What can I do with a Communication Studies Major?

Examples of career fields include: teaching, community outreach, sales, people operations, human resources, recruiting, customer service, social services, management, public relations, advertising, social media, business development, fundraising, law, politics, and publishing. Of these more than a dozen possible career paths, the U.S. Department of Labor claims that at least nine will be the biggest generators of new jobs over the next ten years.

The Department of Labor states that among the most important qualities for high job performance are: listening, speaking, creative thinking, decision making, problem solving, reasoning, self-esteem, sociability, self management, integrity, and honesty. All these are skills and qualities that can be developed in the Communication Studies major.

A survey of 44 supervisors published in The Bulletin of Business Communication identified six of the most important skills in business success:

  • Paying attention to what others are saying
  • Understanding what others are saying
  • Establishing credibility with others
  • Dealing with others in an objective and fair manner
  • Giving directions clearly
  • Motivating others to action

These are skills and abilities that one can expect to acquire with a major in Communication Studies.
A study of California based Fortune 500 companies showed that formal training in communication was essential for management success. Because it is more often used, oral communication skill was considered even more important than written communication skill.

Still another study identified interviewing, listening, planning and conducting meetings, resolving conflicts, and public speaking as the most essential skills for competent employees. Again, these are basic skills developed by students in the Communication Studies major.

So, if you are looking for a degree with lots of career potential in either the public or private sector, a major in Communication Studies may be exactly what you have in mind. The ability to work successfully in multicultural groups, resolve interpersonal differences, listen well, and express your self clearly, are not only the most valued job skills for the next century, but they may well also be the keys for satisfying community and family relationships.

For more information about careers, we encourage you to visit Career Services and Leadership Development, the career center here at SF State. Career Services and Leadership Development (CSLD) is located in the Student Services Building, Room 301. You can also contact Paloma Mathern, the Internship Director in the Communication Studies Department at amolap@sfsu.edu or by calling (415) 338-7310