If you’re considering majoring in communications, it might be helpful to know what job opportunities could be waiting after graduation.

Communications is a vast field with numerous subspecialities and no how-to guide. So, to give you a sense of the job options and average yearly salaries that could be available if you pursue a communications degree, newly minted communications grads share their first jobs, how much they earned and how they landed those gigs.  

1. Associate Account Executive, $44,000 annual salary

When Michela decided to graduate from the State University of New York at Oswego a semester early, she kicked her job search into high gear. Almost a year before her anticipated graduation date, she attended a networking event hosted by her school’s career services department. At the event, she met a vice president of a communications firm and ultimately was offered a pre-graduation paid internship. “I would’ve never had that help if I didn’t utilize the active alumni community and networking opportunities my school offered,” Michela says.

The month after she graduated, everything fell into place when she landed a full-time job at that same firm. Michela reports that she regularly applies what she learned as a communications major to work. “Skills that I developed in college like writing press releases, thorough editing and presentation skills have helped me go into client meetings with confidence.”  

“The concepts I learned as a communications major in undergrad are still used in my everyday life at work.”

De’Osha, Valdosta State University Grad

2. Press Aide, $40,000 annual salary

De’Osha had one goal in mind when she started her job search about six months before graduating from Valdosta State University (VSU): to avoid unemployment. “My biggest fear during my senior year of college was graduating without a job,” she says. And then her biggest fear came true.

Despite receiving guidance from VSU’s career center, De’Osha failed to secure an interview for a full-time job. So, she shifted gears. “Because I knew that an internship was better than nothing, I decided to apply to internships.” It was a smart plan B that paid off. After completing a six-month paid internship at the Office of the Governor of Georgia, De’Osha was hired as a full-time press aide, managing media relations for the governor. In her role, she fields press inquiries, drafts press releases, plans social media content and organizes press conferences. Looking back at her college experience, De’Osha says, “The concepts I learned as a communications major in undergrad are still used in my everyday life at work — especially writing, strategy building and PR planning.”

3. Digital Community Manager, $50,000 annual salary

Farouk followed a rather unconventional path during his last year at the University of Rhode Island: He chose a paid internship in New York City during the second semester of senior year. “This experience of travelling back and forth was very hard, but it came in handy when it was time to apply for jobs,” he says.

After focusing his job search in the digital marketing and social media spaces, Farouk received immediate responses from companies in New York City, which he credits entirely to his senior year internship. He landed a full-time job as a community manager, overseeing digital communications, social media and online audience interactions for brands at an agency. “A lot of my friends made fun of me for choosing an ‘easy’ major in college,” Farouk recalls, “but I knew I was gaining skills that could help me day to day. I still use a lot of the communication skills I learned in college on a daily basis.”  

4. Multimedia Producer, $36,000 annual salary

Audra’s time at the University of North Carolina in Asheville equipped her with plenty of useful job search and on-the-job skills. In fact, one of her senior year requirements was to create an online portfolio and go through a social media audit. “My adviser checked my online portfolio and then checked my Instagram and Facebook accounts to make sure there wasn’t anything a potential employer would look down upon,” she says.

After graduation — and a few heartbreaking close calls with potential jobs — she was hired as a multimedia producer. Now she spends her days creating newsletters, writing news snippets and producing social media content. “I studied social media in college and it was part of my senior thesis,” Audra says. “I was quite excited to use it daily for my job.”

5. Freelance Writer, $2,500 annual income

Natalie went to college passionate about pursuing careers in both writing and dance. She hoped to get a formal education as a journalist so she could later support herself through freelance writing work while dancing professionally. When Natalie first got to Fordham University, though, she was disappointed the school didn’t offer a journalism major. So she chose what she thought was the next best option for the type of writing that interested her: communications. Looking back, she’s grateful for the opportunities her communications major opened for her — including two internships in public relations.

Natalie’s top tip for finding communications-related work after college is to network. “It was always the people that I met at Fordham — upperclassmen [and] people [who] spoke on a panel I hosted — [who] proved to be a gateway to jobs and opportunities,” she says. While Natalie’s first year’s earnings as a freelance writer — just $2,500 — weren’t enough to fully support herself, she still followed her initial plan of working freelance while following her dancing dreams. Natalie found other freelance work — in additional to writing — that was flexible enough to allow her pursue a dance career.

These first jobs are just a small sample of what’s available to communications majors. Because a communications major can apply to a wide variety of fields, majoring in this area paves the way to a nearly limitless amount of interesting and fulfilling career paths.