Career Series: What can you do with a communications degree?

While effective communication skills are necessary for anyone entering the job market, a communications degree can set you apart as someone who has a solid foundation in the written and oral skills that are crucial to organizations in both the public and private sectors. If you are struggling to decide on a specific career, a communications degree can give you the opportunity to be a valued contributor to companies across a wide range of industries. Careers in communications have become more diverse as communication mediums have expanded beyond television, AM/FM radio, and newspapers to include social media, podcasts, virtual events, and hashtags.

Career options in marketing, public relations, and advertising are endless if you are a communications major. Advertising is critical to the success of any company, which is why you will find it everywhere from digital displays to smartwatches. To ensure their media campaigns perform well amid stiff competition, companies hire digital marketers, social media specialists, and search engine optimization experts to track trends and analyze their communication strategy.

According to, “Students who major in Communications, Public Relations and Journalism (a major grouping that includes advertising, journalism, communications, broadcast journalism, etc.) can pursue a fascinating range of top earning positions in media, the arts, marketing, public relations, journalism, and many other industries.” Whether you’re interested in working for a professional sports organization, a technology company, or a healthcare network, you’ll be a qualified candidate because they all rely on communication professionals to help convey their message to the public.

Industry outlook

Careers in communications are becoming more plentiful as businesses and organizations realize the value of employees who can effectively convey a message, sell a product, or maintain relationships with clients and/or investors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of media and communication occupations is projected to grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations, which will result in about 43,200 new jobs.”

Careers in communications and the degrees that can get you there

Still wondering “what can I do with my communications degree?” Careers in communications include copy editor, human resources specialist, content strategist, public relations manager, event planner, and more. Penn State World Campus offers communications degrees that can help you learn the skills you need to be successful, no matter which path you follow.

Bachelor of Arts in Digital Journalism and Media

This degree can prepare you for the fast-changing field of digital journalism and other web-based jobs in communications, including multimedia storytelling, digital production, and digital content management.

The Bachelor of Arts in Digital Journalism and Media caters to students who are interested in careers such as:

  • reporter
  • multimedia journalist
  • digital communications specialist

Bachelor of Arts in Organizational and Professional Communication

Dr. Denise Solomon, Department Head for Communication Arts and Sciences explains, “As our mission statement indicates, ‘The Department of Communication Arts and Sciences is committed to the study, teaching, and practice of human communication for the betterment of Pennsylvania, the nation, and the world.’ The major in Organizational and Professional Communication invites students to participate in fulfilling this mission. Our society needs citizens who understand the role of communication in diverse professional, civic, cultural, and personal contexts. This major emphasizes the development of knowledge and competencies that people need to be successful, transcend times of discord, and foster collective wellbeing.”

As a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational and Professional Communication graduate, you could excel in one of the following careers:

  • communications consultant
  • mediation specialist
  • rhetorician/rhetorical consultant

Bachelor of Science in Organizational and Professional Communication

In this program, you can learn to use quantitative and qualitative research methods to help you understand how communication influences relationships within and between groups and, in particular, its effects on their leadership.

The Bachelor of Science in Organizational and Professional Communication can prepare students for careers in communications such as:

  • business manager
  • grant writer/development officer
  • lobbyist

Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communications

This degree can teach you to generate impactful, relatable messaging, select the best communication channels for proper message distribution, and evaluate communication efforts against established goals and benchmarks.

The curriculum for the Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communications assists students who are interested in communication careers such as:

  • public relations manager or specialist
  • media or communication worker
  • advertising or promotions manager

Master of Professional Studies in Strategic Communications

Our recently launched Master of Professional Studies in Strategic Communications is geared toward professionals who would like to advance their careers and dig deeper into media messaging and the metrics of their efforts. This program focuses on conducting effective research through collecting, analyzing, and utilizing digital media audience data. Students also have the opportunity to tailor their program to learn more about leadership, digital analytics, social media, communications law, and more.

Why Choose Penn State World Campus

No matter where your career interests lie, Penn State World Campus offers degrees to help you reach your career goals. As a communications major, you will have the opportunity to work closely with highly regarded faculty from the largest accredited school in its field, the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. Not only will you learn from their leadership and extensive knowledge of the field, but you will also earn a highly respected Penn State degree. These programs are offered completely online; you could even travel the world while pursuing your degree!