What Can You Do With A Communications Degree?

The ability to understand subtle signals and communicate more effectively is one benefit of earning a degree in communications, particularly as it relates to employability and workplace effectiveness. The soft skills learned as a communications major can help graduates find work in a wide range of positions, including some of the fastest growing occupations in the country.

How Much Can You Make with a Communications Degree?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of media and communication occupations is projected to grow four percent from 2018 to 2028, about as fast as the average for all occupations, which is projected to result in about 27,600 new jobs. Demand for media and communication occupations is expected to arise from the need to create, edit, translate, and disseminate information through a variety of different platforms.

What are the Career Options for Communications Majors?

Here are the occupations that score big in terms of 2019 average pay (nationwide) for communication majors, according to the BLS:

  • Market research analyst, $71,570 per year
  • Technical writers, $76,860 per year
  • Public relations specialist, $70,190 per year
  • Interpreters and translators, $57,000 per year

Career Outlook for Market Research Analysts

Marketing and public relations careers are among the most in-demand available to communications and journalism graduates, according to BLS data. Market research analyst positions are expected to experience 20 percent job growth between 2018 and 2028 — a rate much faster than average — and the ability to clearly communicate the results of a market analysis can help a candidate land one of those emerging positions.

Here are the five states that pay the highest mean annual salaries to market research analysts, per BLS 2019 data:

  • New Jersey, $91,360
  • Washington, $88,290
  • Delaware, $84,990
  • District of Columbia, $82,300
  • California, $79,070

Career Outlook for Technical Writers

Although they’re not growing as fast as positions in market research, the BLS reports that technical writer jobs are still on the rise and tend to be most accessible to graduates with a bachelor’s degree in communications, English or journalism. Job growth of 8 percent is expected between 2018 and 2028, with most positions focusing on content development for computer and management books, magazines, newspapers and web properties.

Here are the five states that pay the highest mean annual salaries to technical writers, per BLS 2019 data:

  • District of Columbia, $93,910
  • California, $93,830
  • Massachusetts, $92,350
  • Washington, $86,490
  • Virginia, $85,470

Additional Career Opportunities for Communications Majors

For communications graduates who specialized in the “soft skills” of interpersonal awareness and emotional literacy, a career as a human resource manager could be the sleeper hit career of the year. Uncommon insight in recruiting, interviewing, screening and placing new hires within an organization is a rare and valuable talent, and exceptional HR managers can command impressive salaries at the upper end of the national range. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that this occupation had a nationwide average salary of $129,570 in 2019.

For more information on potential careers for communications grads, and a full list of sources, check out the visual below.

  • Human Resources Managers, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2019, Occupational Employment Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes113121.htm
  • Technical Writers, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2019, Occupational Employment Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes273042.htm
  • Market Research Analysts, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2019, Occupational Employment Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes131161.htm