A degree in communication provides individuals with a large number of career opportunities. This is due primarily to the nature of the degree, which provides an understanding in the various methods people communicate without a focus on a specific field. Due to the open ended nature of the undergraduate bachelor degree, some individuals may choose to take their studies one step further, pursuing a master’s degree.
Master’s programs in communication vary from college to college. Some provide a curriculum that is focused on a specific field and prepares students for employment in that field. Other programs may choose a more academic approach, studying the reasons and methodologies for communication at greater depth. Students will choose the type of program based on their personal interests and goals and will research individual programs to ensure they have applied to programs that reflect their needs.
The various foci available to students at the master level can vary greatly from one another. The common thread is the use of communication within the field. It is important to note that a master degree in a communication specialty does not exclude one from other opportunities, but rather increases the likelihood of a career in their specialization. Below is a small sample of the many specializations and careers possible through a master’s in communication.
Journalism is the use of the written word to disseminate ideas and news to the public. In earlier times, this was primarily accomplished through print media. Today, the field has grown through the interconnectivity of the internet. News services are able to quickly supply information to the populace through their websites, individuals are able to provide information and ideas through blogs, and the populace is able to obtain the information through search services and news aggregators. The use of media to accentuate the written word and better communicate ideas and events has become increasingly important, and the role of the journalist who must supply it has grown. Journalists with a degree in communication have a better understanding of how to present information, utilizing the methods learned through study to properly connect with the viewer.
Individuals entering the field of social work will be asked to work with families, groups and individuals that have varying problems and issues. Communication is primarily used to obtain trust from patients and to allow others to feel comfortable enough to discuss their problems. A social worker must connect with his or her clients, and utilize the bond to attempt to better the problems presented. Understanding the use of body language and other subtle cues can be of great assistance, as it will allow the social worker to better understand the client and react accordingly.
Communication with a focus on education involves obtaining the attention of others with intention to impart knowledge. Teaching requires engaging individuals in a small setting and holding the attention of those individuals over a period of time. Communication can be very beneficial in education as it will provide the skills and knowledge necessary to conduct and direct a classroom, as well as utilizing methods to ensure that the knowledge imparted is received by students. A teacher with a communication degree will be able to approach students of various ages and implement techniques appropriate for that age group. The ability to identify verbal and visual cues is a valuable skill for teachers to have, as it allows them to better understand and assist their students.
Advertising and communication go hand in hand. The role of an advertiser is to imprint upon the viewer images and phrases that create desire and need. The use of various media, color, sound, and wording are required to affect the viewer, and the development of such skills can be accelerated through a communication background. Programs that emphasize advertising will educate the student in the methods of grabbing attention, product identification, and branding.
An individual working in public relations is responsible for the image presented to the public by his or her client. Clients may be individuals, businesses, groups, or governments. The need for maintaining or repairing an image is high, and a degree in communication will assist those in the field by providing the techniques by which one may redirect or change the perception of the public. Programs that focus on public relations will focus on perception and behavior, and how to use communication to alter both.
The above list is just a limited sample of the large number of careers that may benefit from an education in communication. The broad nature of the major allows for variation that encompasses art, science, social science and more. An individual would do well to consider an education in communication even if they have a specific career in mind as it may augment one’s skills and prove to be highly beneficial as a result.