Roadmap to an Exciting Career in Communications

May 20, 2016

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Communication is by far one of the most invigorating and exciting fields you can choose – and one of the most versatile. This is the industry for the inspired and hungry mind, the type of individual that loves information – seeking it, exploring, analyzing, and sharing it.

Career in communications are more diverse than in any other industry. This means if you develop your communications skills and knowledge and go into this field, you will always have the ability to change, grow, and evolve as a person – and to advance your career as far as you are motivated to take it.

From photojournalism to public relations, the sky is the limit. Imagine getting paid to travel the world to cover some of the most important issues of today, to produce forward-thinking content to give top firms the leading edge, or to use your creativity on a daily basis as a sought-after innovator in the field of film production. If you want to enjoy a stimulating career in an area that is known for a high degree of job satisfaction and an endless variety of job prospects, then a career in communications is for you.

The Industry Is Expanding, and Rewarding

Communication is an area that has been steadily growing for years, and it shows no signs of slowing down now. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 4 percent growth rate through 2024, which means a career in communications will continue to widen. This will provide ample opportunities for new graduates as well as for those who want to advance their careers.

What are the salary prospects for jobs in the industry? There are so many different directions that someone with solid communications skills can go into, with a broad range of income levels. For example, a high-energy career in news journalism will come with an average salary of almost $40,000 to start, according to Payscale. If you choose to go into public relations and marketing communications, you could find yourself earning $98,000 a year as a Creative Services Director.

Dynamic Job Opportunities

Communications is a field for creative, motivated individuals. Those who can produce fresh content and regularly come up with original ideas while working in a fast-paced environment that requires innovation and strategic thinking will have endless opportunities. These types of skills are also highly transferable for career change and advancement within the industry.

Image of a photojournalist exploring city through her lens |

Here are some of the jobs that you can do with a background in communications:

  • Journalist
  • Editor
  • Publisher
  • Photographer
  • Host/Anchor
  • Social Media Manager
  • Video Producer/Editor
  • Radio Personality
  • Broadcast Engineer
  • News Analyst/Presenter
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Marketing Director
  • Technical Writer
  • Digital Content Creator

Building the Right Communication Skills

Honing your communications skills is essential to succeeding with this career path. There is plenty of competition for high-paying positions and this is a highly performance-based industry. Essentially, if you are highly skilled, you will thrive.

What skills can you develop if you are interested in a career in communications?

Strong writers are always in high demand. In order to excel, you have to be able to express your thoughts clearly and effectively. It is also important to be able to write in a variety of different formats from technical writing to creative. Start building your writing portfolio now. Consider taking classes to sharpen your skills. You can also submit your work to be published on blogs, in magazines, and other mediums to get a little freelance experience under your belt.

Communication skills also include being about to share your ideas in other mediums besides print. This includes video, radio, and digital content. Be creative, get your voice heard, and gain invaluable experience.

  • Create your own web podcast
  • Intern with a local media company
  • Produce and edit your own video content

To give yourself an advantage, stay up-to-date with the newest developments. Be on top of the latest techniques, best practices, trends, and software by accessing information resources such as ComSoc, the UI Press Journal of Film and Video, and the Advertising Age .
Get hands-on experience!

Complete a Degree or Certificate Program

You can strengthen your resume, build your portfolio, and take your communication skills to a professional level by pursuing a degree in communications. A solid education background will not only make you look more desirable to employers, but it will also you help to gain the knowledge and foundational experience that you require to catapult your career in communications. These skills can even help you become a successful entrepreneur in your chosen area of expertise.



To make the most out of your learning experience, choose a program that uses a hands-on approach and that will give you a solid background. Schools like the San-Francisco-based Academy of Art University and the University of Southern California provide intensive, dynamic programs designed to give students in-depth experience and expertise. You will also receive the connections and guidance necessary to launch a vibrant career. With Academy of Art University alumni being scooped up by major players in the industry, including NBC Universal, Lucas Film Ltd., E! Entertainment, and Harper Collins Publishers, graduates of such rigorous programs know they are being primed to become tomorrow’s leaders and innovators.

Before starting a degree program, you can take a local writing course or sign up for an online video production seminar to learn more and to sharpen your skills. There are so many opportunities for expanding your communication skills and giving yourself the tools that you need to build an exciting, life-long career.

Communication is ripe with opportunities. From working for a major company or freelancing to starting your own business, there is nowhere you can’t go in this field. Additionally, a communications background gives you the ability to work in a variety of fields throughout your career, from independent film production to advertising and marketing.

With over 6,000 jobs in journalism, 1,300 audio production jobs, and more than 100,000 advertising positions posted on LinkedIn alone, the world is your oyster for an endlessly exciting, stimulating, and inspiring career path in communications.

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