USA Today recently released a list of five careers that can start with a communication major that will earn the worker over $100,000 per year – a figure that is not often associated with communication majors.
These careers are also not always immediately associated with a communication degree, with the five careers in question being psychiatry, working as a sales manager, working as an advertising and sales manager, being a personal finance adviser, and being an economist.
Psychiatrists typically need a graduate-level medical degree to practice. As of 2014, the National Annual Mean Wage was approximately $182,700, and it is anticipated that between 2014 and 2024, there will be a 17 percent growth rate in the field. While psychiatry and communications may not seem related on the first glance, psychiatrists need to have excellent communication skills, and be talented problem-solvers; these qualities are often essential skills in a communication major’s arsenal.
The second job listed, sales management, only requires a bachelor’s degree, and results in an average salary of around $126,040. The field is expected to grow about five percent between 2014 and 2024. Sales managers typically need, in addition to a solid education background, stellar communication skills and the ability to motivate a team. These qualities will be used to help a sales team reach their goals. A background in business, math, accounting, finance, or marketing may also be helpful.
Advertising and promotions managers also only need a bachelor’s degree to earn an average wage of about $114,700. Between 2014 and 2024, the field is expected to grow by about nine percent. Almost every duty of an advertising and promotions manager – such as in-person negotiating, planning, and managing the direct hiring and training of departmental staff – tend to involve high levels of communication skills. Many of these workers tend to find themselves working for advertising or public relations firms; they can also be found working in information services, retail trade, and the management of companies and enterprises. Typically, those in this trade have experience in advertising, marketing, promotions, or sales.
As a personal financial advisor, one can expect to earn an average yearly wage of around $108,090, and work in a field that will see growth rates of 30 percent between 2014 and 2024. They typically only need a bachelor’s degree, and are primarily charged with creating informed financial and investment plans for their clients – duties that involve a great deal of client communication. Financial advisors can speciailize in a single area, such as retirement planning or risk management, but others may stick to more general knowledge. While most financial advisors may have only earned a bachelor’s degree, earning a master’s degree, or any other additional certification, may lead to better job prospects and higher pay. Some financial advisors who work for larger firms are typically required to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Working as an economist is the last option listed by USA Today. Those working in this field would need a master’s degree for an average salary of $105,290, and can expect their field to grow by around six percent between 2014 and 2024. Economists analyze complex data using table, charts, and graphs, and research economic issues to provide information to businesses, governments, and individuals. They can then recommend improvements or changes to decision makers. Due to constant collaboration with various stakeholders, excellent communication skills are practically a requirement.
Monmouth University places many students into careers and jobs, often within the first year of graduation.
“93 percent of 2014 graduates are either engaged in full-time employment, attending graduate or professional school, or not employed full-time by choice, within six to nine months after their graduation,” said Jeffrey Mass, the Assistant Director of Career Services. “In the last 12 months, Career Services staff met with 138 communication majors for career guidance.”
Mass also recommends that students do their best to network to secure a job after graduation.
“Whether you have made contacts over the past few years or are just starting, now is the time to share post-graduation goals with as many individuals as possible,” Mass said. “This includes alumni, family, friends, and others. The more people who know what you are looking for, the better your chances of finding opportunities. Students can also use LinkedIn to network with alums in order to make meaningful connections in the job market.”
While certain careers may sound impressive due to their salaries, and of course a well-paying job may be an important part of life, a paycheck is not always the most important part of a job.
“Is the goal of life to make money or find reward in what you do for the majority of your making time for the rest of your life?” said Aaron Furgason, the chair of the communication department, an associate professor, and an advisor to WMCX. “If it simply is about money, any area within the field of communication that has a large potential economic return on investment by corporations is the area that a person will be compensated the highest. The best job for students is one that they find rewarding, and they are happy with the pay they receive for that work. Everyone has to decide for themselves what is important – money or happiness – experience versus material goods. There are plenty of experiences in communication where you can make enough money and enjoy your day-to-day job.”
“I’d rather have a job I love,” said Ryan Enright, a sophomore graphic design student. “I don’t want to go into retirement regretting life and feeling like what I haven’t done what I wanted to. It’s a combination of passion and practicality.”