication will learn how to best communicate with individuals and communities on how to improve their health. Health communication is best for students who wish to enter the medical field in a communications role. Some common jobs for this type of major include health educators, health directors, and patient advocates.
What is Journalism?
Journalism majors will learn how to investigate and break news to others. The field has changed a ton over the last decade and will continue to evolve as technology changes. Students should expect to learn about different types of media and how to best utilize different types of media. Students will take courses on writing, interviewing, reporting, and ethics. Some students may elect to pursue a minor in something they are interested in to help them become a better journalist. Some common minors for journalists include criminal justice, political science, and business.
Communications Major Jobs
Communications degrees offer a very broad base of knowledge. This broad base of knowledge allows for communications majors to have plenty of job opportunities in many different fields. Students who chose a concentration in the communications realm may have better opportunities out of college to make better money.
Overall, students who major in communications should have no problem finding jobs after graduation. Check out the table below for more information on communications major salary and other statistics like job outlook and total number of jobs. All information was pulled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
|Job||Median Salary||Job Outlook||Total Jobs|
|Public Relations Specialist||61,150||7%||274,600|
|Reporters & Correspondents||46,720||-11%||52,000|
|Broadcast & Sound Engineering Technicians||45,510||9%||140,300|
|Film & Video Editors||59,810||18%||67,900|
|Interpreters & Translators||51,830||20%||77,400|
|Writers & Authors||63,200||-2%||131,200|
|Human Resources Manager||116,720||6%||165,200|
|Labor Relations Specialist||69,020||-7%||78,900|
Skills and Traits of Communications Major
Communications majors will have many different skills and traits that make them successful in the major and in life after college. While some of these skills can be taught in school, students should at least have an interest in the following skills in traits if they are thinking about going into the communications field.
- You enjoy talking and communicating with others. Students who are outgoing and enjoy conversation with friends, family, and strangers will be successful in the field of communications. If you are shy and do not like to talk with others and meet new people, this major may not be the best choice for you.
- You are creative and can think out-of-the-box. Students who are creative and can think differently than others will be awesome communications majors. These students will think of new ways to present things and different ways of connecting with people. Students who are creative will be able to challenge old ideas and norms and push the limits with new concepts.
- You enjoy writing and informing others of new ideas and topics. Students will have to write a lot in the beginning of their undergrad years and will be required to give presentations every so often. Students should be comfortable speaking in front of others and embrace writing.
Frequently Asked Questions
This depends on personal preference. Journalism is a subcategory of communications at a lot of colleges and universities across the United States. If you enjoy writing and reporting information, then journalism may be the choice for you. A great option is to declare yourself as a communications major and take the core classes your first year of college and see what interests you the most – you can then declare yourself a journalism major or any other subcategory of communications you would like.
Students who major in communications will build an excellent base of knowledge on numerous topics. This base of knowledge will allow students many different opportunities post-graduation. Students will be able to enter many fields including business, media, and education.
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