The University of Texas Pan-American
 

Careers

There has never been a more exciting time to study communication or to become a communication professional. The business and academic worlds are hungry for bright, creative, and savvy communication professionals.  Simply look at local and national job listings – nearly all seek individuals with “strong communication skills.”

But a successful career in communication takes more than being a “strong communicator.” Although it’s important to have an overall knowledge of the discipline, you must also decide where to focus your skills.

There are a number of ways to practice communication and apply a communication degree in the workplace. While they’re all intricately woven together, one bleeding into the next, each has a varying and separate pathway to success.

Communication Studies | Mass Communication | Theater/TV/Film

Communication Studies

Multicultural Communication

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Trainers in the workplace with knowledge in dealing with cross-cultural issues such as leadership, conflict management, change management, and customer relations are in high demand. Other opportunities can be found in the health care professions and in nonprofit organizations. Americans assigned to foreign countries and who may work for the Foreign Service in places like American-run government offices would benefit from training.  

Your InterestsYour Interests
Intercultural communication, leadership, interpersonal communication, persuasion, conflict management, public speaking, business and professional communication, media systems, nonverbal communication, listening, ethics, and knowledge of foreign languages.

The FieldThe Field
As a workplace trainer with knowledge in dealing with cross-cultural issues such as leadership, conflict management, change management, and customer relations, you’ll be in high demand. You may find opportunities in the health care professions, in nonprofit organizations, or working in foreign countries where American Foreign Service organization workers would benefit from your skills.

 

Communication In Business

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Executive manager, personnel manager, public information officer, industrial and labor relations representative, negotiator, director of corporate communication, customer service representative, newsletter editor, communication trainer, human resources manager, mediator, and buyer.

Your InterestsYour Interests
Public speaking, interpersonal communication, mass media, business and professional communication, organizational communication, small group communication, and interviewing.

The FieldThe Field
Many national studies indicate that the skills most needed to get a job, to succeed, and be promoted are primarily communication skills. As a business-minded communicator, you’ll understand the operations of any business and the skills related to your particular job in any organization. You’ll be using this knowledge to better communicate interpersonally, in groups and teams, and with your superiors and subordinates. It is fair to say that success in business is directly related to being able to communicate effectively and appropriately.

 

Risk and Crisis Communication

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Public relations officer, corporate spokesperson, corporate trainer, communication consultant, federal agent for government agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security, Center for  Disease Control and Prevention, and Food and Drug Administration.

Your InterestsYour Interests
Crisis communication, risk communication, communication ethics, listening, negotiation, public relations, interpersonal communication, small group communication, and organizational communication.

The FieldThe Field
As the world becomes increasingly complex, the likelihood that organizations and communities of all types will face a crisis situation is amplified. You’ll respond to crises on behalf of organizations and communities with exceptional communication skills while managing uncertainty, confusion, and the intense demand for information from the media and the public. As a risk communicator, you must be a highly ethical and skilled negotiator who listens carefully to the concerns of all stake holders.

 

Government And Politics

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Public information officer, speech writer, legislative assistant, campaign director, research specialist, program coordinator, negotiator, lobbyist, press secretary, and elected official.

Your InterestsYour Interests
Public speaking, journalism, interpersonal communication, introduction to media systems, mass communication, communication theory, communication research methods, organizational communication, argumentation and debate, rhetorical theory and criticism, political communication, persuasion, media performance, listening, communication ethics, performance studies, and acting.

The FieldThe Field
Since communication is the basis for gaining understanding and making decisions when people hold different perspectives on social and political problems, it is through communication that political leaders can discuss similarities and effectively settle disputes. Your communication skills will be essential in addressing and articulating the complex issues that challenge political leaders and our system of government.

 

Health Careers

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Health educator, school health-care administrator, medical grants writer, hospital director of communication, clinic public relations director, health communication analyst, research analyst, medical training supervisor, communications manager for federal health agencies, health personnel educator, medical center publications editor, hospice manager, drug rehabilitationist, health care counselor, activities director, marketing director, and health facility fund-raiser.

Your InterestsYour Interests
Health communication, interpersonal communication, family communication, interviewing, business and professional communication, public speaking, research methods, small group discussion, conflict resolution, public relations, listening, nonverbal communication, persuasion, and communication ethics.

The FieldThe Field
As a health-care provider you must communicate effectively with clients and patients in order to prevent illness, diagnose disease, and manage treatment and patient care. Communication will be necessary for developing and maintaining trust between providers and clients, their families, and other health care providers. Equally important in your health career will be the use of communication to educate and train a population in behaviors such as nutrition, sexual health, and family planning.

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Mass Communication

Advertising

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Advertising or marketing specialist, copy writer, account executive, sales manager, media planner, media buyer, creative director, media sales representative, and public opinion researcher.

Your InterestsYour Interests
Marketing, copy writing, research methods, persuasion, advertising, mass media, interpersonal communication, mass media law, media production, public speaking, and small group communication.

