Mass communications is a popular academic major that can open doors to a wide variety of jobs in business. The study of media and how society communicates is particularly useful as society’s access to information through the Internet, social media, and mobile devices continues to grow and evolve. Professors who teach mass communications work in colleges and universities. Professors who work full time for up to seven years in one academic institution may be able to attain tenure, which guarantees stable employment. Many colleges and universities rely on part-time faculty, however, and make it difficult for professors to achieve tenure.
Mass communications professors may teach during the day and/or at night at several colleges and universities, and conduct research and write and publish academic papers and articles on topics in their field. Their work entails choosing and preparing the topics and syllabi for classes, reading and grading papers and tests, and meeting with students to guide them on coursework. Those who are new to teaching may start as assistant professor, advance to associate professor, and then become a full professor. In general, professors work closely with department heads and education committees. Tenured professors may advance to administrative positions such as dean or president. The Department of Labor reports that there were 183,750 postsecondary teachers employed in the United States in May 2018. This includes mass communications professors and other professors who teach topics that aren’t listed separately in the DOL data.
The study of mass communications may prepare students for a career as a research analyst or research consultant in advertising, public relations, market research, or many other types of communications industries. Many companies want to understand their consumers and audiences better, in order to improve their services and products. They seek researchers to gather information about consumers and prospective clients through surveys and focus groups and analyze and translate this data. According to the DOL, in May 2018, there were approximately 638,200 market research analysts and marketing specialists working in the United States.
Public relations and advertising agencies also offer mass communications majors opportunities for careers in writing and management. PR and advertising agencies range in size from small, independently owned companies to large corporations that may have national and/or international offices. Many PR and ad agency workers rely heavily on strong writing and communication skills in their work. In advertising, copywriters and content writers may work on pitches and presentations, scripts, social media content, e-newsletters, and print advertisements. PR jobs often entail writing and placing press releases and social media posts, developing and maintaining good relationships with media contacts, networking at various events, and representing clients, which could be individuals, groups, or organizations. There were 45,210 writers (including copywriters) and 239,030 public relations specialists working in the United States in May 2018.
Broadcast news is another industry that continues to be popular for mass communications majors, where many work as broadcast news analysts, reporters, correspondents, and also in various production roles. They may work for television or radio broadcast networks, cable stations, newspaper publishers, or other information service providers. The DOL reported that in May 2018, there were 5,890 broadcast analysts and 37,140 reporters and correspondents working in the United States.