What can I do with my communications degree?

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This series, What can I do with my degree?, features helpful testimony from those in the industry or making their way into the workplace.

The first article asked “What can I do with my English degree?” so it’s natural we take a look at its sister field, communications and, in some cases, media. This constantly evolving field acts as an umbrella for so many more specific disciplines. Just how much can you do with media and communications?

Related jobs: journalist, publicist, teacher, editor, writer and more
Related fields: print, radio, film, television, public relations, marketing, production and more

Erin Haggett

Book and magazine publishing graduate. Freelance editor and writer.
Media, Information and TechnocultureThe University of Western Ontario

I studied the Media, Information and Technoculture program at the University of Western Ontario. I then enrolled in the Book and Magazine Publishing post-grad program at Centennial College.

I recently completed an internship with Scholastic Canada and am currently doing freelance editorial work and looking for an in-house position.

I definitely think my degree was related to my field. It taught me the basics of writing, editing, design and media theory. It was comprehensive in both theory and practical schools. I know a few other people who have graduated from MIT and gone on to work in publishing as well.

Alex Sévigny

Associate professor of communications (tenured), McMaster University
B.A. (York University); M.A. & Ph.D. (University of Toronto), École Normale Supérieure (Paris, France) (pensionnaire étranger)

All my degrees were in French linguistics and culture. I took a broad cross-section of courses in semioticslinguistic theorydiscourse analysiscommunication disorderssociology and humanities.

I studied things that fascinated me. Don’t study something because it will “get you a job.” Study the things you are most passionate about and master them. Mastery will translate into success in all parts of your life and bring you confidence and happiness.

I loved research and wanted to become a professor. I volunteered a lot and went to many conferences and workshops to share my research and to network.

Although my Ph.D. is not in communications proper, it led me to try and understand communication and culture on a profound level. I learned how to do research, which requires being disciplined and enterprising, creative and self-motivated—all qualities I’ve acquired through my studies.

Erin LaRocque

Office/production assistant
Bachelor of Arts (Hon.), Media, Information & Technoculture (The University of Western Ontario)

I have always been interested in entertainment and pop culture, and knew from a young age that I wanted a job connected to the media. This is what drew me to the MIT program at Western.

I currently work for a documentary production company where I have been able to learn a great deal about film and television production. It has been wonderful to experience the other side of things, all the way from brainstorming and researching a new show idea, to working as a production assistant on set, to the promotion of series about to go to air.

My degree has prepared me well for a career in the media. Some of the courses I took were theory-based and helped me develop my critical thinking, while other courses were based on a specific topic, such as photography or journalism. Almost all of the courses I took helped me develop my research and writing skills.

The variety helped me develop a foundation that I can build on with practical experience and I’m confident that I will be able to apply knowledge and skills from each course I took to the tasks I encounter throughout my career.

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About the author

Marisa Baratta loves writing, especially about topics pertaining to environmental change, animal issues, human rights and health. She loves helping others and wants to make a positive difference in the world. She is always working on publishing her books, which seek to inspire and incite laughter. She has been published in the National Post, t.o. night newspaper and on several online magazines. She completed a BA with a specialization in English and a bilingual certificate before studying Book and Magazine Publishing at Centennial College. She lives with her family and two cats (can you spot one of them in the picture?).