Are you thinking of taking a major in Communications while you apply to shortlisted colleges and universities for your bachelor’s or undergraduate study program? If you already have, you couldn’t have made a more prudent and practical choice. It goes without saying that graduating with a degree in communications not only paves the way for you to enhance your academic qualifications but also opens up many avenues for employment.
Just envision your future prospects by taking stock of the endless possibilities you have when you’re armed with a communications degree. After successfully completing your B.A. (communications), you can add to the arsenal of your academic prerequisites by opting for an additional undergraduate specialization in business management, education, media relations, health sciences, social sciences, operations management or human resources management.
When you’re fortified with a dual degree (and even a triple degree), you make yourself job ready for almost innumerable entry-level positions in more ways than you can possibly think of. Just sample the following positions from where you can work your way upwards to a trailblazing career!
1. Sky Is the Limit for You When You Have a Degree in Communications
You can find a break as a sales representative, accounts executive, advertising manager, media manager, flight attendant, campaign manager, hospitality manager, script writer, speech writer, telemarketing manager, communication statistician, communication consultant, journalist, media critic, political activist – the list is almost endless.
The college from where you earn your bachelor’s degree will of course make a difference. Somebody armed with a certificate from Yale, Stanford or an Ivy League college will always have an edge over someone who has passed out from a run-off-the-mill college. But beyond that, it’ll be your interpersonal skills that’ll set you apart from the crowd. Employers these days attach more weightage to soft skills like creative thinking, problem solving, presence of mind, decision making under pressure, reasoning, self-management, socialization, and integrity than educational skills when interviewing potential candidates for entry level openings.
Majoring in communications for your undergraduate degree, and then going for a dual specialization in any of the segments mentioned above, (according to your inclinations and preferences) will equip with most of the interpersonal or soft skills that employers or personnel recruitment managers look for in first time job applicants and interning candidates. If you can add to your scholastic aptitude, amass a few years of working experience, and acquire the right mix of interpersonal skills-set, you can look forward to a highly successful career as a lawyer, professor, academic counsellor or psychotherapist. You can even set your sights on becoming a popular parliamentarian or a cabinet minister.
2. A Communications Degree Opens Up a World of Possibilities
Irrespective of the profession you choose, for excelling in the future, you’d need to have a fair degree of reading and writing skills, listening and speaking skills, decision making and problem solving skills and other soft skills. With a degree or specialization in communications or PR, you can look forward to a career as a journalist, press photographer, talk-show host, radio jockey, editor, columnist, TV newsreader, TV news producer, news anchor and so on.
You can also become a PR specialist, media consultant, media analyst, press agent, publicity manager, media planner, marketing executive, creative director, advertising campaign manager, copy editor, author, promotional writer, technical writer, film editor, audiovisual specialist, and digital director.
For any of the above positions, you’d need to have the aptitude and flair for holding interviews, resolving conflicts, conducting meetings, and speak publicly that a bachelor’s in communications can furnish you with.
3. The Starting and Mid-Career Salary Range You Can Expect
As a communications graduate, you can expect an average or median annual CTC (cost to company) of $42,000 for an entry level position, say, as a desktop publisher, event announcer or as an advertising sales agent. As a public relations or fund raising manager, you can expect to draw a yearly salary of $110-120k.
As a film editor, you’ll be looking at a salary range of $65,000. Expect to be paid $72,000-$75,000 as a TV news broadcaster or analyst. These are just some instances. You can crosscheck income figures for a broad spectrum of entry-level positions in different industrial or commercial segments with different employment and occupational websites.
4. How to Prepare Yourself For That Plum Position You’re Targeting?
Competition for jobs is so stiff and cutthroat nowadays that having a communications degree is just not enough, not even if you have fixed your goals after considering the pros and cons of all available vacancies and positions. You’d need to be extraordinarily prepared and go all out for landing that plum position you’ve been eyeing since you got your degree certificate. Use the following strategies to your advantage.
5. Make a No-Holes-Barred CV
Don’t take any chances when it comes to drawing up your portfolio. Remember that the best selling brands are not necessarily the best, qualitatively speaking. Inventive and intelligent advertising targeting the niche segments and packaging that appeals to everybody’s senses makes all the difference.
So, it is with yourself or your portfolio. You’ll be able to catch the fancy of prospective employers with a resume that has been attractively packaged. The keywords here are ‘window dressing’ and ‘packaging’. You might not have been able to score very high grades in your communication subjects but you can more than make up for it by tempering your CV with highly creative samples of your writings and compact essays on current topics.
6. Doing an Internship Matters
Doing an internship always works. In fact, of all the strategies you follow, nothing can beat an internship. An apprenticeship gives you a fair and constructive idea of the sort of work you’ll be doing in future. With an internship, you gather the minimum threshold experience that’d be required to qualifying for an opening position. It’ll reflect on your resume as well.
7. Networking is crucial
In this era of Internet technology, when the world has become a single global village, you cannot expect to progress in your desired field by remaining cocooned in your own world. You’d have to connect with key people in your arena. You’d need to build a good rapport with those who you think will be instrumental in spearheading your growth and development. Make self seen and heard on Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail. The idea is to use social media networking to your advantage.
8. Be a Good Writer and Confident Public Speaker
How well you express your thoughts will be borne out by your writing. And speaking clearly and confidently as far as communicating your ideas and opinions are concerned is as important as your writing skills. And lucid and legible write-ups means there should be no grammatical or syntax errors.
Apart from imbibing the above tips, make yourself tech-savvy and keep yourself updated on current affairs. Volunteer for social or charitable work.