Many people who earn master’s degrees in communications seek positions that are traditionally linked to such degrees, including journalism, television or radio. However, there is no need for them to limit their career choices to the standard professions that most communications majors seek. Jobs such as lobbyists, grant writers and personnel specialists have strong links to communication skills, yet few people think of them as such.
There are many industries that benefit from the skills and knowledge of lobbyists, including private corporations, consulting firms and various institutions. Lobbyists should have a bachelor’s degree in an area such as political science, communications, economics or public relations. Regardless of the degree held, a lobbyist position requires an individual to have strong communication skills in order to promote their organization’s needs. Lobbyists work with trade associations, governmental agencies and legislative bodies, which means they must also have a strong understanding of political inter-workings.
Grant writers are a career that is in high demand right now as philanthropy has grown significantly over the past few years. Grant writers must have writing, storytelling and research skills, all traits that are stressed in a communications degree program. In addition, a grant writer needs public relations and interviewing skills in order to gain the knowledge necessary to successfully obtain grants for the organization. Grant writers may work for an agency or may work independently on a freelance basis.
Personnel specialists focus on the human inventory in a company, developing programs designed to recruit and retain qualified individuals for their organization. Personnel specialists must have very strong communication skills in order to interview candidates, discuss personnel issues with both employees and upper management, and relay information clearly and effectively. They are often responsible for training programs that keep the employees qualified for their positions or to meet governmental requirements regarding safety.
These three positions have a need for professionals with very strong communication skills. Programs such as USC’s masters in communication provide the training and knowledge necessary for those interested in a variety of careers to achieve higher levels in their current organization or to move into a new career in another industry. Communication skills are necessary throughout the business world, and a master’s in communication can enhance skills a professional already has or provide skills they were lacking that prohibited their upward movement within a company.