The negative stigma needs to go.
Currently, I’m in college pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Media and Communication, and I love what I study. However, it comes with a stigma and I’ve heard it all before.
“What are you even going to do with that?”
“So, you don’t know what you want to do I’m guessing.”
“Yeah, you’re not going to make anything with that degree.”
While I always acknowledge everyone’s criticism and concerns, I also feel as if the study of communications as a whole is misunderstood. Therefore, I wanted to share the following reasons as to why it is worth investing in a communications degree.
1. Communications is Versatile
One of the biggest critiques when it comes to communication studies is that this degree is so broad and vague, that it almost seems useless. However, similar to business, communications could be used to go in a lot of different directions. Some of the top fields that involve graduates with communication degrees include social media manger, brand strategist, web producer, public relations specialist, journalist, news anchor, or human resources manager.
At its core, every company needs an understanding of each in order to operate properly, and thats what studying communications does. Communications is studying what to say, who you’re saying it to, and how to say it effectively. As broad of a concept it is, it is essentially to create authenticity and integrity in your field of work.
2. Some of the Biggest Celebrities in Entertainment Have a Communications Degree
Believe it or not, some public figures that have revolutionized the future of digital media including talks shows have graduated college with a communications degree. Some notable college alumni with this degree include Oprah Winfrey (Tennessee State University), Ellen DeGeneres (University of New Orleans), Spike Lee (Morehouse College and NYU Tisch School of the Arts), and Jerry Seinfeld (City University of New York).
This may not be the immediate assumption that if you obtain a communications degree you will become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. However, it is worth mentioning that public figures that have made such huge impacts on the media industry have a degree in communications.
Let’s look closer at Oprah Winfrey. During her time in the spotlight, Oprah hosted an award winning talk show, co-authored five books, started a national book club, wrote a memoir, published her own magazine, collaborated with charities, and hosted her own radio station with XM Satellite Radio. She not only left her mark on one aspect of media, but every aspect of it. And I’m sure having a deeper understanding of media and communication studies helped her along the way with this lifetime empire.
3. Communications Goes Hand in Hand with Marketing
Marketing is the study of creating, communicating, delivering, or exchanging offerings that have value for customers and a society at large. In addition, an integral part of marketing is the understanding of what a customer wants or needs, and how to convince them to buy a product or service from your company to make a profit.
Since communications is entirely the study of how to send a specific message to an audience, it is essential in order for marketing to be effective. This is because a major part of studying communications is identifying your target audience or demographic and customizing your message to fit that audience. This is the key to creating effective advertising, exchanges, and public releases for companies.
If the marketing is geared towards the right audience, there will be more engagement and profit. And this can all be done through communications.
4. Communications Provides You With Several Skills
Every college is different and every communications program is different due to its versatility. Many universities have a variety of concentrations or majors related to communications including journalism, advertising, public relations, broadcasting, video or media production, and more.
However, even if you choose to pursue a general communications degrees, many colleges will offer these students a chance to dip their toe in the water of every field the school may offer. For example, I’m pursuing a general media and communications degree. And even in the two years of school I’ve done thus far I’ve learned skills related to journalism, video production, video editing, photo editing, and several other skills.
Even if you don’t go into a media related field, these skills can help you stand out from the rest of your competition and could be considered special skills. But if you do go into a media related field, this goes back to the versatility a communications degree can give you. Since you become equipped with multiple different skills, it gives you more career choices if you’re in college and still unsure.
5. Communications Studies Can Easily Be Paired With Another Major or Minor
Since communications is such a broad field like business or psychology, it can easily be paired with another major or minor you might be interested in. Personally, I’m a double major in theatre and communications in hopes of becoming a publicist or journalist for the professional theatre world. With being able to do this, you are still able to study something you love, while having another degree to land on as a safety net.
But, this can really be applied to any career path. At the end of the day, a company or business needs to communicate with each other and their clients effectively in order to prosper.
Despite the negative reputation it has, having a communications degree is worth the investment. If you want to be involved in marketing, making content online, or work as a freelancer while having multifaceted skills, communication studies is the way to go.