12 Careers You Can Pursue with a Communications Degree

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By DeVry University

December 21, 2022
5 min read

Effective communication, in all its various forms, is essential to the productivity, image and growth of any organization or brand. Since business operations like sales and marketing, media relations, event planning, training and employee development simply cannot function without effective strategic and tactical communications, you may be able to open the door to a broad range of potential careers with a communications degree. Professionals with highly developed written and verbal communication skills are required for myriad roles, helping organizations position themselves correctly in highly competitive markets, manage crises, build brands, plan events and increase sales and profitability.

Let’s take a look at 12 careers you can prepare to pursue with a communications degree, including some that may surprise you.

1. Media Relations Coordinator

A communications degree enables media relations coordinators to create and maintain a positive public image for their organizations. Working internally or for PR agencies, they collaborate with managers or directors in media relations to manage the perception of an organization by arranging press coverage, writing and editing press releases and newsletters, developing speeches for senior executives and more. They typically work with reporters and editors in the media to gain earned media, or external coverage they haven’t written, but they may have journalism experience themselves in some cases. 

2. Advertising Copywriter

Working alone or part of a marketing department, copywriters are the storytellers of marketing communications. Using highly refined writing skills, they provide the words behind advertising campaigns, websites, brand slogans and even packaging. Some of them specialize in search engine optimization (SEO), writing copy intended to boost website performance. They often work in partnership with art directors and graphic designers who participate in the conception of ideas – from single headlines to total campaigns – that build brands, influence consumers and increase sales and market share. Some specialty areas, like technical or science writing, require additional academic or industry training.

3. Social Media Manager

Social media managers plan and execute social media strategies to help organizations engage with their target communities and share their stories. They use copy, photos, videos and other media on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok to build their organization’s followers or, with the emergence of social shopping, sell products directly to mobile consumers who are ready to buy.

Social media managers often work closely with other marketing team members to be sure their efforts are coordinated. A high degree of written communication skills, media literacy and some broader marketing knowledge are all useful in this role.

4. Sales Representative

No matter what the product or service is, someone has to sell it. Sales representatives are responsible for developing relationships with customers, making sales and reaching goals set by senior-level managers. The sales process could take place via phone, email, in person or in a combination of these environments. The salesperson must articulate the unique attributes and consumer benefits of a product, which can sometimes be highly technical, to potential customers. This is where effective verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills become indispensable. If you like working with people and have a talent for persuasion, you might consider putting your communications degree to work in a sales career.

5. Journalist

Journalists are reporters who gather facts through research or interviews with subject matter experts, public officials, witnesses and other sources. They report through a variety of media platforms, such as newspapers and magazines, broadcast media, social media, blogs and podcasts. Some journalists specialize in areas such as arts and entertainment, healthcare, sports, education, politics or investigative reporting. True journalists strive to cover the news impartially and adhere to strict ethical standards. Journalists sometimes work on very tight deadlines, especially in today’s 24-hour news media environment. This profession demands tenacity along with excellent writing, editing and time management skills.

6. Marketing Communications Specialist

Marketing communications specialists perform a variety of tasks to maintain the drumbeat of an organization’s marketing department. Their duties might include conducting competitive and market research, using analytics to measure the performance of digital marketing campaigns, creating or editing web content and writing product descriptions and blog posts for various marketing-related platforms. This is often an entry-level position. After gaining experience, people in this role may move up to positions like marketing communications manager or marketing director.  

7. Crisis and Emergency Communications Specialist

During an unexpected crisis, such as a serious accident involving employees, cyberattack or natural disaster, crisis communications specialists implement communications plans and disseminate vital information. 

Often working in the public relations departments of large organizations or as outside consultants, these professionals help organizations reach employees and their families, customers, the local community and other stakeholders with accurate information and without delay.  When functioning as an organization’s media spokesperson, they use highly developed communication skills and media relations knowledge to be sure the organization is responding swiftly and responsibly to the crisis. 

8. Employee Relations Manager

Working within the human resources department of large organizations, employee relations managers provide information to employees relative to benefits and programs available to them, inspect and improve the physical environment, investigate workplace incidents and address employee complaints. They also assist in the recruiting and hiring process.

As in the human resources manager’s position, this role demands excellent interpersonal and written communication skills and a high level of emotional intelligence, particularly in employee conflict resolution.

9. Training and Employee Development Manager

Companies can increase efficiency and save money by training and promoting employees from within the organization, rather than recruiting and hiring new team members. This important HR-related role focuses on developing employees’ skills after they’ve joined the team. It may include upskilling, or training them in more advanced skills, or cross-training them in different roles as the company makes changes or increases production capacity.

This manager might oversee a well-structured onboarding and orientation process, create training manuals, conduct lectures and presentations and perform other duties that require effective communication skills and the use of modern content design and creation tools.

10. Event Planner

Events can be an important element of any company’s marketing plan, helping them to build their image and meet important marketing, public relations, sales and fundraising objectives. Working independently or for event planning companies, large catering venues or trade associations, event planners take on everything from intimate patio cocktail parties to industry conferences with thousands of attendees. The need for effective communication skills, combined with attention to detail and the ability to stay cool under pressure make event planning another potential fit for you and your communications degree.

11. Account Manager

These professionals perform an important function in the relationship between a company – a professional services firm, telecommunications service provider or insurance agency for example – and its customers.

Account managers use listening, relationship-building, communication, organization and time management skills to represent their accounts or clients most effectively.  They look after their clients’ best interests and sometimes work to expand the scope of the client relationship, leading to increased revenue for their company. This career could be a good fit for you and your communications degree if your project management skills are sharp and you enjoy setting goals and reaching them.    

12. Nonprofit Program Manager

Nonprofit organizations are an important component of the global economy and play an key role in our society. They have different missions but share a common need – to engage with their communities in meaningful ways and conduct fundraising that is crucial to their growth. Nonprofit program managers plan and implement initiatives or programs that fall within the scope of their missions. They are responsible for coordinating activities, recruiting and managing volunteers, planning events and gaining media coverage for their initiatives. Communications majors are drawn to this role because it allows them to put their creative and media relations skills to work for good causes.

Begin Your Journey in Business Communications with a Degree from DeVry

Encompassing production, writing, sales, marketing and active learning, our Bachelor’s Degree in Communications with a Specialization in Business Communications will teach you many of the skills needed to pursue these career options and more. Gain skills in public relations, journalism and technical writing as you learn to communicate with confidence, clarity and credibility. Classes start every 8 weeks.

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