One of the latent qualities I acquired after declaring my communication major was immensely thick skin. Between being told that my major is useless or that people choose communication because they dropped out of more difficult majors and picked [it] because lets face it, its pretty easy,” (as you can see, the person who was harping on my major couldn’t even add correct punctuation!), it might appear as if I’ve become the butt of all academic jokes. But how’s this for being the laughingstock: according to a report developed by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, recent graduates with degrees in communication have a 7.4 percent unemployment rate, lower than several business and engineering fields.
Similarly, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2004-14 Job Outlook for College Graduates, “communications technology and the expansion of media outlets are driving job growth in [writing and the arts] … strong competition for jobs is expected in nearly all these occupations.” So with a degree in communication, what can I not do? I can be anything from a technical writer to a director of online communication to a producer of a television show, whereas people with more technical degrees are limited to their specialties. In a Time article, Annette Gordon-Reed writes, “the ones who will do best in this new environment will be those whose educations have prepared them to be flexible.”
But it’s not just numbers. A degree in communication is often disparaged as being a “soft” area of study, but in reality, your future employers are looking for people with broad educations that taught them writing skills, how to think critically and communicate easily. Not only that, but communication majors also learn to question everything in the world around us, from advertising and images to news reports and speeches. Call us jaded, but this type of questioning ultimately leads to the bettering of the world. Do you think Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have risen to that stage and proclaimed that he had a dream if someone before him didn’t originally question the inequalities between white and black men and women?
I could go on and on about how my major is not useless, but I won’t because all bloggers know the power of short and efficient messages (I clearly failed on the “short” part). But I encourage you, as a prospective student or even one of our newest members, to embrace liberal learning and try things before you knock them. You’d be surprised, although you really shouldn’t be, at all the amazing, intellectually invigorating things we learn about.