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Articles on Speech:
   Speech Major...A Closer Look
   Path to a Speech Degree

Speech Major...A Closer Look

By Misty Sneddon

photo Those pursuing a degree in Speech will learn how to research and report accurately, enunciate clearly, think critically, read body language, write, listen and present well, and instruct others successfully. People who find fulfillment with this major are often outgoing, curious, effective, decisive, articulate, caring, engaging, and truthful.

Majoring in Speech provides a large and general knowledge base. This major is similar to obtaining a Liberal Arts degree. Classes a Speech student can expect to take are English composition and literature, principals of public speaking, public relations, quantitative research methods, family communication, theories of communication, linguistics, argumentation and debate, business and professional communication, negotiation and mediation, health communication, mass communications, communication law, interpersonal communication, small groups communication, rhetorical theory and criticism, and cultural communication.

Careers available to those with a degree in Speech are:

  • Speechwriter
  • Foreign Relations Officer
  • Lobbyist
  • Media Relations Director
  • Corporate Communications Director
  • Advertising and Promotions Manager
  • Public Relations Director
  • Campaign Director
  • Mediator
  • Legislative Assistant
  • Broadcasting Station Manager
  • Speech and Debate Coach
  • Educational Tester
  • Religious Leader
  • United States President
  • Health Care Communication Executive
  • Event Planner
  • Television Producer
  • Community Affairs Liaison
  • Disc Jockey
  • Marketing Manager
  • Reporter
  • Nonprofit Organization Administrator
  • Talk Show Host
  • Author
  • Film Editor
  • Copywriter
  • Stage Manager
  • Activities Director
  • Recreation Supervisor
  • Language Specialist
  • Employment Recruiter/Headhunter

Depending on what career you choose, salaries vary widely. For example, a speechwriter will make an average of $69,500 a year, while a speech and debate coach will make $34,000 a year. Other careers with upper-end salaries are healthcare communication executives, talk show hosts, and employment recruiters. People who choose to work part-time, in schools, or through freelance contracts earn salaries on the lower end of the scale.