How a Comm Major Can Open Up Many Avenues for Careers

I remember when I first decided to become a Communication major at UCSB, my high school friends furrowed their eyebrows in confusion and asked, “So, are you studying the way people talk?” Well, in a way.

Communication is the study of how to craft a message, the medium in which the message is placed, the effects of that message, and so much more. This field intersects with many other disciplines such as psychology, anthropology, English (and any other language), economics, sociology, political science, and philosophy. Because of its flexibility, the major is versatile enough to be useful in different professions--the options are almost limitless.

Here are a few career ideas that will allow a student of Communication to thrive:

1. Marketing

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Marketing is the promotion, product, placement, and price that a company offers to its public. Having a Communication degree under your belt will allow you to make smart decisions when analyzing the demographics and demands of your target audience. Even in a general sector of business, marketing is a huge umbrella that encompasses several other professions such as advertising.

UCSB offers COMM166 (Marketing Communication) for course credit. I took it over the summer for a 3-week crash course, and I personally found Professor Myers’ lectures to be very informative and useful, especially during my summer internship in which I had to use marketing jargon on the daily.

2. Public Relations

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Public relations is the professional maintenance of a celebrity’s, organization’s or company’s public image. Professionals in this field have to earn their placement in media by continuously shaping their client to have a positive image in order for news, TV, and radio to give them a promotion. A Communication degree will be very helpful in obtaining press coverage, holding press conferences, and managing social media.

UCSB offers WRIT107P (Writing in Public Relations), a class that will be useful for this career path. Although it is not a Communication class, this writing course will prepare you for the daunting PR tasks of press releases, media kits, social media, and newsletters, while subsidizing it with everyday professional activities such as memos and emails.

3. Advertising

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Advertising is a marketing communication tactic that employs sponsorship. Unlike public relations in which a company has to earn media placement, advertising allows the company to take control of the message and where its placed. Communication is vital in crafting a promotional message to the audience as sellers would want to maximize their sales and profits.

UCSB offers COMM138 (Advertising Lit) if you are interested in learning more about the advertising industry, advertising campaigns, and how to make a successful ad.

4. Journalism

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Journalism is the profession of writing hard facts and news coverage for newspapers, TV, magazines, and other types of broadcast publications. The world of journalism heavily requires communication skills from gathering information, interviewing key subjects, and writing the content for the audience to read.

UCSB offers WRIT107J (Writing in Journalism) in which students can learn to write articles from heavy background research, strategic interview techniques, editing, writing formatting, and much more. The school has recently started a journalism certificate as an extension thanks to Professor Nomi Morris!

5. Law

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Practicing law means enforcing American laws and prosecuting or defending your client. This profession requires strong communication skills in order to convey logical and substantial arguments, especially in public speaking.

UCSB offers COMM170 (Communication Law) to provide a historical overview of the First Amendment in the U.S. Constitution and the modern application of it.

6. Teaching

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Providing an educational curriculum for the future generations involves strong communication skills to implement effective teaching methods. Whether to a kindergartener or a high school student, teachers need to be able to explain concepts and assignments clearly to ensure that students are learning.

UCSB has an education minor available to those who are interested in pursuing a career in this field. This will complement a Communication major for future teachers!