The FieldThe Field
Advertising has long been one of the quintessential careers in the communication field. As this profession has grown over the past decade, so too have the methods its practitioners use. The blanket advertising campaigns of the past are quickly diminishing, and professionals are learning new and savvier ways of getting their ideas and products in front of large and small audiences alike. As an advertising professional, you’ll be working in a high-energy, competitive, and fast-paced environment. You’ll learn how to develop advertising strategies and the many components of advertising campaigns.

 

Journalism (Print or Electronic)

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Reporter, editor, newscaster, author, copy writer, script writer, publisher, news service researcher, technical writer, acquisitions editor, media interviewer, and talk show host.

Your InterestsYour Interests
Interviewing, oral communication, public speaking, print communication, interpersonal communication, editing, persuasion, nonverbal communication, oral interpretation, design media, media theory, media criticism, advertising, media research methods, media law and ethics, acting, radio-television production, and announcing.

The FieldThe Field
Once thought of as a profession of static, one-way communication, the field of journalism is undergoing tremendous change. Like other communication professionals, new and changing technologies are drastically reshaping the way people receive news. Although journalism still involves the basics of researching and gathering information and communicating that information succinctly to the public, as a journalist you’ll now have more access to two-way communication due to advancing technology. Because of electronic communication technologies such as e-zines, podcasts, web casts and blogs, communities no longer need to wait for their morning paper to read up on the latest world happenings. Journalism is a round-the-clock, round-the-globe, high-pressure profession.

 

Public Relations

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Publicity manager, advertising manager, marketing specialist, press agent, lobbyist, corporate public affairs specialist, account executive, development officer, fund-raiser, membership recruiter, sales manager, media analyst, media planner, creative director, audience analyst, news writer, community relations specialist, internal communications director and public opinion researcher.

Your InterestsYour Interests
Business and professional communication, public speaking, print communication, interpersonal communication, introduction to media systems, organizational communication, media production, listening, interviewing , ethics of communication, persuasion, visual communication, and nonverbal communication.

The FieldThe Field
Public relations is a fast-paced profession that involves managing two-way communication between an organization and its diverse publics. This field is expanding at a rate few would have believed possible 10 or 20 years ago, as new information technologies allow us to reach more audiences more quickly than ever. Globalization of the economy has increased the demand for both international and intercultural public relations programs, along with practitioners trained in such areas as public diplomacy, national development, and nation building, and marketing.

With a public relations degree you’ll have a myriad of career options such as working in a communication agency, directing communication for a nonprofit organization, or specializing in community relations for a fortune 500 company.

 

Marketing

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Business and marketing specialist, public relations and advertising management, sales and marketing manager, media management, and public opinion researcher.

Your InterestsYour Interests
Business and professional communication, national and international communication, intercultural communication, research methods, persuasion, mass media, interpersonal communication, public speaking, small group communication, communication and social change, and communication and emerging technologies.

The FieldThe Field
Today the attention span of the consumer is getting smaller and competition more intense. You’ll be working with marketing departments to create media messages to publicize products or services, encourage positive perceptions and corporate support of products, plan and stage events and activities to call attention to services, develop informational avenues and communication strategies regarding product benefits. Most marketing professionals are housed within a marketing department that works closely with a company’s public relations and advertising departments to form integrated communication teams.

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Theater/TV/Film

Electronic Media/Radio Television/Broadcasting/Converge Media Technology

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Broadcasting station general manager, program director, community relations director, video and film editor, news director, reporter, audience research associate, broadcast and satellite engineer, traffic/continuity specialist, media buyer, market researcher, actor, announcer, disc jockey, news anchor, public relations manager, comedy writer, casting director, producer, researcher, account executive, and talk show host.

Your InterestsYour Interests
Oral communication, public speaking, print communication, interpersonal communication, introduction to mass communication, media research, studio and field production and direction for television/radio/film, script writing, editing, persuasion, nonverbal communication, media performance, oral interpretation, public relations, listening, media theory, media criticism, advertising, media law, communication ethics, campaigns, interviewing, and acting.

The FieldThe Field
In the mid to late 90s, television and radio stations began to rapidly grow – not only in the US but also abroad. Today, that trend continues. And, as radio and television stations continue to grow, so too do the career opportunities that accompany them. While most think of the newscaster as the flagship profession in the broadcast arena, there are numerous career options in this field. As technology continues to emerge, communication technology career positions continue to increase – jobs like programmers, broadcast engineers, IT (information technology) communication support, sales, administration, and management.

Through studying under the umbrella of electronic media and broadcasting, you’ll be qualified to seek a career in electronic media, radio and television broadcasting, and non-broadcast video.

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The information on this page has been adapted from "Pathways to Communiation Careers in the 21st Century, Seventh Edition" edited by Sherwyn Morreale, Ph. D. and Allison Swickard-Gorman and published by the National Communication Association.

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