Jobs You Can Get With a Communications Degree

Take Your Career in a New Direction Without Working in Media

A picture of a person in a meeting with other people
Earning a communications degree can be the key to unlocking many job opportunities, even outside the world of media. Photo © CulturaRM / Frank and Helena / Getty Images

Even seasoned media pros get burned out by the demands of the industry and consider a new career. Getting jobs with a communications degree outside of the usual media positions is easier when you know how to sell your skills and educational background. Here are three top jobs you can get with a communications degree in hand.

Politics

Every election season, media and politics go hand-in-hand, and sometimes head-to-head.

Every campaign needs a communications expert to help write speeches, plot strategy and plan events.

If you've been a reporter, this is your chance to cross the fence to teach a campaign team the 8 ways to use media to win elections. You know the tricks of the trade better than those who've spent their careers in politics.

You can also inform the candidate and his staff about the journalism ethics lines that must not be crossed during a campaign or while in office. That will prevent a campaign from staging an expensive event designed to schmooze reporters, who likely won't show up if they feel they're being used.

Your expertise will help avoid photo manipulation involving the candidate or family members. You can help them set rules for photo shoots so that unflattering images don't appear in media and define the campaign.

Above all, a reporter's experience writing news about politics can help speechwriters know how to craft a candidate's address at a political rally so that key points make their way onto the front page of the newspaper or into a TV news report.

You could even write speeches yourself, because you know what words and phrases will attract the ears of reporters covering the campaign.

Public Relations

Another one of the popular jobs you can get with a communications degree is in the public relations field. People who work in media sometimes loathe what they may consider the lazy lifestyle of public relations professionals, who seem to work 9-to-5 jobs without ever missing a lunch or breaking a sweat.

They are often under a different type of pressure.

That pressure is to launch a public relations campaign, event or marketing plan and have it get free exposure in media. Because you've worked in media and know which events get attention and which are ignored, you can help prevent costly mistakes.

Working for a public relations firm means you'll likely have to juggle multiple assignments at once. For you, that's a typical day when you worked in media, so no sweat.

Even if you never worked in media sales, you likely already know the 6 types of media advertising and how media sales departments work. So you can help plan strategies to make a public relations campaign get exposure without wasting resources.

Here's where your knowledge will really pay off in public relations: Companies are faced with bad news and scandals regularly. You already know how media pros like to use this type of information to sell magazines, newspapers or boost their ratings in broadcasting. That's not to mention how social media can spread bad news, rumors and innuendo globally before a public relations team knows how to react.

Now you can approach a public relations crisis from the other side -- like a firefighter trying to put out a fire.

Your advice will be unique and priceless because those who've only worked in public relations don't have the same expertise.

Non-Profit Groups

Your media career probably included community outreach, whether you were doing an on-air radio remote from a charity walk or holding a contest or giveaway to build your media brand.

Non-profit groups and charities need that same publicity. But too often, their leaders have to focus on fundraising techniques so that there's no time left for anything else.

You can make community involvement and publicity your priority. With so many charities competing for attention and donations, you'll know the key ways to make your non-profit's goals get media attention and results.

Too often, non-profits squander resources in sending out fancy media press kits that end up in the trash.

Teach them the best way to notify media of events and announcements while saving money.

Deciding to leave media and sell yourself for other jobs with a communications degree can be scary at first. But when you realize all of the marketable skills you've learned while working in media, you'll hopefully find many fulfilling career opportunities elsewhere.