How to choose the right communications career path for you
Communications is a broad career field. A communications degree can open the door to jobs in everything from online media to public relations. If you are looking into this degree, you may need to choose a career path early in the process, as this will largely determine what classes you take. Here are some considerations for choosing the right career path for your studies.
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Why pursue a communications career?
Why should you pursue a degree in communications? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this particular career path is expected to grow steadily from 2021 to 2031, so you will likely find many job opportunities. Marketing is essential for any business to grow and thrive, and as long as there are businesses that need to market, there will be a demand for communications professionals.
Yet communication is not just for marketing. It is often necessary in other fields. For example, a human resources professional must communicate internally within an organization. A press secretary will need to be able to craft a press release to support their client. If you choose a communication career path, you will find a high demand for your work in many different fields.
Popular communications jobs
Public relations involves a significant amount of communication. You will communicate with the media, employees, community members, management, and more. Learning to communicate orally and in writing are essential in this field.
The goal of a public relations professional is to manage the spread of information about a company or individual to create a positive public image. This career might involve writing press releases or talking to the media, developing compelling stories the media will want to publish, problem-solving when issues arise, or analyzing trends that might impact the business.
Brand marketing involves creating a brand image surrounding a company and marketing that image. Consistency is essential in this role, as the brand marketer must ensure all mentions of the business are consistent and match the brand.
In addition to developing the brand’s image, marketing professionals must develop advertisements aligned with that image. They will also watch and analyze market trends to ensure they meet the industry’s current demands.
Today’s marketing relies heavily on social media, and social media professionals are in high demand. A social media professional plans and executes a company’s social media strategies and accounts. More than just posting to social media channels, they also plan the campaigns.
Social media managers may need to interact with the public on social media. They will plan the visual elements that match a brand’s image and track the success of these campaigns.
At its heart, journalism is a type of communication. Thus, a communications degree can work well if you’re interested in a journalism career. You will learn writing skills that can help you become a successful communicator.
To work as a journalist, you will need to be able to write in a clear, concise manner, deliver information in a structured way, and know the various ways to publish information.
An editor takes someone else’s writing and makes it ready for publication. Like a journalist or writer, the editor must have good communication skills, strong attention to detail, and excellent grammar skills.
Working as an editor can involve tight deadlines and other challenges relating to getting work ready to publish.
Content marketers use written and visual content to market a business. Content marketers must understand effective communication and marketing to evaluate and publish content.
Content marketing involves primarily online content, but it can also involve print, radio, and television content. The primary goal of content marketing is to improve sales or leads through effective, dynamic content.
Planning an event involves a lot of communication, both to advertise the event and ensure attendees know the details. A communications degree can be a good starting point.
Event planners must be very organized, understand advertising, have a friendly personality, and be able to lead others throughout an event.
Digital media can involve many of the communications jobs already mentioned. A digital media professional communicates via websites, social media, blogs, and other digital platforms.
Digital media involves written communication, but modern trends also focus heavily on video. Learning how to communicate with various types of media will help you succeed in this field.
How to choose a career path
So how can you choose which of these communications jobs will work best for you? Here are some guidelines that can help you evaluate your options.
Assess your interests and strengths
What are you good at? What is interesting to you? Because of the variety within the communications field, this is a great place to start your thought process. Find an area that taps into your interests and strengths, and you will end up with a gratifying career.
Explore career options
Take some time to research the career options available to someone with a communications degree. Each communications career path is slightly different, so learn about the job, potential income levels, and work environment.
Research responsibilities of each job
Dig deep to see what the responsibilities of each job are and if they are a good fit for your goals and skills. For example, if you are not good at making video content and have no desire to learn this skill, a career as a journalist could suit you better than one as a digital marketing strategist.
Consider your short and long-term goals
Do you have specific financial or career goals? Most people do have both short- and long-term goals. Examine yours to determine which career paths would be best. Make sure you are equipped with the skills you need to achieve these goals.
Get an internship
One way to gain insight into what a career may look like is through an internship. Internships give you on-the-job training and first-hand job experience; some are even paid. You will work under skilled communications professionals to see what the day-to-day work will be in that career.
Talk to people in the field
Talk to people working in a communications career, and see what they think of their jobs. Ask them about industry trends you should know about or what skills are most helpful in their career. The more you can learn about the career field you are considering from people actively working in it, the better your chance of ultimate success.
Get started on a communications degree today
If a communications job is the right career path for you, it starts with the right degree. Central Michigan University has an excellent communications program that covers public speaking, writing, organizational communication, and more. This program also has internships with many major companies in the area, providing students with the chance to get hands-on experience.
Reach out to the admissions team at Central Michigan University today to learn more about our Bachelor of Arts in Communications and get started on the training you need to jump into a communications career.