Career Development

Career Planning

Communications Major Career Planning Options

Concentrations in:

  • Professional Writing and Communications Design
  • Documentary Studies and Production

Communications is concerned with the study and dynamics of the exchange of information between individuals, groups and cultures. Communications serve to persuade, to educate, to inform, and to entertain. This is accomplished through words (written and spoken), images, and sounds that encompass a variety of audio and visual means. Communications, as a tool for influencing one's perspective and behavior, can be traced back to the early Greeks and Romans. This view of communications as a means of persuasion has been broadened in the information age, and Rivier Communications majors learn to process and transform information into meaningful knowledge for human delivery and interaction. A classic of liberal arts education, Communications majors gain solid and effective skills that are key in all lines of work. Visit Rivier's English and Communications Department for additional information on degree requirements and course offerings. 

PLEASE NOTE: A decision was made in fall 2012 to phase out this academic major as a program. This career guide will remain online in support of current students until the program is fully phased out. 

Communications Major Skills 

Research and Reporting Skills Communication Skills (oral & written) 
Public Speaking (clear & persuasive)  Use Media to Enhance Intended Message 
Digital Editing Skills Work in Teams and Small Groups 
Attention to Detail/ Accuracy  Analyze & Solve Problems 
Select, Evaluate, & Edit Media Materials  Understanding of Social, Ethical, and Legal issues 
Work with Deadlines  Computer Proficiency
Create Powerful Images with Sight, Sound, Motion, & Words Write Press Releases, Scripts and/or other Promotional Materials



Career Paths in Communications 

New communications graduates have work options that are diverse and dependent upon one's interests, abilities, work values, academic emphasis, and practical experience in the field. Some of the more obvious employment options include work in radio, television, advertising, public relations, sales, technical writing and publishing. Outside of the more familiar media and business applications, communications skills are also highly sought in law, government and international relations; in health and social services; in education including special education; information sciences; and in arts and entertainment. Communications majors are encouraged to combine their studies with experiences related to specialized areas of interest. For example, those with an interest in corporate communications can round out their communications studies by integrating hands on entry level experience, in a corporate setting, with related business course electives.

Communications graduates may work as ...(The following are titles from across the industry. Some of these jobs may require education or experience beyond a bachelor's degree.)

Advertising Copywriter Feature Writer
Publisher Art or Film Critic
Fund Raiser Reporter (radio, TV news)
Associate Producer Human Resource Assistant
Special Events Planner Broadcast Assistant
Journalist Syndicated Columnist
Communications Center Operator Lobbyist
Speech Writer Consumer Relations Representative
Media Relations Specialist Technical Writer
Editor (copy, design, film, etc.) News Associate
Videographer Entertainer (actor, director, etc.)
Pre-Press Manager Video Programmer
Field Correspondent Public Relations Assistant



Communications graduates may work at . . . 

Technical Publications Firms  Hospitals
Sports & Entertainment Organizations Schools, Colleges & Universities
Lobbying Organizations Publishing Companies
Theaters Advertising Agencies
Libraries Non-Profit Organizations
Consulting Firms Business & Industry
Film Industry Television Stations
Radio Stations Newspapers/Magazines/Catalogs
Telecommunications Firms State/ Federal Government
Public Relations Firms Video Production Companies



Ways to Increase Employability 

  • Pursue elective course work or additional training related to one's professional field of interest.
  • Participate in volunteer and service learning opportunities.
  • Become an active student member of university, community, or professional organizations, which enhance leadership skills and promote networking relationships with fellow professionals.
  • Obtain quality practical experience prior to graduation through relevant part-time, full-time, and summer job or internship positions.

Sources of Information on Majors, Careers and Employment in Communications 

  • Rivier University Faculty Advisors, Academic Advisors, & Communications Department Resources
  • Professionals Working in the Field
  • Professional Organizations
  • Rivier University Career Development Center Counseling Staff, Website & Office Resources

Rivier University's Career Development Center Resources
Effective career decision-making evolves through a process of gathering accurate self-knowledge and significant information about the major or career being explored.  The Rivier University Career Development Center offers individual counseling and career resources regarding self-assessment, career exploration, gaining practical experience, and job searching skills.  For more information, contact us at 897-8246. The following is a partial list of career resources, available in our office, which may be of interest to Communications Majors:

  • 100 Best Careers: Writers and Artists
  • 100 Jobs in Technology
  • 100 Jobs in Words
  • 100 Careers in the Music Business
  • 100 Careers in Film and Television
  • Careers in Broadcasting (video)
  • Careers for Persuasive Types & Others Who Wont Take No for an Answer
  • Career Opportunities in Advertising and Public Relations
  • Career Opportunities in Television, Cable, Vision, and Multimedia
  • Career Opportunities in Writing
  • Extraordinary Jobs in Media
  • Great Jobs for Communications Majors
  • Journalism & Media Careers
  • Real People Working in Communications
  • Petersons Graduate Programs in Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences
  • Vault Career Guide to Journalism and Information Media

Professional & Rivier University Organizations related to Communications 

Career Related Websites for Communications Majors 

Major OptionsPortfolio ResumeNetworkJob-IntershipCareer Events