I’ve heard it all already.
“You’re a communication major? What are you going to do with that?”
“Isn’t that an easy major?”
“Communicating is just common sense.”
I recently read an article, written by a Communication major, about how she felt the stigma of Communication majors is significantly negative. Communication has the reputation of being an easy A, “last resort” major that doesn’t guarantee any chance of a successful career. I’m here to bring justice to my fellow Comm majors and throw some truth to the skeptics. Let’s drop the mic…
As I near my college graduation, a commonly asked question is, “What degree are you pursuing?”
When I say, “Communication and PR,” there’s usually a mixed reaction. Looks of confusion and doubt flood the faces of family, friends, and strangers. I get it…having the ability to communicate effectively seems like something we should all know already, so why spend nearly $70,000 on a piece of paper that says I can do so?
My education in communication has allowed me to understand why people think this way. There are logical thinkers and there are abstract thinkers. From a logical mind, liberal arts don’t teach a tangible skill and it doesn’t set you up for a specific skill set, like computer programming or pre-optometry would. That ambiguity is illogical for a logical thinker (aka, our science and math friends). I get it. However, as an abstract thinker, I am able to see the bigger picture. Communication is essential for ANY career path, which gives me the flexibility to choose where my degree leads me. It makes sense for ME.
Communication and other liberal arts degrees tend to be pushed aside because some people may believe that they are irrelevant. Let me just put things into perspective here…
Imagine a world without the news. Broadcast journalism…gone. Nothing on TV, nothing on the radio, no articles to search online. How would you get your information?
Imagine if you created a business and have a new, innovative product to launch, but you don’t know how to get people into your store to buy it. Your business fails.
Think of a huge corporation, like United Airlines, for example. We all know what happened recently when a passenger was dragged off the plane for not giving up his seat. It made headlines everywhere. How does United repair their professional reputation after this?
I have one answer for all three of those scenarios: communication professionals. Your journalists, marketing gurus, public relations specialists, sales representatives, television producers, advertising buffs, social media experts, etc. However, it isn’t limited to this.
What other fields have a curriculum surrounding communication? Law, political science, international relations, film and music production, business, human resources, social work, education…the list is endless.
I’m better at words, you’re better at numbers. If my skills are different from yours, great. However, you have no place to undermine my major as something that is irrelevant or “easy,” because chances are, your major needs my major to be successful.
I work hard for where I am and it’s only going up from here. I’m excited and proud to graduate in the top 10% of my major, with an article published on MTV, two internships under my belt, a blog that reaches over 800,000 people, a scholarship through the Miss America Organization for my interviewing abilities, a program of my own that will soon be an incorporated non-profit, and a degree that will allow me to effectively sell my goals, accomplishments, ambitions, and skills to future employers in ANY field I choose.
To answer your question, I hope to be the Director of Communication for a non-profit organization or small corporation, focusing on social media marketing and public relations…and I’m well on my way.
The beauty of higher education is that we are able to explore our unique skills and abilities to hopefully make a decent living, but more importantly, find what we truly have a passion for. I genuinely love what I do, and I hope your degree will allow you to do the same.
4 thoughts on “You’re a…Communication Major?”
I LOVE THIS! Something that definitely needs to be said! I’m a Marriage & Family major and the reactions I get just get to me sometimes. It’s frustrating, haha.
I wish the best for you with your comm major! You’re totally rocking it!
Thank you so much, Leti! I’m glad you can also relate. It’s easy to take those reactions to heart but I think the most important thing to remember is that every person’s interests and skill sets differ, but we are all needed in every corner of the workforce in some way. Best of luck to you as well!
Kudos to you Jessica for being confident in your choices! My BA was even more ambiguous…the dreaded ‘liberal studies’ major. I had someone ask me at my graduation if I had any type of plan for what in the world I was going to do with my degree! In my case, I returned to college several years after dropping out the first time around (I was 29 when I graduated). Initially, I had been a psychology major. But I had some work experience since then, and I was much more interested in business. However upon returning to school, it would have been too much…in regards to time and finances, to pursue a business major. So I pursued a business minor, taking all of the prerequisites needed to get into an MBA program. For the balance of my credits, I was able to fill my schedule with classes that I found interesting…like comparative religion and a course in African-Americans in film.
While in my MBA program, I found that time and time again, whenever we had group work (and in graduate school, there is a lot), I had very strong writing and presentation skills compared to my peers. I would not hesitate to say that my liberal arts undergraduate degree prepared me for this. I was never phased by any type of report or presentation that was called for because I had a LOT of practice with these things.
Thank you, Shona! I think so many people undermine the skills that a liberal arts curriculum provides. I am so thankful for my education and the path it’s leading me down! Thank you so much for sharing your story!