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What can I do with this degree?

COMMUNICATION STUDIES/SPEECH COMMUNICATION

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AREAS
BUSINESS
Sales
Customer Service
Management
Human Resources
Training and Development
Labor Relations
Writing/Editing
Office Management

EMPLOYERS
Product and service organizations
Retail stores
Hotels
Restaurants
Manufacturers
Financial companies
Insurance companies
Hospitals and other healthcare organizations
Print and electronic media
Other business corporations

STRATEGIES
Develop strong verbal and written communication skills.
Demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills.
Learn to work well on a team.
Join related professional associations. Get involved in other campus organizations.
Take business courses or earn a business minor.
Gain experience through internships, part-time, or summer jobs.
Develop computer skills in areas such as spreadsheets, databases, and presentation software.

AREAS
PUBLIC RELATIONS/ADVERTISING
Public Relations
Advertising
Marketing
Corporate Public Affairs
Development
Media Analysis/Planning
Creative Directing
Writing/Editing
Audience Analysis
Public Opinion Research

EMPLOYERS
Private corporations
Public service organizations
Public opinion research firms
Public relations firms
Advertising agencies
Public opinion organizations
Radio and television companies
Sports and entertainment organizations
Hospitality and tourism industry
Nonprofit organizations
Consulting firms
Freelance

STRATEGIES
Develop excellent writing skills.
Gain experience through internships, even if unpaid.
Serve as public relations officer of an organization.
Take additional courses in marketing, advertising, public relations, or other area of interest.
Develop a portfolio of writing samples, ad campaigns, and other relevant work.
Join related professional associations.
Be willing to move to locations with greater numbers of job opportunities.
Be prepared to start at the bottom and work to more desirable positions.

AREAS
MEDIA
Writing
Editing
Copywriting
Publishing
Producing
Managing/Directing
Research
Media Sales

EMPLOYERS
Publishing firms including newspaper, magazine and book
Internet sites
Television and radio stations
Film industry

STRATEGIES
Develop excellent interpersonal and presentation skills.
Take elective courses in journalism, broadcasting, public relations, and advertising.
Develop research skills.
Work for campus or local newspaper, radio station, or television station.
Get related experience through internships, even if unpaid.
Learn desktop publishing, webpage design, and other computer skills.

AREAS
NONPROFIT
Administration
Program Coordination
Grant Writing
Writing/Editing
Fundraising
Volunteer Coordination

EMPLOYERS
Nonprofit organizations
Professional associations
Chambers of commerce
Community centers
Philanthropies
Hospitals

STRATEGIES
Take courses in psychology, sociology, or social work to broaden perspective.
Volunteer with community and campus organizations.
Learn to work well with different types of people.
Develop a wide array of skills including writing, speaking, budgeting, grant writing, and leadership.

AREAS
GOVERNMENT
Public Information
Campaigning
Programming
Legislative Assistance
Research
Lobbying
Conflict Negotiation

EMPLOYERS
All branches of local, state and federal government
Political parties
Political action committees

STRATEGIES
Learn local, state, and federal government job application process.
Take courses in conflict management and develop negotiation skills.
Volunteer to work on a local political campaign.
Join related student organizations and earn leadership roles.
Find an internship with a government organization to get a foot in the door.
Maintain a strong grade point average as many government programs are very competitive.

AREAS
LAW
Law Assistance
Prosecution
Defense
Contractual
Corporate
Nonprofit or Public Interest
Government
Mediation
Lobbying

EMPLOYERS
Law firms
Government agencies
Corporations
Public interest organizations
Private practice
Colleges and universities

STRATEGIES
Plan on attending a specialized paralegal training school or law school depending upon area of interest.
Participate in a debate or forensic team to hone communication skills.
Join pre-law organizations.
Obtain a part-time or summer job at a law office.
Take courses in and gain experience with mediation and conflict resolution.

AREAS
EDUCATION
Teaching
Research
Student Support Services including: Admissions, Advising, Development, Student Affairs, Recruitment, Alumni Affairs

EMPLOYERS
Colleges and universities

STRATEGIES
Ph.D. required for teaching and research in colleges and universities. Maintain a high grade point average and secure strong faculty recommendations. Earn a master's degree in college student personnel or a related field for administrative positions. Get involved in campus leadership roles in residence halls, student unions/activities, programming boards, etc.

GENERAL INFORMATION
Develop strong written and verbal communication skills and excellent interpersonal skills.

Get experience with public speaking by joining Toastmasters.

Learn to work well on a team and develop leadership skills.

Explore specializations within major and professional field. Select electives to enhance knowledge in area(s) of interest.

Obtain experience through part-time employment, co-op, internships, or volunteer experience.

Get involved in campus activities and professional organizations.

Speech communication is a broad degree that can lead to job opportunities in many different fields. Skills and experiences gained through co-curricular activities, internships, part-time jobs, and volunteering are critical in shaping a career path.

Speech communication is also good preparation for graduate school in many disciplines.

 

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA Employer

Printable version (11kB) ( PDF - Download Acrobat Reader )