13 Careers in Communication

A master’s degree in communication teaches you a wide variety of communication skills. It also prepares you to apply those competencies efficiently and effectively through various media. What’s great about this versatile degree is that you can explore personal interests like health, politics and entrepreneurship — and use your communication knowledge in any one of those markets. The following list of occupations reflects the creative approach you can take when choosing a career after earning a master’s in communication management.

A marketing team is gathered to review a new product campaign.

Community Relations Manager

This occupation involves creating and maintaining a positive public image for a company or project through community outreach, events or programs. In this specialized branch of public relations, community relations managers work to shape and control the image put forth by a person, product, service or organization by using the mediums of print, radio, TV and the internet.

Successful community relations managers should have an excellent grasp of communication skills and how to most effectively convince others of the truth of their message. Press releases, press conferences, PR events and entire public relations campaigns should be customized to individual client needs and be able to produce the desired results. Community relations managers earn a median annual salary of around $60,000, according to June 2021 data from PayScale.

Communications Director or Manager

Working as a communications manager or director is another option for those with a master’s in communication. An individual in this role is responsible for overseeing all messaging for a business, as well as developing strategic communications plans, sharing brand-centered stories and disseminating news releases. It’s also important to gain knowledge of graphics editing, web content management and desktop publishing software. Because of the versatility of the role, which earns a median annual salary of about $71,000 a year according to PayScale, communications directors can work in a wide range of industries in both the public and private sectors.

Diplomat

As a representative and protector of the interests and citizens of their country, diplomats use their communication skills to promote the sharing of information and foster amicable international relations. For instance, when U.S. diplomats negotiate a treaty, make visa arrangements on behalf of a traveler to the United States or attend a state dinner, their mission above all is to best represent the interests and policies of the United States. Beyond that, diplomats’ roles and responsibilities are incredibly diverse, including assisting and protecting American citizens abroad, conducting public outreach in foreign countries through the media, and analyzing and reporting foreign events. Diplomats earn a median salary of around $85,000 per year, according to PayScale.

Corporate Event Planner

A corporate event planner coordinates the logistical and operational aspects of events and conferences for a corporation or group of companies. They focus on all the details, including venue and decor, staff oversight, event itineraries, and creating corporate information packages for in-event distribution. Corporate event planners should be able to manage and oversee every phase of the operation including research, development, coordination, supervision and evaluation. Corporate event planners can work in both the private and public sectors. Individuals in this profession earned a median annual salary of around $51,600 in 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Marketing Manager

Earning a median annual salary of roughly $67,000, according to PayScale, a marketing manager handles all aspects of marketing a product or service. They need to possess insight into the minds and behaviors of buyers and understand what motivates specific demographics, including what drives buying choices and how price and packaging impact purchasing decisions. A marketing manager answers these questions through various forms of targeted research, enabling them to create the most effective marketing campaigns possible.

Marketing Director

Marketing directors do just that — direct. They plan and oversee the marketing strategies of an entire organization or business. They are responsible for overseeing and leading staff, business planning and advertising budget development. In larger companies, marketing directors typically supervise the work of marketing managers. Successful marketing directors stay up to date on market changes and adjust strategies accordingly.

This position is among the highest paying communication jobs, with a median salary of about $90,000 according to PayScale data, because the leadership and activities of a marketing director are central to a company’s mission and success. If you have the ability to track multiple projects and campaigns simultaneously, then this might be an ideal position to aspire to.

Publications Editor

For communication students interested in media and journalism, a career as a publications editor could be the perfect fit. Responsible for developing story and content ideas, publication editors also review, rewrite and edit the work of writers, as well as supervise and coordinate work for reporters and other editors. If working for a news organization such as The New York Times or handling publications for a prominent research facility sounds like your dream job, a communication management degree can help prepare you to work in this field. With a median annual salary of around $63,400 in 2020, according to the BLS, this occupation offers a unique opportunity to explore and write about your personal interests.

Content Producer

In today’s digital world, textual information presented online about a company or individual needs to be engaging, well written and relevant. Because of this, many people who pursue a Master of Communication Management degree online explore roles where they can manage and produce content for clients. Typical positions include content writer and search engine optimization (SEO) specialist.
From a digital marketing perspective, SEO and shareable content are some of the most important drivers of business growth. Content writers may also pitch ideas and create content related to public relations, marketing and advertising. All information shared should be compelling, persuasive and optimized for the algorithms used in search engines. Content producers earn a median annual salary of approximately $44,000 according to PayScale, and the position could be a great stepping-stone to advance to content management or more senior editorial roles.

