Communications is a field that cuts across all sectors of the economy. Professionals in communications are needed at large corporations, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and consulting companies that offer communications services to clients.
The emergence of online education has made it more convenient for both recent high school graduates and working professionals to earn a degree that can open the door to jobs in the field. For example, San Diego Christian College offers a 100% online Bachelor of Arts in Communications degree program.
Here’s a look at some of the most popular jobs for communications graduates.
Many organizations, especially larger ones, hire people to handle communications with the public. That can include consumers, investors and members of the media. Typical job duties include writing press releases, fielding questions from the media, communicating with the public and maintaining an organization’s “brand” and reputation.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the number of people working as communications specialists – also called public relations – will increase 9% by 2026. The mean annual salary for public relations specialists was $67,990 nationwide in May 2017.
California ranks among the top states in terms of the number of people working in public relations and as communications specialists. The mean annual salary was $75,540 in May 2017.
This occupation is a subset of the communications and public relations field. Press secretaries work for government agencies or individual elected officials, with the most well-known example being the White House press secretary. In this job, communications experts keep the public informed about important actions by government agencies or officials. About 10% of all public relations professionals work for a government agency, but the median annual salary tends to be higher, according to the BLS.
Social Media Manager
This is another job within communications and public relations. With the importance of social media in modern marketing strategy, managing the various social media channels used by organizations is increasingly important. Social media offers a way to directly engage customers with marketing messages, get feedback on products and services, and begin relationships that can turn one-time buyers into long-term customers.
For government and nonprofit agencies, social media offers the chance to extend the reach of important messages about services and, in the case of nonprofits, potential donors.
Film and Video Editors
People often associate communications with writing. While many jobs do involve writing, film and video editing – as well as working as a camera operator – are increasingly important as the Internet provides more channels to get video in front of an audience. Film and video editors work for media outlets, marketing and advertising agencies, and movie production and documentary film companies.
Growth in this field is expected to reach 13% by 2026, according to the BLS. The mean annual wage for film and video editors is $83,950. In California, which employs far more film and video editors than other states, the mean annual wage is $109,070.
With the innovations in communications technology, many writers now work remotely or as freelancers. The number of businesses needing writers has increased as more have seen the value of having well-written content on their websites. This can include private industry, government agencies, universities and nonprofit organizations. Also, writers produce both fiction and non-fiction books and write screenplays for television and film.
The number of writers working nationwide is projected to increase 8% by 2026, according to the BLS. Nationwide, the mean annual salary for a writer is $72,120. In California, which employees more writers than any other state, the mean annual salary is $96,120.
Many editors are former writers who have moved on to coordinating editorial content for a media organization, website or larger private companies. Editors, like writers, work under deadlines. They typical rewrite copy from writers to make it clearer, edit for fact errors and proper grammar, and develop ideas in tandem with writers.
Job growth in this area is expected to be flat, according to the BLS. But it’s worth noting that the projection includes the number of editor jobs dwindling in print publications. Jobs for websites should increase. The mean annual salary for editors was $68,230 in May 2017. In California, which trails only New York in the number of editors employed, the mean annual wage for editors is $79,170.
Communications remains an extremely important skill set in industry, the media, academics, government and nonprofits. For those wishing to put their skills in communications to use in their career, there are many interesting options.