The definition of “communications” has evolved over the years. Rather than simply meaning the exchange of information, thoughts or messages, it is now considered the art of using words effectively to deliver ideas or information. That delivery can be through the written word, advertising media, the internet or broadcasting.
To enter one of the exciting and sometimes demanding communications careers, one must first earn a degree in communications. This degree will ready you to work in a variety of fields within the communications arena. The basic required courses will prepare you not only to succeed in your career choice, but may well prove to be beneficial in your personal life as well. In addition to general education classes and basic communications courses, individuals can choose from a number of courses specific to an area of specialization with the broad communications field. Some of the specialty areas of communication careers include:
Business and corporate communication – Living and working in a global society creates the need for individuals who can successfully communicate ideas and messages to people across town and across the globe. Dealing with international businesses requires some understanding of other cultures and languages along with typical communications coursework. Within this sub-group are several more specialized communications careers.
- Promotion Managers – These are the individuals charged with integrating advertising and marketing to maximize expose and generate revenue.
- Public Relations Managers - The public relations manager is responsible for designing and overseeing programs to create or maintain a client’s public image.
Journalism – Journalists are not just the men and women who sit behind the anchor desk or even work as field reporters. Included into the field of “journalists” are editors, writers and publishers. Journalists may work for local or national news agencies, magazines, websites or newspapers. Additional coursework in business communication and professional writing are often helpful to those who choose to work in this field of communications.
Health Communication – The importance of accurate health communication is increasing exponentially. Expert health communicators are needed to disseminate relevant information to interested parties around the world. These communicators must be able to provide accurate, relevant information and to do so without raising undo health alarms. Classes in biology and health should be included in the communications program.
There are dozens of career paths for individuals pursuing a communications career. Some of these include:
- Interpersonal Communication
- Audio Production
- Electronic Media and Society
- Videography: Television Production in the Field
- Organizational Communication
- Intercultural Communication
- Investigating Communication
Salaries – The salary range for individuals engaged in communications careers is broad. In the United States, the base salary for a Communications Manager may vary from around $39,000 annually to well over $100,000 per year. As is true in most other fields, the greater salaries are usually reserved for those with higher levels of education and experience.
Types of educational programs – The majority of employers demand that applicants possess at least a bachelor’s level degree in a communications related field. Higher level jobs are usually awarded to those individuals with post-graduate degrees. A number of students are finding a tremendous advantage in enrolling in an online school. Online colleges provide an identical curriculum as traditional colleges, but offer a level of flexibility and convenience not found in the conventional school. Tuition and school-related expenses found at online colleges tend to be considerably less than stand-alone schools.