Post # 1
Ok so I did 2 years of college and then it became to financially draining on my parents and I had to take off a year to work full time. I am enrolled to return and finish up my BA in the fall. (YAY!!) I’m so excited but I want to switch my major to Communications. If you have a degree in Comm how hard is it to find a job? I’ve always heard its a “fake” major but hey, engineering isnt for everybody and I’m really interested in that field. Advice would be greatly appreciated as well as heard from bees who have that degree and got their dream jobs.
Post # 3
What is your dream job because “communications” is very vague.
Post # 4
@Timshel: my cousins major is communications (I’m pretty sure) she keeps a job but I don’t think it has anything to do with communications. Well maybe…she’s a director of training.
Post # 5
I started with software engineering, and really wanted to switch to something else (anything else!) about halfway through. I ended up finishing my bachelors in software engineering.
I ended up getting a job with a great company and have been with them for almost 7 years. They paid for my master’s degree (which I’m about to graduate from) in the computer-sciency field that I wanted. I get cold contacts from head hunters monthly.
You can’t go wrong with a STEM field. I wouldn’t say I have my “dream” job, but I get to do interesting work and it pays well enough that I can live very comfortably (it helps that Fiance also works as an engineer).
Communications can be an interesting field but what do you want to do after you get your degree? Think about long term job and career growth potential. Do you want to do public relations for a big company or do some sort of online media (maybe both at the same time)? Do you want to become a diplomat who specializes in conflict management?
You need fantastic written and oral communications skills to do well here, as well as being good at marketing yourself and justifying your position. If that sounds like you, then I would say switch majors. But if you’re in a STEM field, I really hope you would stick it out. We need more smart ladies in STEM – especially ones who communicate well – engineers tend to be bad with communication and if you can bring that to the table, employers look at that as a huge strength.
Post # 6
I majored in Comm for my undergrad and the major itself has a handful of emphases (?) you can choose from. There’s no “general comm” I think so you have to pick one. Offhand, there is print journalism, broadcast journalism, PR, and photojournalism. There may be more but I can’t remember. So you take your GE and there is a small group of comm classes that everyone takes and then each person picks an emphasis and finishes the degree with a few classes specifically tied to that emphasis.
With this in mind, it depends on what you want to do. I think the PR people fared well in getting internships post-graduation although whether that is paid or not is another issue. Offhand, I don’t recall PR people having any issues getting jobs but they’re not going to be that well-paid (barring the one or two that lucked out and got an awesome opportunity). That said, I’m in an area with a lot of marketing/PR/entertainment/etc. agencies so I imagine this to be quite different if you are in a rural area.
For journalism, it is super hard finding a job. There aren’t many opportunities in broadcast and print/photo journalism is oversaturated with journalists with way more experience. I landed a paid print journalism internship at a magazine but even then, it wasn’t a guarantee that I would get an editorial assistant job. The pay sucks, if you get paid at all. Most journalism people I graduated with at my level have now moved onto other fields or they got a masters and are working for a non-profit (e.g. human rights orgs). One is an assistant editor for a trade publication in NYC but that’s really rare (and again, doesn’t pay well for NYC). I switched to marketing (which is technically under the Business Admin umbrella, not Comm) by getting an MBA and others I know switched to an MBA to change fields or got a JD and became attorneys.
If your dream job is to be an editor at Vogue or something (e.g. Devil Wears Prada), then it’s better to get into top tier school with a lot of connections. I think a lot of the editors at Vogue/Elle/etc. have connections to NY-area schools but if you are not in the area, it’s going to be tough. You also need a lot of $$$ because internships are usually unpaid (or paid a minimum wage) and you need a few before you are considered remotely serious in anything Comm-related.
Post # 7
I only know one communications grad that is my FI’s buddy but I’ll tell you his story–he graduated from Loyola Marymount with a degree in communications and couldn’t find a job (he wanted to write, I think, but he did apply for other jobs). He’s been teaching English in Indonesia for about 2 years now.
But I totally agree with Anise, my Fiance and I are both STEM grads (civil/aerospace engineering) and you can’t go wrong with one of those!
Post # 8
@Atalanta: I’m interested in either Marketing or Human Resources
Post # 9
@Timshel: My BA Degree is in communcations emphasis in public relations, minor in communication studies … It wasnt difficult for me to find a job. I was able to transition easily into marketing. It really helped that I made a portfolio with writing sample and different pieces that wer relevent to the job.
Im going to grad school to get my MA in Public Realtions..
Its def NOT a fake major and i HATE when people say that…
I changed m major 4 times before i found communications and I LOVE it!! Just like the world need engineers, it needs communiators too!! 🙂
ETA: I work in the marketing dept for an industrial pipe company in Sothern California
Post # 10
@Timshel: Neither Marketing or HR falls under Communications. It is under Business Administration. If this is your end goal, then a Comm degree won’t be the path there.
I currently work in Marketing and have a number of friends/acquaintances in HR.
Post # 11
Depends what you want to do, as PP have said. It is good to be flexible, but it’s also good to have a bit of a plan. At least here in Canada, you would be competing against those who have journalism degrees (like from Carleton University) if you wanted to be a reporter or write for a major newspaper. I have an English degree which is semi-related (I see a lot of job postings for English or Communications degrees) and I had no problem finding a job. I was worried because I precisely didn’t go to school for something super specific. I made lots of contacts and luckily there was a position open for me to help with communications in my office and then my job morphed into something entirely different over the past few years.
Post # 12
@Timshel: Ditto- if you want to go into HR I would major in business admin.
Post # 13
@Timshel: Hmm for marketing or HR you’d be better of doing a B. Comm. HR I’m not so sure about… like there are non-degree certifications you can do, but at least at the university I went to, marketing falls under the business degree.
Post # 14
Well, with the crap economy we have and the oversatuturated market of college majors floating around, finding a good job’s going to be tough no matter what you study, unless you choose an engineering or software type major. I think it takes a certain type of brain and personality for that type of work, though.
That being said, if you’re into Marketing and HR I’d go with a Marketing major. It’s a pretty interesting field.
Post # 15
At my University they have a Business Admin: Marketing as well as HR. But under Communications you have to choose a field of study as your concentration and they have PR and Marketing as 2 choices for concentrations so I was looking at those
Post # 16
There’s hardly a company out there that doesn’t need marketing or HR. I would expect those would be easier to find jobs in than say journalism, etc. Other bees can give you more advice about whether a masters degree would be needed/favorable. I’m a scientist, so i’m not a ton of help. I do know that my pharma company does a lot of marketing contracts with big firms when we have a new drug coming out.