10 Communication Degree Fields (With Special Interests)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 15 May 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Candidates with communication degrees have generally completed studies in strategic communication, data and research, digital and other media. Some have areas of specialisation, such as content creation, news and media. Knowing the different communication fields you can work in can help you choose your career path. In this article, we define what communication degree fields are, list 10 degree fields in communication and explore the special interest in communication careers.
What are communication degree fields?
Communication degree fields encompass the broad areas of work you can do with a communication degree. A communications degree prepares candidates for effective communication. With this major, you typically learn how to convey information competently to diverse audiences with specific business goals in mind. Each communication degree field is defined by the media used or the approach to that media.
For example, digital communication involves knowledge of how consumers navigate and absorb the information they locate online, how to maximise search engine rankings and best practices in creative presentation. Although each field serves relatively specific communication needs, overlap does exist. Regardless of the career path you choose, each field requires you to be skilled in developing content that meets the needs of the intended audience.
10 degree fields in communication
Below are the types of degree fields you can find in communication:
1. Public relations
Public relations focuses on managing the spread of information and messages between individuals, public and private organisations and the general public. As a public relations specialist, you may be tasked with speaking to the media, composing press releases, analysing opinion and data trends, problem-solving and knowing how to develop narratives that are evocative or persuasive. Knowledge of media networks and personnel can be advantageous, as is knowledge of legal concepts like defamation. Good personal presentation is a positive quality, as is a clear and confident voice.
2. Marketing and advertising
Both marketing and advertising are essential in business success. Professionals in these fields help build and promote brand identity, develop a customer base and increase profits. As a marketing or advertising professional, you may be tasked with monitoring market trends, conducting market research, collaborating with other organisational divisions, developing campaign proposals and presentations and producing engaging and popular content for various media platforms. These professionals may also evaluate the demand for a proposed service or product.
3. Writing and publishing
Effective written communication is invaluable in both the digital and non-digital fields. The writing skills and critical feedback you gain through your communications degree can prepare you for jobs in journalism, technical writing, authorship or publishing. As a writer or editor, you may be tasked with composing content in various tones and levels of formality, structuring content to efficiently deliver information, proofreading and preparing content for publication or for graphic or instructional designers and editing. You may commission content for a variety of online sites and provide publishing services on a commercial or community basis.
Roles can include jobs in television, film and radio. The focus may be on education, entertainment or sales. You may work behind the camera or on camera. You may conduct interviews, provide commentary and present the news. Some in media roles may have additional specialisation and work on interactive exhibits in galleries and museums, where the ability to combine visual and audio elements in high-quality form is required.
Assisting in the raising of funds and other donations for non-profit organisations and research foundations is often vital for the maintenance of important community programs and to help eradicate major diseases. Fundraisers plan and organise fundraising events and often do so months in advance, so bookings can be confirmed, events promoted and volunteers organised. Building and maintaining relationships with previous and potential donors and attending community events are part of the role. Writing grant applications, reports and press releases and presenting and liaising with organisation boards are further tasks.
Crafting persuasive messages can be a key asset for some communication degree holders if they choose to work in politics in a role such as a political affairs officer. Conversely, this communication degree field also demands highly competent professional writing and editing skills in the planning and drafting of bills and legislation. Political affairs officers conduct polls, observe opposition publications and can commission specific research data. At a local level, candidates may respond to and communicate with constituents, manage relevant social media pages and cooperate with a range of other party offices, government departments and councils.
7. Social and digital media
A communication degree field often involves some form of digital technology awareness and competency, but some candidates choose to have a speciality. Tasks may include developing a content strategy for an organisation's social media accounts and leveraging the interests of social media users. They are generally conversant with the use of multimedia online and understand where podcasts, commercial and user videos and interactives may be critical in marketing messages and promoting sales. Social and digital media managers may also track the success of digital campaigns using either in-house data programs or those commissioned from an agency.
8. Meeting and event planning
Meeting and event planners may work for particular hotels or convention centres or they may operate their own business and specialise in smaller corporate events, weddings or parties. Significant work goes into the success of an event, including planning and scheduling, positive promotion and ongoing communication with speakers and attendees. Planners may negotiate client and vendor contracts, collaborate with marketing and public relations and coordinate logistics of technology, food and beverage and transport providers. They may also arrange insurance for events and for their own equipment and conduct research if clients require special theme events.
9. Sales and business development
Sales and business development individuals deliver pitches, sell products and have a directive to retain and win new customers and clients. Sales roles are found in various industries, including real estate, insurance, manufacturing, travel and aged services. Candidates may explain the benefits of a product or service, predict potential needs and develop networks of contacts. Managing client relationships is a valuable trait and resolving complaints is important to build trust.
10. Human resources
Human resources (HR) departments oversee many elements of the employee lifecycle. Human resource specialists support employees and ensure that company needs are met by ensuring new hires understand company culture and organisational expectations. Human resource professionals may manage employee health and wellness programs, conduct workplace appraisals and manage disciplinary actions. They maintain confidential records and can be called upon to act as a workplace conflict mediator.
Communication degree field special interests
Candidates may choose to explore very specific fields of interest during their studies and career. Some may complete units of study across two programs or simply have strong associations and interests in particular industry areas. Options include:
Fashion: for people interested in fashion writing, creative forecasting and brand identity
Health: for candidates keen to work on community and personal issues matters through the creation and publishing of well-being and health information
Sports: for keen sports fans interested in pursuing careers as reporters, game announcers and PR managers for club teams or individual athletes
Global or international communication: for candidates wanting to sell or market internationally and who require an understanding of export and import laws and regulations, money transfers and currency exchange
Sustainability and environment: for advocacy roles in both non-profit, commercial and private sectors
Visual: for people who enjoy being immersed in and communicating in and with various visual media, including photography, painting and 3D work
Mass communications: for those who enjoy assessing the impact of media on society and how media channels influence conceptions and learning
Strategic: for those who enjoy communication analysis and promoting the goals and values of an organisation
Advocacy: for those dedicated to working in and developing materials for specific international and national causes
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