Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Feature Hero Womens Studies Hero
Feature Hero Womens Studies Hero
Megan Charles / Her Campus Media
Life > Academics

What CAN You Do With A Communication Degree?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

The stigma towards communication majors is widely accepted and lends itself to heavy stereotyping. When I am asked my major, and respond happily with “communication,” I often get met with a head tilt, a weird look, and finally the question on everybody’s mind: what even is a major in communication? 

Well, after five quarters of being a college student, four very difficult prerequisite classes, and three-quarters of my major left, let me say, it is anything but the “easy” and “lazy” stereotypes that it has been given. Many people believe that most communication majors belong to these stereotypes because the study of communication is very vague and unbeknownst to many. It is traditionally viewed as a major that people decide on when they do not desire a straightforward career path.  According to the National Communication Association, the study of communication “focuses on how people use messages to generate meanings within and across various contexts, and is the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media, and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific, and aesthetic inquiry.”  

It is very often that study of communication is minimized to its Oxford Dictionary definition, but as the homepage of UCSB’s Communication Department states, “every aspect of communication has many dimensions, many possible influences and consequences, and varies across individuals, relationships, groups, communities, organizations, nations, and cultures.” Sure, the study of communication is broad and covers a lot of disciplines, but that’s what makes it so special — and anything but the stereotype of a student who “doesn’t know what they want to do with their life.” I personally think that the study of communication is both an art and a science. While most social sciences lean more towards the “science” aspect, communication is nestled right in between the “social” aspect and the “science” aspect. It delivers a breadth of knowledge in many areas that can be applied to anything from the arts to the healthcare field.

Navigating the major, being inspired by my professors, TAs, and classmates, and joining organizations have all taught me the breadth of the communication major and all of the possibilities it promises. Mass media, writing (lots of it), marketing, rhetoric, networking, public relations, cultural patterns, and human behavior are all things that I have learned in the communication major.

Whether you want to go on to do journalism, business, law, social media management, advertising, or media relations, among so much more, the communication major is equipped to provide the education to get into those fields. Yes, each and every one of them – the term “broad” is an understatement.


A major in communication sets a great pathway into the field of journalism, whether it be investigative, broadcast, news, feature, or opinion, being that a very important aspect of communication is the study of mass media, media literacy, media effects, and media across cultures. Along with the study of media is the immense amount of writing involved with the major that allows for preparation to do so in multiple contexts. Journalism allows for creativity, story-telling, capturing the human experience in unique ways, bringing about change socially and individually, and has the power to connect people from every corner of the world. Majoring in communication provides a great skill set that includes strong writing skills, rhetorical skills, research skills, communication skills, and mass media understanding that is often needed for this field and also provides an education in media (if you choose to gear your classes toward this). Take it from a notable media mastermind, Oprah Winfrey, who got her degree in Communications. 


Marketing, brand strategizing, and advertising are all subcategories that fall into the Communication major. Communicating effectively and strategically plays a huge factor in the act of influencing, something that is crucial to marketing efforts. Creative marketing is also a big industry that communication majors flock into, as it is truly a talent that the major has honed. Sending messages that create and reach an audience is a hallmark skill taught in the major, which happens to be a pinnacle of success for those wanting to get into creative marketing. 


Probably the most surprising on this list (though it shouldn’t be) is the law industry. When thinking about the general skills of a successful lawyer, clear and cohesive verbal communication, analytical skills, critical thinking, effective writing, rhetorical skills, and the ability to gather, defend, and articulate one’s ideas are all things that come to mind. Once again, these are all skills that communication majors possess. Of course, just like any other career, there is a lot that goes into being a lawyer, but the abilities that the communication major shapes lie at the foundation. 

The stigma towards the communication major as being “easy” and “useless” is harmful and outright false. Unlike many STEM-based majors, there is not one single pathway that the communication major lays out. The best part of being one myself has been being given the room to explore all of my passions under one major and figure out where that will take me.

Hello! I am a third year Communication major here at UCSB. I love trying new food places, going to museums, getting coffee with friends, and traveling. I am so excited to write and share my life, thoughts, and experiences.