Communication between people and among groups is a complex interaction that has yet to be fully understood. Communication students are tasked with absorbing a fantastic breadth of knowledge, from the rhetoric and composition of Ancient Greece to the digital transmissions of modern social media.
Communication majors benefit from their hard work with many options for a rewarding career. After earning a Master of Arts in Communication, below are four of the top careers in which you can excel.
1. Journalist and Writer
There are few fields that require advanced communications education more than journalism. Journalists must research diligently and explain information clearly, which means they must understand what their audience wants and how their audience perceives information. Journalists can communicate through a wide variety of media, including print, photography, radio, and video. The most prolific journalists have mastered them all.
In particular, written communication requires particular and finely honed skills, especially considering the ways written information has changed in recent years. Online forms of communication are drastically different than those once found in newspapers and magazines. Typically, they are more informal and less structured. In addition, there is high demand for online writers, which means those equipped with an advanced academic background in this type of communication have plenty of opportunity to thrive.
The salary for communication students looking to become writers (including written-word journalists) varies depending on background education and experience, as well as budget of individual clients. A professional writer with a master’s degree in communication can expect a yearly income between $30,000 and $78,000.
Additionally, writers have an incredibly flexible career path. For example, after working freelance, a writer could attain full-time employment at a company as an editor and proceed up the ranks through various copywriting and editing positions until reaching a communication manager position, which nets an even higher salary.
2. Communication Specialist
Clear and constant communication is crucial for the survival of any enterprise, which is why communication specialists can find work around the country throughout business and industry. A communication specialist oversees a company’s messages, both internal and external, ensuring that the company maintains a consistent, cohesive image for its entire audience; both employees and clients.
Every correspondence, from job descriptions to memos to social media posts, must first pass over the desk of a communication specialist, who will fine-tune the message as necessary. Additionally, specialists are often tasked with writing a majority of communication from scratch.
Communication specialists can be paid handsomely for their efforts. Graduates can expect between $34,000 and $47,000 in starting-level positions, while experienced employees (usually with master’s degrees in communication) may earn between $50,000 and $71,000 every year. Plus, communication specialists often have high visibility within organizations that positions them for promotions that could lead them into marketing leadership, communication leadership, or C-level executive leadership.
3. Public Relations Manager
Similar to communication specialists, public relations (PR) managers are responsible for a company’s messages, but PR managers typically only oversee communications that reach the outside world. Their goal is to develop and maintain a positive image for their company.
Usually, PR managers must regularly interface with the community, the media, and investors in order to understand exactly what their audience wants and needs. PR managers can help develop marketing strategies and craft press releases and other vital communications.
PR managers often find a high level of satisfaction at work, as they are able to regularly exercise their research and problem-solving abilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median salary for a PR specialist is $54,170 per year, but experienced managers can make as much as $94,480 per year.
4. Executive Director
An executive position can be especially desirable for an individual with an advanced degree in communication. Executives can have a profound impact on the way a company communicates and functions. However, to reach this position, employees must be adept at a number of skills, the most critical of which is communication. Communication positions that require an advanced degree, therefore, are prime pools for future executives and chiefs of staff.
Executive directors can earn substantial salaries that include enhanced benefits, bonuses, commissions, or profit-sharing opportunities.
To take the first step toward your future career opportunities in communications, learn more about the Queens University of Charlotte online Master of Arts in Communications.