A communication degree focuses on much of the same coursework as public relations, advertising, journalism, corporate training, marketing, and business management. These programs cover a broader range of topics in communication with a wide-ranging curriculum that can be tailored to work in a variety of specific industries. 

An advanced degree will look at issues such as interpersonal and intercultural communication, organizational management, technological expertise, business acumen, and leadership. One will likely study up-to-date business applications such as e-business and organizational communication within new media environments. Programs may also focus on communication issues such as negotiation, dispute resolution, and multicultural diversity. If you are looking to work in a specific industry, such as engineering, construction or health care, we encourage to investigate programs that allow one to take courses related to the area of specialization. With the advent of new technologies, familiarity and expertise with modern media and social networks can also be crucial.

For more information about programs related to communications visit the National Communication Association’s website.

In the International Context

Since communication is essential to any company, organization and agency, the skills you gain with a communications degree can translate into almost any industry in any country around the world. Whether you’re interested in working as a journalist with the Associated Press or with the US State Department at an embassy abroad developing their local communications strategy you will find that there is endless potential in this field.

Skills you’ve gained from study abroad will be useful in this field, regardless of whether you decide to work at home or abroad.

Journalism

Though an advanced degree in journalism isn’t a prerequisite for many writing positions, advanced degree in journalism provide valuable training in editing, technical writing and even management. This training gives those interested in pursuing careers in publishing that go beyond the writing to include management and supervisory positions the skills they need to lead in those areas. Additionally, courses will enhance writing, publishing, research, editing, and technical skills necessary to produce quality material.

Other skills that are desirable for a career in journalism include the ability to adapt and be flexible, perform under stressful conditions, and to work with others. Though people in this field usually exhibit these traits before entering grad school, many of the classes you’ll take will have you working with others in team settings and developing your own stories under tight deadlines.

For more information about a career in journalism visit JournalismJobs.com

Job Opportunities in the Field

The career opportunities that follow an advanced degree in journalism could take you in a number of different directions depending on where your interests lie. Careers in this field are usually fast-paced, intense and exciting and can include positions as diverse as news analyst, reporter, correspondent, photojournalist, script or speech writing, technical writing, radio/television announcing, editing, and campaign management, and many more.

Public Relations

Public relations specialists serve as advocates for businesses, nonprofit associations, universities, hospitals, and other organizations, and build and maintain positive relationships with the public. As organizational directors recognize the importance to developing positive relationships with the public, they increasingly rely on public relation specialists for advice on the strategy and policy of such programs.

Public relations specialists handle organizational functions such as media, community, consumer, industry, and governmental relations; political campaigns; interest-group representation; conflict mediation; and employee and investor relations. Working in this field, you take on the responsibility of understanding the attitudes and concerns of the community, consumer, employee, and public interest groups in order to establish and maintain cooperative relationships with them in addition to representatives from the media.

Much of your job will depend on your ability to communicate effectively on paper and in person and be able to develop well formulated presentations and news releases. The training you will receive during your time in grad school will focus on honing these skills to make you competitive in the market after you graduate. Though your specialization focus may change, you will have core classes that focus on writing, public speaking and presenting, community relations, and partnership building. A position in this field could have you working as a press secretary for the US State Department or a member of Congress or as a public relations specialist with a nonprofit abroad.

For more information about a career in public relations, visit the Public Relations Society of America website. 

Job Opportunities in the Field

After receiving your degree in public relations, you can expect that a number of career options will be open to you. Some of the positions include public relations specialist, communications specialists and media specialists, public information specialists, community action directors, youth workers, media managers, campaign managers, special events coordinators, public relations specialists, fundraisers, outreach coordinators and many more. 

Human Resources

All organizations are looking for the most qualified candidates for employment and are interested in placing them in the position that is right for them. Since many organizations and businesses are too big to allow close and consistent contact between executive management and employees, human resources departments are crucial to maintaining internal relations. Human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists provide this connection. Much of the work is focused on performing the administrative functions like managing employee benefits and recruiting, interviewing, and hiring new staff in accordance with policies established by the organization.

Though it wasn’t necessary before, an advanced degree in this area is in much higher demand now. Many labor relations jobs require graduate study in industrial or labor relations. A strong background in industrial relations and law is highly desirable for contract negotiators, mediators, and arbitrators. A master’s degree in human resources, labor relations, or in business administration with a concentration in human resources management is highly recommended for those seeking general and top management positions.

For more information about what a career in human resources would look like, visit the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics page.

Job Opportunities in the Field

Like many of the other subcategories in communications, careers in human resources are quite diverse. You could be working as a training specialist at a large company or as an intern recruiter for a nonprofit. Some of the other possibilities include positions like a hospitality manager, recruiter, customer service representative, training and development specialist, personnel specialist, human resources director and the list goes on.

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