Careers in Communication

Creating content for readers, viewers, listeners, companies, clients, donors, customers and lawmakers are a few of the groups journalists and public relations professionals target when they research, compose and produce stories and publicity materials. Having skills to do these tasks well helps make journalism majors competitive in a variety of employment opportunities. There is always a demand for good writers, regardless how content is delivered to its intended audience. Creating quality content under deadline is a time management skill journalism majors have honed from the writing intensive curriculum, and it is valued by employers.
Many employers are seeking people who can find relevant information quickly. Journalism majors can often demonstrate that they can provide quality information fast as they have honed their critical thinking skills to analyze sources and find credible information. They then can present the best information in a concise manner. Knowing how to deliver the content in a variety of ways requires journalism majors to adapt their writing and producing skills to the needs of the employer, the means of distributing content and the desires of the intended audience. Job descriptions which include “good communication skills” are open to journalism majors who can compete for and be placed in employment opportunities because of their superior writing skills.

Agencies have a number of different clients, and although a few agencies may specialize in a particular economic sector, e.g. only entertainment or technology, most agencies have for clients businesses which have sought the expertise of the agency so their workers can concentrate on whatever the business does. Many large agencies provide pro bono publicity for non-profit organizations.
Companies and non-profits can employ their own public relations staff. This requires the creation of internal newsletters for co-workers, but it also has publicity material for many other groups the companies and non-profits target for making a positive impression.
Public relations professionals are advocates who critically analyze information to create content and whole campaigns for employers, employees and clients. They are often tasked with planning events, e.g. fundraisers, banquets, trade shows, etc., and time management skills are required to ensure not only that people are aware of the event but also that all of the items the event requires to be successful is accounted for and delivered on time.
Public relations professionals have to understand how to persuade others, and this is a valuable talent which can include many employment opportunities. Management, sales, advertising and marketing are a few of the sectors which can public relations professionals can compete for because of their superior communication skills.
Employment for reporters is no longer partitioned by how the content is delivered as journalists are now sought for their multimedia skills. There are still newspaper and magazine reporters; radio and TV reporters; but there are more employment opportunities for those who can record video and post an edited video on a radio station’s web site or a reporter who can also record audio from an interview and post an edited version along with a photo slide show.
Many students are not aware of freelance reporting that can provide pay while working other jobs or even full-time work if the freelancer can pitch enough interesting stories to outlets seeking that content. Freelancers can specialize in covering a particular sector, e.g. travel or medical/health care, but many are curious about a range of items and enjoy researching, interviewing and producing stories on a variety of things, similar to what a general assignment reporter would do at a newspaper or TV station.
Having the skills of an excellent writer and quick researcher can provide employment opportunities where producing content is not only objective as many companies and non-profit organizations can hire journalism majors because of their superior time management and production skills.
 One of the most sought-after qualities in most jobs is “good communication skills.” Speech majors spend their careers honing this exact skill, and, upon graduation, are able to communicate ideas with clarity and effectiveness. This opens doors in any professional field—such as business, law, social and community services, public relations, and teaching. Speech majors can use their communication skills in many settings and careers.

A speech degree can prepare students for law school and a career as a lawyer. Since lawyers are required to present an argument and persuade a jury using provided evidence, the communication skills of a speech major provide a solid start to the career. Courses in interpersonal communication strengthen knowledge of conflict and communication while courses in debate, ethics, rhetoric, and persuasion strengthen argumentation and communication skills. 
Speech majors have the advantage of being able to choose between many careers in the political field, whether it be speech writing or politics itself. Coursework in writing, rhetoric, and political communication can prepare a student for a career in politics.
An understanding of human communication behavior, research methods, and diversity issues as well as an ability to see integrate information will benefit students who have an interest in going into business. Speech majors find employment in advertising, insurance, real estate, human resources, sales, or marketing and consumer research.

