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9 Jobs for Communications Majors Where You’ll Actually Use Your Degree

They don’t say, “communication is key,” for nothing

Woman communication major
Photo courtesy of Andrea Buccelli

What do communication majors do after graduation? The answer: almost anything! Because you’ve learned public speaking skills, networking, writing, and social influence, communications majors become huge assets in industries like advertising, law, and even politics. Good communication is needed everywhere, but these nine jobs will surely require a skill set like yours.

1. Public relations professional

Communications majors learn how to connect with people. If you're someone who loves being the middleperson that makes connections between others, a job as a public relations professional might be for you. You'll use your communication skills to develop press kits, connect influencers to companies, write speeches and press releases, design multimedia PR campaigns, and much more.

Entry-level PR reps can expect an average salary of $53,000, while those at the director level pull down an average of $75,000.

2. Academic counselor

Do you love working with students? Don't want to leave the academic world just yet? Many communications majors are talented and empathetic listeners, which is necessary to become an academic counselor. Whether you're interested in working closely with high schoolers or at the university level, the advice you give will make you an influential force in the academic and career development of your students. Salaries vary depending on the academic institution and your level of education—most academic advisors or professionals who work in university career centers have master’s degrees.

College counselors make an average of $56,000 per year.

Read more: 5 Great Jobs for Sociology Majors

3. Psychologist/counselor

Some communications majors pursue their studies because they have a talent for connecting with people and advising and want to use those skills to help others. If this sounds like you, becoming a psychologist or counselor may be a rewarding path. Your skillset will give you the freedom to choose whether you want to work with people with disabilities, individuals struggling with substance abuse or trauma, families, couples, children, students in school, or veterans—really, just about anyone.

In order to be a practicing psychologist you’ll need a master’s degree or even a Ph.D. plus professional licenses, depending on your area of practice. If you’d like to be a family counselor, for example, you’ll need to be a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT).=

Salaries vary widely depending on your level of education and area of practice.

Read more: Now to Find a Job You Love (No, Really)

4. Broadcast journalist

If you devour the news like sustenance, becoming a broadcast journalist could be in your future. This job is for the com major who loves to stay in the loop and finds being in the spotlight exciting. You'll be making an annual salary of $40,000.

5. Human resources professionals

Human resources professionals manage company benefits administration and payroll, influence and help maintain company culture and employee morale, conduct exit interviews, inform talent attraction and employee retention, and field and address employee complaints. Many communications majors who have found jobs in the HR field love the fact that they become the person that employees go to whenever they need help.

Entry-level salaries in human resources average $43,000, while VP-level salaries average $184,000.

6. Social media manager

Social media managers are employable across all industries and can work from just about anywhere. You might work for an individual company or for an advertising or PR agency, managing a number of brands’ online identities. You’ll design and execute social campaigns, respond to comments and messages, and imagine new ways to interact with customers and clients.

Social media managers can expect an average salary of $42,000.

7. Paralegal

Paralegals assist licensed attorneys in their work. You’ll conduct research, file papers, communicate with clients, and draft documents. Requirements to become a legal paraprofessional vary by state, but you’ll likely need to complete an ABA-accredited paralegal program and get certified to work in your state.

Paralegals make $48,000 per year on average.

Read more: How to Write a Resume for Your First Job

8. Advertising/marketing professionals

Are you someone with a creative streak? If you're thinking of pursuing a career path that merges communication and creativity (and a little numbers savvy), a job in advertising is the way to go. You might work for an ad agency or in-house for a single company, but the great news is that marketing and advertising comprise a variety of specializations you could pursue, like sales and account management, campaign creation and execution, social media management, paid media campaign design, market research, project management, copywriting, finance, business, video production, packaging design, and graphic and logo design.

Entry-level marketing specialists make an average of $47,000 per year, and if you stick with it, landing a job as a chief marketing officer can earn you an average of $175,000 per year.

9. Public speaker

You might be surprised to find out that public speaking can actually be a communication major's full-time job. Whether you're hoping to inspire an audience to pursue the business venture they’ve always dreamed of or help a political party win over voters, you’ll need to possess charisma and confidence and be comfortable in front of people (of course). It also helps to be an expert at something. And if you’re looking for a job that lets you travel, this is a great path to pursue.

Salaries vary widely by expertise and discipline.

Read more: 9 Jobs for Creative Writing Majors Where You’ll Actually Use Your Degree

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