Category Archives: Communications

What Can I Do with a Communication Major?

This space is inadequate to describe at length the wealth of possibilities a student could pursue with a communication degree.  Though most majors aid students in improving their communication skills, this post will address career possibilities with majors in Baylor’s Department of Communication:

Communication Studies (formerly Speech Communication)

Film and Digital Media

Communication Specialist

It should be noted that the Communication Specialist major combines coursework from Communication Studies and Film and Digital Media.  Students who are interested in the Communication Specialist major would be wise to check out careers that relate to both components of the major.

As I mentioned above, selecting a communication major opens up a wide variety of career options.  Think about it.  Most jobs require a person to communicate effectively, whether it means expressing oneself verbally, in writing, or in other forms.  Some nice starting points for information are the resources on the Career Counseling website related to choosing a major.  Additionally, a podcast is available for each of the three majors listed above.

Some of the more common occupations you will read or hear about in these resources are in business, media, law, social services, nonprofit, government/politics, and education.  Truly, the possibilities are endless, which is a nice feature for students seeking a major and career that offers variety.

Opportunities in Publishing for Undergraduates

Writing.  Editing.  Publishing.  Whether you dream of informing the public of current events, entertaining others with your wit and creativity, or contributing to a scholarly body of knowledge, gaining experience in publishing can give a major boost to your career and graduate school opportunities.  Consider where your writing or editing skills might best be put to use in publications on Baylor’s campus.

The Pulse

Focus Magazine

The Lariat

The Round Up

The Phoenix

New Media: Preparing for a Career in Advertising, Photography, or Videography

Students with a penchant for writing have long flocked to Baylor’s Department of Journalism.  To more accurately reflect the department’s offerings, a name change has gone into effect.  It is now the Department of Journalism, Public Relations, and New Media.  With this name change, a third concentration is now being offered.  Students can still select concentrations in News Editorial journalism or Public Relations.  The newest concentration is called New Media.  Students who select the New Media concentration choose a group of courses that focus either on Advertising or Photography/Videography.

More information on the new concentration can be found on the department’s website.

For more information on related careers, see the links below from Occupational Outlook Handbook:

Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

Writers and Authors


Film and Video Editors and Camera Operators

One Huge Factor That Can Affect Your Job Prospects

Day after day, students express their concern to me about job availability upon graduation.  They tell me that job availability is something they consider as they explore different career fields.  The most common approach to this concern is to research the occupations that are expected to have good job prospects.  While this data can influence decision making, it does not offer the full picture.  Students must remember the importance of being a strong candidate for jobs.  While gaining relevant experience is challenging when a student is unsure of his or her direction, there are certain skills that a job candidate will need to possess, regardless of major or career field. I am linking to a blog post in the Harvard Business Review titled “I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar.  Here’s Why.

I think a quick read of the post will help students understand why communication is one of Baylor’s General Education Outcomes.  English and Journalism majors have long known the value of using proper grammar, but all students can fine-tune these skills, knowing that they will be critical in the workforce.  Are you wondering what other steps you can take to prepare for your career, even if you don’t know what kind of career you want?

1) Visit Career Counseling to help you identify potential majors and careers.

2) Visit Career Services for a career coaching session.  The friendly staff can help you understand why and how to start gaining experience to plan for graduate school admissions, your first job, and beyond.

Career Spotlight: Reporter

Dreams of being on air or publishing articles for the world to read are common for students with a natural talent for communication.  The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) describes the work of reporters, pointing out that these positions can be in television, radio, online, and print media.  Reporters must be effective at meeting deadlines, since there is pressure to be the first reporter to break a news story.  The OOH suggests that job prospects in television, radio, and newspapers are expected to be hard to come by, particularly in major markets.

Since education and experience are vital components, students should seek out ways to obtain the professional skills they will need in college.  Baylor offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism-News Editorial, a program that also requires a minor of a student’s choosing.  A minor is available in News Editorial, for those students in majors other than Journalism.  Media-minded students might also be interested in courses in Film and Digital Media.  Students interested in on-air broadcasting who would like to beef up their presentation and interviewing skills might also choose to take classes in Speech Communication.

This wraps up our posts for the 2011-2012 academic year.  Thanks for your readership during our inaugural year.  We will resume posting on the first day of classes this fall, August 20.  We hope you will take the summer to peruse our old posts, explore career possibilities, and get some real-world experience.  Summer jobs, internships, study abroad, and volunteer work are all excellent resume-builders.  The Career Counseling office will be open during the summer sessions and between semesters, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions during that time.  Finally, best wishes on your final exams!

Baylor in New York

Students who dream of the bright lights of New York City might be excited to learn more about the Baylor in New York program.  It offers students the chance to live, work, and study in the Big Apple for a full semester.  The program provides coursework and an internship experience related to the field of communication.  However, the program is open to all majors.

Allyson Riley, a Baylor alumna and previous participant in the Baylor in New York program, served as an intern at the Rachael Ray Show.  When asked about her responsibilities at her internship, she said the tasks varied daily, but included the following:

-Helping with set-up and tear down of the set

-Acting as stand-in’s during rehearsals

-Running the craft services table for crew and guests

-Setting up and tearing down dressing rooms for show guests

-Running errands for production teams

-Working with the guests between when they arrive at the studio and when they appeared on the show

-Going on field shoots with field production

-Running errands for other departments such as wardrobe, art, kitchen, or post production (or personally for Rachael too)

-Coffee runs for Rachael

-Daily runs to CBS to drop of the show tapes

-Almost daily runs to Kingworld to pick up and drop of things

-Helped with preparation for show segments with the production teams

-Secretarial duties for the executive producers

Ms Riley spoke very fondly of her experience in New York:

My New York experience was better than I could’ve imagined! We got to live in a completely new and different place from Texas and were forced to step outside our comfort zones which really made the whole experience. It was a great chance to explore New York and learn the whole city, not just the tourist spots you would hit on a typical vacation. We got to learn first hand how the world works up in New York! It’s very energetic and exciting so there is always something fun going on. There were 18 students from Baylor all living on the same hall of the dorm together. We all meshed really well and formed immediate friendships with each other that are still some of the closest friendships in my life. I was surprised at how comfortable I got with navigating the city.  It all came very easily to us and we adapted to the differences of New York vs. Texas very quickly. I completely fell in love with the city!”

Is your interest piqued?  Click here to learn more about Baylor in New York.

Career Spotlight: Public Relations Specialist

When you hear the words public relations, what comes to mind?  Is it planning massive events, a celebrity’s spokesperson sending out a “no comment” response, or even someone “spinning” a story to make an organization look more positive?  The media has done little to conquer stereotypes of the profession of public relations.

At the core of public relations is writing, which makes it fitting that the Public Relations sequence is an option of the Journalism major at Baylor.  Strong grammar, spelling, and punctuation skills are a must for success in this field.  Public relations specialists work hard to promote a positive image of an organization or individual.  They use various forms of media to communicate their messages, such as print, online, and broadcast media.  Public relations specialists also need to be adept at interpersonal skills, since they work closely with staff from the various media outlets.

If promoting the good that others are doing sounds good to you, here are some ways you can learn more about a career in public relations:

Public Relations Society of America

Baylor University’s Department of Journalism, Public Relations, and New Media

What Can I Do with This Major?