Communications is the art of conveying information in a clear, understandable matter. It can inspire, motivate, inform and persuade. It’s also the backbone of the global economy. Organizations in all sectors—public, private and nonprofit—rely on communications both internally, among staff members, and externally, with those outside their organization. Because communication is a skill that is in such high demand, earning a communications degree can pave the way to a rewarding career in any industry.
Why Major in Communications?
When you enroll in a communications degree program, you will quickly learn that communications isn’t solely about being articulate. It’s about conveying your ideas with clarity and understanding the psychology of human interactions. It’s also about being able to write effectively in multiple styles and voices. Lastly, and arguably most importantly, communications is about actively listening. In order to communicate clearly, it's necessary to listen carefully and to pay attention to nonverbal cues, such as body language and what the speaker isn't saying.
As you might expect, these skills are highly prized in every type of workplace. However, the versatility of a communications degree isn’t the only compelling reason to declare it as your major.
Other compelling reasons to major in communications include the following:
- There is a wealth of internship possibilities in all types of industries.
- Students enjoy hands-on educational experiences.
- A communications major can pave the way to additional academic pursuits or professional training in a wide range of fields.
- The coursework often mimics the tasks that professionals perform in the workplace.
- A communications degree nurtures both creative thinking and analytical reasoning skills.
What Do Public Relations Specialists Do?
This is one career possibility for communications degree students to consider. The job of a PR specialist can be demanding, yet exciting. As a PR specialist, you might pursue work in any sector or industry. You might work for the PR arm of an organization or a PR agency.
The primary responsibility of a PR specialist is to portray the client or organization in a positive light. To that end, a PR specialist might do anything from writing press releases to arranging press conferences to preparing a client to excel in a televised interview. PR specialists must maintain strong working relationships with members of the media.
Should You Become a Sports Journalist or Sports Broadcaster?
If you’re passionate about sports and want to dedicate your career to the field, you might consider becoming a sports journalist or broadcaster. You’ll put your communications degree to good use, delivering information-packed articles or commentary, along with your own original insights and opinions.
If possible, choose a communications degree that offers a concentration in broadcasting and new media. This will provide a thorough framework of skills for your future career. In addition to your studies, there are many opportunities to prepare for your career while you’re in college. Consider writing for your college newspaper, for instance, and look for internship opportunities at local TV stations, newspapers and radio stations.
What Is a Victim Advocate?
Many graduates feel called to pursue a line of work that allows them to serve others in their community. With a communications degree, you might consider becoming a victim advocate. These professionals provide a range of support services to victims of crimes, including counseling, crisis intervention and assistance navigating the criminal justice system. They stand with victims during court proceedings, help them secure community resources and sometimes even provide transportation, such as when a domestic violence victim needs help getting to a shelter.
This line of work can be highly fulfilling and meaningful. Advocates must be able to maintain empathetic communication with victims. In addition to earning a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, aspiring advocates might declare a minor in counseling and take some criminal justice courses as electives. It’s often possible to land an entry-level role with just a bachelor’s degree, although many victim advocates do complete master’s degrees. For example, you might earn an advanced degree in social work or psychology.
Can a Communications Degree Graduate Pursue Careers in the Legal Field?
With a communications degree, graduates are prepared to pursue additional professional training or further academic qualifications. This can qualify them to apply to high-level and specialized positions. For instance, a communications major might have their sights set on law school. The abilities to speak clearly and write effectively are essential skills for aspiring lawyers. Not only must lawyers clearly present their cases in the courtroom, they must also collaborate with clients and co-workers.
Law school will typically require four more years of education beyond the bachelor’s degree. If you’d rather jump into the workforce sooner than this, you might consider becoming a paralegal instead. Paralegals are the backbone of the legal system, and communication skills are vital for them. These professionals can perform many of the same tasks as lawyers, although they do not represent clients in the courtroom.
To become a paralegal, you may need to earn a professional certification or certificate after earning your bachelor’s degree. Some states like California, Arizona and Washington require paralegals to be registered, licensed or certified in order to practice.*
At Grand Canyon University, students can choose from several specializations for the Bachelor of Arts in Communications with an Emphasis in Interpersonal Communication and Human Relationships program. All communications degree students benefit from acquiring highly transferrable skills, along with foundational knowledge that will serve them well no matter which industry they choose for their career path. Click on Request Info at the top of your screen to explore your future at GCU.
Reference from: Paralegal.edu, Is Mandatory State Licensing for Paralegals a Good Idea?, in March 2021
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.