Careers in Communications
There has never been a more exciting time to study communications or to become a communicatiosn professional. Simply look at local and national job listings - nearly all seek individuals with "strong communication skills." But a successful career in communications takes more than being a "strong communicator." Although it's important to have an overall knowledge of the discipline, you must also decide where to focus your skills. A communications degree from Manchester University is flexible and can be molded to you, your strengths, and your ambitions.
Advertising has long been one of the quintessential careers in the communication field. Advertising professionals work in a high-energy, competitive, and fast paced environment.
- Careers in advertising include: Advertising or marketing specialist, copy writer, account executive, sales manager, media planner, media buyer, creative director, media sales representative, and public opinion researcher. <Top>
Communication educators are hired at all educational levels – elementary and secondary schools, community colleges, colleges, and universities. Most communication faculty members are found at the collegiate level. To teach communication in an elementary or secondary school you need to obtain certification. Becoming an instructor at the college level usually requires a doctoral degree, though some community colleges will hire a teacher with a master’s degree.
- Careers in communication education include: Language arts coordinator, high school speech teacher, forensic/debate coach, drama director, college or university professor, and communication department chairperson. <Top>
Electronic Media/Radio Television/Broadcasting/Convergence Media Technology
Today, as technology and electronic media grow by leaps and bounds, so do the career opportunities in the field.
- Careers in electronic media/radio-television/broadcasting/convergence media technology include: Broadcasting station general manager, program director, community relations director, video and film editor, news director, reporter, sales associate, sales manager, web designer, audience research associate, broadcast and satellite engineer, traffic/continuity specialist, media buyer, market researcher, actor, announcer, disc jockey, news anchor, public relations manager, comedy writer, casting director, producer, business manager, researcher, account executive, floor manager, and talk show host. <Top>
Journalism (Print or Electronic)
Once thought of as a profession of static, one-way communication, the field of journalism is undergoing tremendous change. Like other communication professionals, new and changing technologies are drastically reshaping the way people receive news. Because of electronic communication technologies such as e-zines, podcasts, web casts and blogs, journalism is a round-the-clock round-the-globe, high-pressure profession.
- Careers in journalism include: Reporter, editor, newscaster, author, copy writer, script writer, publisher, news service researcher, technical writer, acquisitions editor, media interviewer, and talk show host. <Top>
Marketing has long been a staple department for companies big and small. Companies use marketing departments to: create media messages to publicize products or services; encourage positive perceptions and corporate support of products; plan and stage events and activities to call attention to services; develop informational avenues and communication strategies regarding product benefits.
- Careers in marketing include: Business and marketing specialist, public relations and advertising management, sales and marketing manager, media management, and public opinion researcher. <Top>
Global growth continues to emphasize the importance of and the need for effective communication skills to interact across cultures. To understand intercultural/multicultural communication, one must first understand what human communication is. That is why, as the world and organizations become more diverse, the need for experts and professionals who specialize in the area of multicultural communication is greatly increasing.
- Careers in multicultural communication include: Trainers in the workplace with knowledge in dealing with cross-cultural issues such as leadership, conflict management, change management, and customer relations are in high demand. Other opportunities can be found in the health care professions and in nonprofit organizations. Americans assigned to foreign countries and who may work for the Foreign Service in places like American-run government offices would benefit from training. <Top>
Job opportunities exist for organizational communication professionals in virtually all major employment sectors, including health care, manufacturing, retailing, banking, construction, communications, transportation, agriculture and forestry, military, education, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, computer and data processing, energy and petroleum, hospitality and recreation, insurance, justice systems, utilities, government, and the consulting and training industry.
- Careers in organizational communication include: Internal communication positions such as human resource specialist, training and development specialist, personnel liaison, international publications coordinator, internal communication specialist, organizational development specialist, internal consultant, labor negotiator, and recruiter. <Top>
Preparation for a career in political communication will combine an understanding of communication principles and practices, including knowledge of various media and mass communication practices, with knowledge of political processes and institutions.
- Careers in political communication include: Press secretary, speech writer, political campaign consultant, elected official, political reporter, diplomat, lobbyist, lawyer, legislative assistant, and communication director. <Top>
Public relations is a fast-paced profession that involves managing two-way communication between an organization and its diverse publics. This field is expanding at a rate few would have believed possible 10 or 20 years ago, as new information technologies allow us to reach more audiences more quickly than ever.
- Careers in public relations include: Publicity manager, advertising manager, marketing specialist, press agent, lobbyist, corporate public affairs specialist, account executive, development officer, fund-raiser, membership recruiter, sales manager, media analyst, media planner, creative director, audience analyst, news writer, community relations specialist, internal communications director and public opinion researcher. <Top>
Risk and Crisis Communication
As our world becomes increasingly complex, the likelihood that organizations and communities of all types will face a crisis situation is amplified. Individuals who respond to crises on behalf of organizations and communities must have exceptional communication skills.
- Careers in risk communication include: Public relations officer, corporate spokesperson, corporate trainer, communication consultant, federal agent for government agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and Food and Drug Administration. <Top>
For more information about Communication Studies at Manchester University, please contact:
Dr. Mary Lahman
chair, Department of Communication Studies