Communication

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Major in Communication

Article by Rachelle Wiggins

“To …felicitously communicate requires that one’s mind not be a blank slate but already properly formed, disciplined and exercised.” ~Gregory B. Sadler

Communication has been defined as the way we meet others, develop and manage relationships and get along with others. It exists that we might inform, imagine, influence, express feelings and meet social expectations. The ability to communicate effectively is arguably the most important skill we could ever possess! Communication, as a college major, takes an in-depth look at human expression in a variety of formats, medias and contexts, particularly the mass telecommunication of radio, film, television and internet. It is a broad-based liberal arts major that hones your speaking, writing, listening, interpretation and interpersonal skills. In this program you will sharpen your ability to think analytically, argue persuasively, research thoroughly and tell stories captivatingly. You will look at media with a critical eye and learn how to create media content for a given purpose and audience.  Upon completion of this interdisciplinary major, you will not only gain something meaningful to say, you will be able to say it clearly, concisely and compellingly.

So, beyond a passion for communication, what other skills and traits are necessary for success in this major? People skills and the ability to function as a team player are definitely important as you will work in group settings with diverse populations and will need to correctly “read” your changing audience. It is also vital that you possess clear thinking and some degree of persuasive and promotional skill. Confidence and decisiveness are definitely valuable traits in this major! You will also find it helpful to possess creativity, good time management and keen critical thinking and problem-solving skills. In addition, it is an asset to be relatively tech savvy and gifted when it comes to imagining and creating appealing visual design.

While completing core classes in the humanities and social sciences, you can expect to take plenty of courses the delve into the inner workings of communication theory and practice. Depending on your desired career goals, you may use your electives to branch into specific subfields of interest such as visual communications, media and popular culture or information technologies. Some of the classes you might take include:

  • Communication Theory
  • Public Relations
  • News Writing and Reporting
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Speech Communication
  • Media Communication
  • Persuasion and Social Influence

A communications degree does not lead you to a clear-cut, direct destination. Rather, it unlocks the potential for you to pursue amazing employment options in a wide variety of fields, from media to business to government to broadcasting to journalism to politics to ministry to marketing to consulting. Some students find a communications major to be a great stepping stone into ongoing learning and eventually obtain a master’s degree in law, business or any array of other fields. But a bachelor’s degree in communication qualifies you for a whole host of career opportunities such as:

  • Media planner
  • Public relations specialist
  • Event planner
  • Radio or TV announcer
  • Negotiator/mediator
  • Social media manager
  • News reporter
  • TV/film/stage director
  • Human relations professional
  • Journalist
  • Brand manager
  • Market research analyst

Communication is a wise degree choice in that it prepares you for far-ranging work prospects. Maybe you have a love for writing, giving presentations or connecting with audiences. If this description sparks something in you, then perhaps God is calling you to step into communications as your college major!

 

 

A Future in Communications

By Amber Gragert

Presidential speech writer, James C. Humes, once said, “The art of communication is the language of leadership.” In choosing communication as your major you are in turn choosing to learn everything there is to know about effectively leading by way of communication; this has become the very framework of a wide and diverse array of industries.

In a world driven by every form of communication at the click of a button - the goal is no longer to reach the world with a message, but to reach the right audience with the right message. Majoring in communications tends to be a popular major due to its ability to continue into high-profile specialties. For example, it is the perfect foundation if your career aspirations are in fields like broadcasting, business administration, consulting, human resources, journalism, public relations and politics. Can you picture yourself managing office of staff - giving written and oral presentations or maybe recruiting and training staff? Or even perhaps you see yourself somewhere in media - typing up witty and brutally honest articles on today's news? There are even communication majors taking law offices by storm as extremely capable legal secretaries and paralegals. If you can see yourself in any of these settings then get ready to step into the world of communications.

In addition to several different communications courses you should expect to also take classes like: Anthropology, Computers, Digital Technology, News Writing and Reporting, Psychology, Public Speaking, Sociology, and Statistics. All of these courses cultivate a sharp and aware mind - ready to exercise keen communication skills in many industries. This pairs well with a mind that is likely already especially media savvy and has a fresh perspective on current world events.

In class studies are necessary, but extracurricular activities and internships can be equally beneficial to your future career. Join your school's debate team or another club, snag an internship at a consulting firm, or become a peer tutor. The point is that through internships you will develop heightened awareness of how people relate to others, how to pick up on subtle nuances in everyday communication; and then use those insights to very specifically reach that audience with your message, information, or product of choice. You will also learn to become a well versed and persuasive public speaker, you will gain invaluable knowledge on research and marketing techniques, and perhaps become a social media guru of sorts. These are all skills and qualities that potential employers find to be an asset.

This is a hot and steadily expanding line of study and work. With such a flexible degree you could be an asset in a career in a wide variety of industries, but a straightforward communications degree would easily be hugely beneficial in and of itself.