Career paths for graduates of a master in communications program include editor, writer or author, and public relations manager.
A communication master's degree prepares one for a variety of career paths in writing, editing, and public relations. Those interested in obtaining the types of jobs which a master's degree in communications would prepare them for will find excellent social skills and a personal orientation toward service useful in their career search.
|Career||Editor||Writers and Authors||Public Relations Manager|
|Education Requirements||Bachelor's degree||Bachelor's degree||Bachelor's degree; Master's degree may be required|
|Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)*||-7%||-2%||9%|
|Median Salary (2020)*||$63,400||$67,120||$118,430|
Source: *US Bureau of Labor Statistics
A number of career paths are open to graduates with a master's degree in communications, including writing and editing, or as public relations and communications managers, who work to create a positive public image for companies and organizations. All require a bachelor's degree, and additional experience and education can be beneficial to the long-term career of these professionals.
Authors, Writers, & Editors
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) specifically lists a communications degree as being an asset to those seeking jobs as authors, writers, or editors. Writers are generally known for the specific type of writing that they choose. Various titles include scriptwriter, screenwriter, biographer, and textbook writer. Though those looking to acquire a job as a writer have a broad array of subject options to choose from, all should be familiar with different methods of communication. It doesn't matter how well-written an author's work is if he or she doesn't choose the right audience.
Editors have the task of reviewing, revising, and editing the work of authors and writers. Depending upon where an editor finds employment, he or she may have the job of planning out content for publications or approving ideas submitted to her by writers and staff. Job duties vary greatly and are dependent upon the level of an editor's position.
A bachelor's degree is usually the minimum requirement for most authors, writers, and editors. Additional experience and education will open up many new paths for these professionals throughout the course of their careers. As of May 2020, editors were reported by the BLS as earning median salaries of $63,400 per year. Authors and writers had comparatively higher earnings of $67,120 the same year, per the BLS.
Public Relations Managers and Communications Directors
These two job titles are sometimes used interchangeably but can represent different jobs altogether. A public relations (PR) manager works to maintain and improve the public image of a client or company. Communications play a huge role in this, as PR managers must constantly manage public image via a series of social media interactions. Press releases and sponsorship of community events are two such methods of interaction.
Communications directors also have a large involvement with promoting the company image but do so more through promoting its products or services. Job duties vary depending upon the size of the company worked for but may include such tasks as conducting market research to gauge public opinion or helping formulate campaign ideas. Both PR managers and communications directors find themselves in positions where creativity is highly valued by companies or clients hoping to attain an edge over competitors.
The BLS reported that as of May 2018, PR and fundraising managers earned a median yearly income of $118,430.
Competition for writers, editors, and public relations managers is expected to be very strong. This is particularly true for editing positions, which are in decline. However, holding a master's degree in communication can give a candidate an edge in these highly competitive fields.