You probably made your decision to study communications with big dreams of becoming a journalist or a talk show host. However, now that you’re in your program, you may realize that you have an even larger number of opportunities. In the U.S., a bachelor’s degree in communications usually takes four years to complete. It will benefit you to also take part in an internship in order to get a better understanding of your chosen field within this time.
The best part of a communications degree is that the skills you have developed are applicable worldwide. This degree can apply to many different areas and professions, depending on your interests. International students must be conscious of the expectations in American media, as grammar and dialect are something to keep in mind. Here are some of the jobs graduates can apply for:
Though the obvious choice, the hard part comes in picking your concentration. Most degrees will have you choose specializations in the last two semesters. This experience will further help you choose which specialty to concentrate on. Here are some popular options within the world of journalism:
- Political reporter
- Lifestyle writer
- Radio show host
- TV news anchor
To give yourself the best chance of landing a job in one of these careers, international students should make a point to stay informed of the political, cultural and economic landscape in the country they would like to work in.
Public Relations Manager
A career in public relations is a popular choice for many communications majors. Usually, a PR Manager handles the public image of their client or organization. You can work with individuals, or large companies. It will be your job to compose press releases, organize press conferences and interviews, and arrange events like fundraisers. You will also be in charge of developing media content and ensuring positive media coverage. For international students, having internships related to PR would be a good start for this career.
Social Media Manager
Every brand is concerned about its social image. It is easy to create a profile, but curating good content requires a bit more work. A social media manager is responsible for creating content for the brand’s social media profiles. They are also in charge of running ads and ensuring converted leads. One important requirement for international students in the U.S. is to understand American social media conventions. Also, it is essential for any student to know how to use basic designing software, since you may be expected to design your own content.
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Digital Marketing Specialist
Contrary to popular belief, a digital marketing specialist does not only create posts on social media. Their job description actually goes much further. Digital marketing specialists increase the Search Engine Optimization of a brand’s website, thus increasing brand visibility. In this role, you are expected to stay up-to-date with the new trends, as algorithms constantly change.
TV news producers are in charge of collecting, sequencing, and presenting the news for television anchors and reporters to announce. Since you will often deal with live news, you need to be quick on your feet to succeed in this career.
In print media, news producers are responsible for editorial roles. You have to ensure the consistent production of high-quality news. International students must quickly learn the editorial policies of their employers. You may not be used to U.S. publications, so spend time during your major reading U.S.-produced news, and be conscious of the differences.
Content Writer/Technical Writer
If you are a fast learner, you could excel in this career. You need to have exceptional researching abilities, and know how to properly structure information. Presentation skills are also very important for this job. In most cases, there will not be an editor to go over your work after you are done. This means that the quality of the content that is published will be your responsibility. Content for U.S. companies will need to be produced in American English, which is something international students must work to perfect in order to succeed in this role.
Market Research Analyst
With most communications degree programs, you are taught the skill of researching. You will also learn how to identify valid sources. If you are particularly adept at this, you could become an excellent market research analyst. Many organizations commit significant resources to research what their competitors in the market are doing, in order to make predictions and create marketing initiatives. Market research analysts conduct this essential research. If you plan to make this your future career, an internship can be extremely beneficial.
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Content publishing is a popular field for communication majors. Reviewing text and deciding whether it is worth investing time and money into is the biggest role of a publisher. You will need to know how to structure texts, budget, and come up with a distribution plan for the work that you are publishing. Since e-books are now increasingly popular, a publisher will need to know how to adapt between this format as well as print. Publishers need to be fluent in the American dialect of English, since your copies will mostly be for the American audience.
Your Future in Communications
Choosing a concentration in communications can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Think about the aspects of a communications major you’re most passionate about. Consider the portions of your classes where you excel, and the portions where you struggle. With this information, a good GPA, and internship experience, you will be well-equipped for a rewarding career in communications.
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