The field of communication is vast and varied, with students able to choose between a variety of jobs that heavily utilize communication skills. Most of these careers require a degree, but whether getting a master’s degree is the correct decision depends on individual circumstances, career goals and employer requirements. The following will outline when and why an aspiring communications professional might need to get a master’s degree and when doing so is a waste of time and money.
What Careers Can A Communications Major Get?
A communications degree is beneficial because it is so broad, enabling students to work in any job that requires strong communication ability. Common career paths for graduates with this degree include public relations, writing, journalism, sales, marketing and other similar professions. Digital communication is becoming increasingly important to business organizations, opening up jobs as a social media manager, digital content specialist and other similar roles. Communications degree holders can get jobs in many other different fields as well because of the valuable soft skills this major teaches students. Soft skills such as interpersonal communication, writing ability and persuasion are valued in nearly every job, not just the field of communication.
What Communication Careers Require A Master’s Degree?
Upper-level jobs in the communications field may require a master’s degree, although this is mostly up to individual employers. Communications professionals who want to advance their careers into management positions but are not able to get a promotion or a new job without a master’s degree will need one. These management and upper-level jobs can include but are not limited to, public relations managers, marketing managers, human resources managers and company executives. Note that these jobs do not require a master’s degree overall, but individual employers might want to see one for certain positions. These careers also require several years of experience in non-management roles before a candidate will be considered for them. A master’s degree or even Ph.D. will be required for students who want to become college professors.
Is A Master’s Degree Needed For Success In This Field?
The simple answer is no, students do not need a master’s degree to enjoy a successful career in communication. Many careers in this field only require workers to have a bachelor’s degree. Even many management positions only require a bachelor’s degree, although a master’s degree can be helpful. Students should only get a master’s degree if their desired ultimate job position will require it or if they seek specialized expertise in a communications topic. The Muse also notes that a master’s degree can be a good decision for communication students who want to focus on research. Students should not consider obtaining a master’s degree simply for a salary boost, because they are feeling stuck in their job or many other common, poor reasons to go to grad school. It is important for students to weigh the pros and cons of getting a master’s degree in communication before deciding whether they should pursue one or not.
Some career paths are clear-cut in that they require a master’s degree. Unfortunately, communication is not one of those careers and deciding whether to get one will be entirely circumstantial. For this reason, although it can be helpful, a master’s degree is not strictly required for success in the field of communication.