Communications graduates can choose to go into journalism, public relations, marketing or advertising and promotion. Salaries for these professionals range widely from roughly $46,000 to $140,000 per year.
A bachelor's degree in communications may include areas of concentration such as journalism, public relations, emerging media, marketing, and business and organizational communication. Most programs will require an internship within the area of specialty. Prerequisite skills and knowledge include writing, speaking, critical thinking, and technology and people skills.
|Career||Journalism||Public Relations Specialist||Marketing Executive||Advertising Sales Agent|
|Education Requirements||Bachelor's degree||Bachelor's degree||Bachelor's degree||Bachelor's degree|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||-8%*||6%*||9%*||5%*|
|Mean Salary (2015)||$46,560 for reporters and correspondents*||$65,830*||$140,660 for marketing managers*||$61,690*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Find schools that offer these popular programs
Graduates with a bachelor's degree in communications may opt for careers in journalism (e.g., news reporter or copy editor), public relations, and marketing or advertising.
Journalism Career Information
Individuals with a bachelor's degree in communications generally find work in this field as reporters, news correspondents, or copy editors. Exact job responsibilities vary according to job title, but journalism professionals are usually responsible for researching, interviewing, editing, and fact checking their reports. Reporters keep track of any news relevant to their area of reporting--examples include sports, local news, finance, and crime--and compile written stories or news broadcasts. Copy editors are responsible for perusing written articles, reports, or columns; they correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation and create article headlines. They also verify the accuracy of facts and quotes and edit news stories for clarity and length.
Journalism Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), the mean yearly salary for reporters and correspondents was $46,560 in May 2015. Those in the field of television and radio broadcasting earned an average annual salary of $51,430, as compared to the mean of $40,860 earned per year by journalists working in newspapers, magazines, or publishing.
Public Relations Career Information
Public relations officials are in the business of image. They work for companies or individual clients; they communicate directly or through the media with target audiences, generally members of the public who are consumers or prospective consumers of the clients they represent. The messages they send and communications they oversee are designed to enhance the public image of their clients. Typical job responsibilities include preparing and sending press releases, planning promotional events, holding press conferences, and managing crises. Public relations executives attempt to establish and maintain positive working relationships with media members; having such contacts can be beneficial in generating coverage to build their clients' reputations.
Many public relations officials work in the marketing or communications departments of large corporations. Others are employed by government agencies, institutions of higher learning, and non-profit organizations. Public relations executives may be self-employed or work for boutique public relations firms that acquire and represent clients.
Public Relations Salary Information
Salaries in public relations differ greatly depending on the type of business. As a whole, public relations specialists earned a mean salary of $65,830 per year in May 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Public relations specialists employed by advertising or public relations firms made an annual mean salary of $75,370.
Marketing Career Information
Marketing executives are responsible for promoting clients' goods or services. Like public relations officials, their job is to create a favorable view of the product in the eyes of target markets. Marketing executives, however, only deal with the marketing of tangible objects; they devise effective ways to promote new products and to maintain or increase consumer satisfaction of established products. Promotion is primarily handled through pricing and product placement strategies. Marketing professionals spend much of their time conducting research, testing promotional methods with target markets, and staying aware of what their competitors are doing.
Marketing Salary Information
According to the BLS, marketing managers earned a mean of $140,660 per year as of 2015. While some work experience is generally required to attain employment as a marketing manager, many bachelor's degree holders accrue the necessary experience via college internships or part-time work.
Advertising Career Information
Advertising executives' job duties can vary greatly depending upon the official capacities in which they work. Many people in advertising sell ad space in print or broadcast media outfits that depend on advertisements to finance their publications. Advertising sales executives often receive some sort of commission. Other advertising executives work in the marketing or advertising departments of businesses or corporations, and are primarily responsible for the development and execution of individual ads or larger ad campaigns promoting a specific product or service. Some of these executives handle the logistical aspects of advertisements, such as deciding where these ads will run or pitching them to organizations that might run them, while others supervise the creative development of ads.
Advertising Salary Information
The most common positions for those working in advertising are account or sales agents and managers. According to the BLS, advertising sales agents made a mean annual salary of $61,690 in 2015. The BLS further stipulated that as of May 2015, advertising and promotions managers earned a mean annual salary of $113,610.
To summarize, there are a variety of different career paths you could take once you've completed a bachelor's degree in communications, including jobs in journalism, public relations, marketing and advertising. The salaries vary greatly depending on the industry, but may reach six figures in high-level management positions.