What Can You Do With a Communications Major?

Dec 19, 2019

A communications degree combines aspects of several subjects related to writing, speaking, and business. This major can apply to numerous career fields. Explore some of the job options and check out salary potential for this field.

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94% college-bound high school students
…said it was important to communicate with colleges during the search process. (Source: Noel-Levitz 2012 trend study)
  • 0:01 Communications Career Options
  • 0:21 Journalism
  • 0:43 Music Production
  • 1:07 Advertising
  • 1:28 Human Resources
  • 1:50 Communications Major

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Majoring in Communications

Communication programs provide a broad spectrum of training that allows students to pursue careers in multimedia, the business world, and other professions. Although many programs are on-campus, it is also possible to get an online communications degree. Most communications majors offer different tracks of study that allow students to focus their education in such areas as:

  • Broadcasting
  • Visual communications
  • Written journalism
  • Video journalism
  • Sports reporting
  • Web design
  • Media graphics

Students in this major are expected to learn how to communicate effectively for a multitude of audiences, develop analytical skills, provide information ethically, and conduct research.

Communications is most often offered as an associate's or bachelor's degree program. While advanced degrees exist in communications, graduate students often choose a specific topic of communications relating to the field in which they'd like to work, such as public relations. These programs are, therefore, more focused than an undergraduate major.

Majoring in communications may include completing an internship. These internships could be at local media sources or other businesses. They offer important real-world experience for students looking to transition into a career after graduation.

Communications Career Options

What does a communications major do to build your career? In order to decide if a communications degree is worth it for you, it is important to look at the resulting career opportunities.

Field Career Median Salary (2018)
Journalism Reporter/correspondent $41,260
Music production Agent or business manager (for artists, performers, and athletes) $66,040
Advertising Advertising sales agent $51,740
Human resources Human resource manager $113,300

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Communication degree jobs can be found in diverse areas, such as:

  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Business
  • Television
  • International relations
  • Sociology
  • Advertising
  • Film
  • Music production
  • Human resources
  • Social work
  • Education

Let's look at a few of these careers in further detail.


If a student pursues journalism, he or she may be able to work as a reporter, editor, or copy editor for a media organization, such as a newspaper or television station. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for reporters and correspondents was $41,260 in 2018.

Music Production

A communications major who opts to specialize in music production could find several roles in the music industry available to them. These include artist manager, producer, and music promoter. The BLS noted that agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes make a median annual salary of $66,040 as of 2018.


Advertising is another potential option for communications majors. Those working in this field typically help sell advertising space on radio, television, the Internet, and in print media. In 2018, the median annual salary for an advertising sales agent was $51,740 according to the BLS.

Human Resources

Communications majors also might choose to enter the human resources field. This career path is meant for individuals who'd like to help businesses recruit, train, and retain effective employees. As of 2018, human resource managers made a median annual salary of $113,300 based on BLS figures.

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