Guest Post By Tasha Newton, education freelance writer (Learn more about Tasha at the end of this post)
Tired of interning at the local Times Standard for free cake and a measly stipend once a week? Whoa! A cat in town just turned 37! What an assignment! Yes, it’s tough out there in the real world. This is especially true for communications majors, where internships are often a way of life the first few years out of college. The worst part is these “jobs” usually come with a promise of one day becoming a real position with actual money. However, the truth is many areas in communication are cutting down their number of employees, not building them up. How many writers do you need for a local paper when more and more people are getting their news online and through other mediums? So, how do you get out of this endless cycle of getting coffee and covering the town’s annual squirrel festival for peanuts?
Aside from toiling away in obscurity for the next twenty years writing the next great American novel while apologizing to your parents for throwing their money down the toilet on your education, communications graduates typically work in fields such as journalism, public relations, and advertising.
Want to write for a dying medium? Get a job at a local newspaper and start praying extensively. Thankfully, journalism does not only encompass the written word on paper. Journalism majors work as reporters, editors, or copy editors. Professionals in this field are typically responsible for interviewing, editing, researching, and fact checking for written stories or broadcast news.
This is great career for those looking to rub elbows with celebrities and important people. Employees working in public relations prepare and sending press releases, hold press conferences, and schedule promotional events. Everyone from Kim Kardashian to famous athletes to politicians running for office have a press department handling their speeches and image. In general, they are in charge of the image of their client and managing crisis.
Unfortunately, today’s agencies don’t quite run like they did in the era of Mad Men. But, if you’re creative, like to think visually, and enjoy writing copy and slogans, this might be a career for you. Advertising jobs include: working in the marketing or ad departments of businesses or corporations, where they may oversee individual ads or may be part of larger campaigns promoting products or services. Advertising sales executives sell ad space in print publications or for broadcast media.
Want to really make it in the world of journalism and communication? Put down the pen and paper and oversee others doing it. Typically, you’ll have to obtain masters in communication to gain employment in these positions. Public relations manager is an advanced career in the field of public relations. Job duties include overseeing a company’s public image via social media outlets and through the press. The median salary for this position is $101, 850. Communications directors are largely involved with the promotion of a given company’s products and services. Tasks may include: gathering public opinion data, generating campaign ideas, and conducting market research. In 2009, the average salary for this position was listed at $127,967 per year.
About the Author
Tasha Newton is a freelance education writer.