Communication Disorders Degree

One out of every six Americans has a communication disorder ranging from stuttering to aphasia. The undergraduate degree in Speech Communication within the College of Arts and Sciences is the first in a continuum that can lead to the Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Check out the Frequently Asked Questions below to learn about the opportunities offered at GSU for students interested in the Speech Pathology profession.

There are 42 million Americans- one out of every six- with a communication disorder. Each one can be helped in some ways by a speech-language pathologist, audiologist, or speech, language and hearing scientist. Individuals working within the field of Communication Disorders possess the training necessary to assess and treat children and adults with disorders such as stuttering, delayed language development, aphasia, voice disorders, speech articulation problems, swallowing impairments and cognitive disorders. They also select and develop augmentative and alternative communication systems for those individuals with severe disabilities. A career in Communication Disorders offers a wide variety of work settings including hospitals, research laboratories, rehabilitation clinics, pediatric facilities, nursing homes, public schools, or even teaching at the college or university level. Others develop their own private practice facilities, often in collaboration with other health care professionals. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)  provides additional information. 
 No, but GSU does have an undergraduate degree in Speech Communication within the College of Arts and Sciences. The undergraduate degree is the first degree in a continuum that leads to the Master’s degree in Communication Disorders. The Speech Communication major combined with the Interdisciplinary Minor in Communication Sciences allows students to obtain pre-professional coursework in order to prepare them for a graduate program in Communication Disorders.
If you choose the Interdisciplinary Minor in Communication Sciences, recommended courses are in the Department of Communication (SCOM 3000, 4400, 4410, 4440) and in the Department of Educational Psychology, Special Education and Communication Disorders in the College of Education (CSD 4360, 4480, 4490; EXC 4020). Some Psychology courses also count towards the minor, such as PSYC 1101).

This minor was developed to help students complete the prerequisite courses required by the CSD Master’s Program at GSU. 

Yes. The American Speech-Language –Hearing Association(ASHA) recommends that undergraduate preparation begins with courses in psychology, biology, physics, statistics, English, professional writing and the humanities. The following is a brief list of suggested core courses at GSU arranged by subject area:

Math and Natural Sciences (Area D): BIOL 1103K, PHYS 2030, MATH 1070

Social Science (Area E): PSYC 1101, 2040, 2103

Electives (Area J): SCOM 3000, 4410, 4440; CSD 4360, 4320; EXC 4020; PSYC 4400

You can take American Sign Language (ASL 1001, or EXC 4370) as a foreign language.

Yes! Anything you can do in addition to specific program requirements is beneficial. Volunteering your time to an organization or business shows motivation and an interest in serving others in the community. Try to find positions where you can gain experience working with young children and/or aging adults. For starters, you can call your local Easter Seals chapter, hospital, nursing home, or pediatric facility, and inquire about the volunteer positions available to you as a student. Other possible options include churches, schools, and after-school programs. Meals-on-Wheels, hospice etc. Use your imagination and get involved!

Another good option for you to gain experience is by observing the activities developed by an ASHA certified speech-language pathologist. You can contact the same places indicated above and ask if they provide the opportunity for observation hours.

It is important to keep in mind that entry into graduate school is quite competitive and space is limited. In order to improve your chances for admission, a strong grade point average (3.5 or better) and a competitive score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are recommended when applying for a graduate program at most colleges or universities in the nation. Keep in mind that you will also need three strong letters of recommendation for the application process. You will need at least one academic recommendation letter from professors; therefore, maintaining high academic and ethical standards during your undergraduate studies is crucial for a strong application.
Yes. GSU offers a Master of Science degree in Communication Disorders through the College of Education. This program is accredited by ASHA and designed to combine academic course work and practical experience in order to prepare students for a career as a Speech-Language Pathologist. There are approximately 30 spaces per year in the program at GSU with over 250 applications seeking admission to the program. More information about the graduate program is online here  and ASHA describes all the accredited programs at