In high school, I was the student who took as many AP and honors classes as possible, maintained a high GPA, and was on student council… I even attended college as a high school senior and got scholarship offers from various schools. So, why on Earth did I decide to become a Communications major?!
Contrary to the way communications is often talked about on college campuses, us COMM majors aren’t sitting around finger painting in our classes. Historically, a lot of women used to get humanities degrees, such as Communications or English, with no real intention of using them just so that they could find a husband in college (AKA a Mrs. Degree). But hello, it’s 2018. Every day, more and more women are joining the workforce. In 2010, women made up 47% of the total labor force in the United States (source). Mrs. Degrees are a thing of the past and being a well-educated lady boss is now the way to go.
So, what do you do with a Communications degree? It doesn’t just stop at working in media, I promise. While you can use this education to pursue media in general or journalism, you can also obtain a job in business, human resources, public relations, marketing, advertising, and more. When you think about it, what career doesn’t require solid communication skills? There are many different fields of communication that you can specialize in. At The University of Utah, you can choose to take the path of Strategic Communications (focused on things like Public Relations, Marketing, and Advertising), Journalism (whether you want to work in online, print, or broadcast journalism), Communications Studies (focused on interpersonal and organizational communications, rhetoric, argumentation, culture, and media), or Science, Health, Environment, and Risk (created for students who want to pursue a career in public health or communicating for health/environmental organizations).
The coursework isn’t super easy, either. Sure, we aren’t solving long equations or working in labs. However, my coursework requires writing ten-page papers analyzing documentaries using the ideas of different theories; I also wrote and published an article solo (with interviews, my own photography, and graphs). I don’t know what else will be coming with this degree, I still have three semesters left!
Although some haters may try to tell you otherwise, being a Communications major does not mean you will graduate and not be able to get a job. There are plenty of successful people who graduated college with a Communications degree. Al Roker (the weatherman on the Today Show), Howard Schultz (the CEO of Starbucks), Dennis Kucinich (the 1997-2013 U.S. Representative from Ohio and a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008), and Bob Iger (The CEO of Walt Disney) all have Communications degrees.
So, let’s quit treating Communications majors like they are less-than or not as smart as those in other major programs. Just because we aren’t in STEM doesn’t mean that we don’t have a brain, it just means that the field isn’t for us. Let’s quit judging people for their majors in general. Just because you’re a neuroscience major doesn’t mean you’re any better than the theater major next to you. Let’s be kind to others regardless of what they choose to study and be open-minded about what other programs are actually like.