Companies need to attract customers to buy their products. Politicians want their messages to resonate with voters. Charities have to tap into the checkbooks of influential donors. These are all examples where communication professionals shine.
As a communication professional, you’re often the intermediary between brands and consumers. Through your unique development of valuable soft skills, verbal and nonverbal communication, and multimedia exposure, you connect dots other professionals don’t notice to provide meaningful messages that resonate.
But having such a valuable skill set doesn’t mean you know where to direct your efforts. Since you can apply your talents in nearly every industry, looking for a job as a communications graduate means zeroing in on the one you’d enjoy most and noting where your skills shine best.
Popular industries for communications graduates
While media and advertising might be the most obvious, you can find a communications position in nearly every industry. Here are a few common ones:
Valuable soft skills of communications professionals
Many communications graduates understand what makes a message resonate and another fall flat. This equips communications specialists with powerful transferable skills, like:
Public speaking: Communications majors learn how to tell stories that inform, entertain, and capture audiences.
Writing skills: Communications students learn to answer the “So what?” question: they don’t just explain a topic but also discuss why people should care about it.
People management: A focus on interpersonal development allows communications majors to leverage relationships and play to their team members’ strengths.
8 jobs for communications graduates
Communications majors develop a wide-ranging mastery of verbal and nonverbal communication skills that span advertising, interpersonal relationships, and public relations.
Such a large skill set opens doors to job titles fit for anybody — from creative minds and technology buffs to the introverted storyteller that prefers the privacy of working from home or the social butterfly who loves the art of persuasion.
Here are eight jobs across several industries and communication degree salaries.
1. Technical writer
Technical writers compose manuals, case studies, and other instructional documents that define complex procedures or information in an easy-to-read format. This is an ideal job for introverts with interests in written communication, logic, and problem-solving.
Technical writers often work in the IT, scientific, or technical research fields as contractors or in-house writers producing materials for internal and external distribution.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the best salaries are in science and IT, with a median annual income of $80,150. Top earners make an average salary of $125,010.
2. Public relationships specialist
Public relations specialists build a strategic public image for their clients. Successful campaigns balance conducting effective audience research, managing relationships with media organizations, and overseeing awareness campaigns.
According to the BLS, the median annual salary for public relations professionals is $62,800. And Glassdoor reports public relations in the healthcare sector with salaries above $153,000.
3. Human resources (HR) specialist
Effective communication plays an integral role in the clear messaging of successful workplaces. Communications professionals can pull from verbal and nonverbal communication skills to disseminate company policies, pillars, and initiatives across an organization.
While you can get an entry-level HR role with a bachelor’s degree, additional certifications add important formal training to push you toward an HR manager position. A certificate from the Society for Human Resource Management or an MBA in HR can advance you to a more senior position.
According to the BLS, the median annual salary for HR managers is $62,290, although top earners can make above $108,000.
A copywriter’s mastery of prose is integral to supporting advertising and marketing teams in selling goods and services, building brand relevance, and converting customers. Copywriters have enormous flexibility with the type of written content they specialize in, like search-engine-optimized (SEO) B2B and B2C content marketing, social media, and advertisements.
According to the BLS, the median annual salary is $62,340, although in-house copywriters for large organizations can earn six figures.
5. Event planning
Meeting, convention, and event planners have their hands in every aspect of events and professional gatherings, from designing the experience with clients to soliciting bids from venues and coordinating transportation for attendees. Successful event planners are detail-oriented multi-taskers adept at people management and problem-solving.
A communications graduate’s training in interpersonal relationships, conflict resolution, and negotiation make event planning a practical career path, although optional certifications provide useful training in logistical planning, risk management, and operations.
According to the BLS, the median annual salary is $49,470, and top earners make $96,230.
6. Sales representative
Sales representatives are the face of a brand, acting as an intermediary between a company and its customers. Interpersonal relationships drive successful sales reps. You’ll also need to be tuned into market research and consumer data and be objective-oriented.
Sales are an important function of any organization, so communications specialists can choose nearly any industry to focus on. According to the BLS, sales managers typically work in wholesale and retail settings, although the highest salaries are in science, technology, and finance, with median salaries above $161,000.
7. Political communications professional
Political communications marries communications skills and political science to analyze how information spreads and influences policy, the media, and citizens. You’ll focus on conveying political concepts and messaging to sway public opinion.
While you can get a bachelor’s degree in political communications, you can also transition into many of these related jobs, such as consultation, speech writing, and advertising, with a broader degree. Salaries also vary: speech writers have a median salary of $86,080, while a public diplomacy officer makes $73,466, on average.
8. Graphic communications strategist
With a specialized communications degree or supplemented design training, you could work as a graphic communications specialist. You’ll build visual design strategies with marketing and advertising teams to communicate ideas, educate consumers, and solve problems.
According to Glassdoor, graphic communications strategists earn a median annual salary of $53,976.
High-paying communication jobs
Organizations need leaders who effectively communicate goals, handle clients professionally, and positively reflect core values to the public. It’s no wonder many communications experts work in managerial positions.
Here are four jobs that prove a communications degree is worth it.
1. Communications director
In this leadership role, you’d manage a team of marketing, public relations, and media specialists to build internal and external communication strategies.
This is an excellent option for mid-career professionals with marketing, business, and communications experience, as communications directors typically have 10 years of experience and an MBA.
According to Glassdoor, the median annual salary is $102,976. But the size and scope of the organization determine your job growth and salary potential. Top earners make above $169,000.
2. Fundraising manager
Fundraising managers combine public relations and sales to gain important revenue for charities and nonprofit organizations. You’ll be skilled at public speaking, networking, and good storytelling to build awareness and educate donors, trusts, and government agencies.
A communications graduate’s interpersonal skills make fundraising a practical career option, and an international Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) certification can teach you best practices and offer higher-salaried job opportunities.
According to the BLS, most fundraising managers work in securities or insurance, with median salaries of $163,570 and $159,130, respectively. And high earners in more specialized industries make up to $204,430.
3. Proposal writer
When a business, nonprofit organization, or government agency needs to draft agreements or sales proposals, they might bring a proposal writer on board. These professionals are natural wordsmiths who use written communication skills to persuade potential clients, investors, or business partners, to accept a proposed idea.
According to Glassdoor, proposal writers earn a median annual salary of $74,692. And there’s plenty of room for growth. Senior proposal managers with over eight years of experience have a median salary of $139,219, with top earners making $229,000.
4. Inbound marketing manager
Inbound marketing managers use a combination of marketing, communications, and project management skills to oversee content strategies that engage target audiences and convert them into long-term customers.
You’ll use problem-solving and holistic strategizing to drive traffic and sales to a business. While many inbound marketing managers can enter the field with a bachelor’s degree, certifications that keep you updated on emerging technologies like artificial intelligence can make you stand out as a candidate.
According to Glassdoor, inbound marketing managers earn a median annual salary of $88,932, while senior leaders earn $143,000.
More than just the messenger
While communications graduates learn to deliver messages effectively, your skill set is much more than that. Your research and cooperation skills have also been put to the test throughout your schooling — now’s a great time to leverage these talents as you job search and network.
There are so many jobs for communications graduates to choose from. Find an industry you enjoy, be it politics or graphic design, and you’ll be building your dream career and enjoying immense professional growth in no time.