Social Media Manager

Traditional marketing has changed greatly in recent years as social media has charged to the forefront of communication. Social media managers are in high demand, and qualified candidates are valued for their abilities to identify which markets to target and how to best reach them. They are responsible for developing and executing social media strategies and assisting employees with effective social media integration. Social media managers earn a median annual salary of around $52,000, according to PayScale. Whether you build strategies that take advantage of tweeting algorithms, or manage social media for a primary care physician, a communication degree can give you the necessary skills for success.

Employment Recruiter

Do you have a knack for seeing what others bring to the table? If so, becoming an employment recruiter could be the job for you. A communication degree lays the groundwork for the profession’s essential skills, including writing and placing ads for open positions, as well as sourcing applicants, screening them, and interviewing them to ascertain their fit for available positions. With a median salary of $52,000, according to PayScale, an employment recruiter plays a central role in the success of companies and organizations.

Private Investigator

Private detectives and investigators offer many services, including executive, corporate and celebrity protection; pre-employment verification; and compiling individual background profiles. They utilize all research tools at their disposal, and connect clues to uncover facts about legal, financial or personal matters. Their role may also include surveilling persons of interest around town and photographing suspicious activities. Private investigators must obey the law at all times or risk legally endangering their cases. The median annual salary for private investigators is approximately $53,320, according to the BLS.

Mediator

If you are a creative communicator, then a job as a professional mediator may be the right choice. This occupation, which offers a median annual salary of approximately $66,130 according to BLS data, requires a cool head and excellent reasoning, problem-solving and conflict resolution skills. Aspiring mediators undergo an initial, intensive training period to prepare them to be in the middle of sometimes contentious situations. Beyond that, advanced training is required to develop the capacity to mediate effectively, which includes being supervised by experienced practitioners over the course of dozens of cases.

Political Speechwriter

Political speechwriters need a broad understanding of basic economics, political roles and public policy issues. They must possess the ability to translate complex economic and policy issues into layman’s terms for the general public. To become a political speechwriter, individuals must become socially and politically involved, build an audience for their writing and be able to target a staff job with a specific politician. As a profession, speechwriters earn a median salary of about $85,000, according to PayScale.

One Degree, Many Options

With so many different career paths and options available to those with an online Master of Communication Management degree, pursuing this educational path can be an excellent choice for many students and aspiring professionals.

Those interested in choosing among a wide range of career options are likely to benefit from the experience and knowledge gained through the online Master of Communication Management program at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

With coursework that concentrates on real-world applications and the ability to analyze and explore data, students leave the program feeling confident and equipped to take on challenging growth opportunities in either the private and public sector. An optional experiential practicum course enables students to further apply acquired skills and educational principles in professional settings.

Make your voice heard. Learn more today about the online Master of Communication Management degree at USC.

 

Recommended Readings

Crisis Communications: 2021 and Beyond

Disruptive Communication in Today’s Digital World

How Business Communication Rules Have Changed (And Stayed the Same)

 

Sources:

The Balance Small Business, The Best Times to Post on Twitter for Maximum Effectiveness

G2, What Does a Recruiter Do? (+Skills, Salaries, and Career Tips)

Houston Chronicle, Content Producer vs. Editor

Houston Chronicle, How to Become a Political Speech Writer

Houston Chronicle, What’s the Difference Between a Marketing Manager and a Marketing Director?

LinkedIn, Job Description Template: Community Relations Manager

National Museum of the American Diplomacy, What Are the Roles of a Diplomat?

PayScale, Average Communications Director Salary

PayScale, Average Community Relations Manager Salary

PayScale, Average Digital Content Producer Salary

PayScale, Average Diplomat Salary

PayScale, Average Marketing Director Salary

PayScale, Average Marketing Manager Salary

PayScale, Average Recruiter Salary

PayScale, Average Social Media Manager Salary

PayScale, Average Speech Writer Salary

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Editors

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Meeting, Convention, and Events Planners

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Private Detectives and Investigators