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What can you do with English and Communications degrees?

grigg02grigg02 Posts: 404Registered User Member
edited May 2011 in Other College Majors
Hi, I'm going to start college soon and i thought about pursuing double degrees in English and Communications. With this in mind, I plan on going to graduate school and emphasize on my English degree, hoping to get a Masters or PhD (Which is better? Can you get a Masters or PhD in Comm??) Would it be smart to pursue my Masters in English or Comm? I hope to work with film (studios), broadcast stations, news stations, tv stations, business related to media, newspaper/magazine, etc. Would this be a reasonable route to take if I want to have this career path? I know I should do what i enjoy and I DO enjoy both but I want to make sure I can at least have a decent-paying job with these degrees. Thanks in advance.
Post edited by grigg02 on

Replies to: What can you do with English and Communications degrees?

  • LakeEffectKidLakeEffectKid Posts: 24Registered User New Member
    Comm will for sure help you out for the career path you're looking into. English may not, but with undergraduate work it doesn't matter as much. I'm sure you can get a Master's in Communications, though I'm not so sure about a PhD. But for sure pursue communications, that's definitely a reasonable route!
  • URichmond2010URichmond2010 Posts: 737Registered User Member
    OK. You CAN have a decent-paying job with an English degree and/or a communications degree. But I think you need to really think about what it is you want to do. You're sort of pointing in the general direction of media, which is great. But what sort of media? Broadcast and print journalism are to very different things. PR and editing are very different things. I think exploring your options, participating in externships and internships, those sorts of things would really help you out.

    Now let's talk masters and PhDs... First off, that's a lot of schooling. In English, I've been told the average time it takes to get a PhD is 6-10 years. Masters and PhD candidates are also incredibly specialized. I would not suggest you strike off down that path with the "I must have higher degrees" mindset without knowing what you're really, truly interested in.

    On the value of higher degrees in media...well, a masters can be helpful. But what you'll discover when you begin digging is that experience counts for more than a degree ever could. So for me personally, it is unreasonable to spend time and money getting another degree (or two) to get into a field that traditionally values work experience more than education...and doesn't pay very well, either.

    And I'm curious: What is "decent" pay in your mind?
  • grigg02grigg02 Posts: 404Registered User Member
    Thanks for the advices guys. @URich, my idea of a "decent" paying job is ideally 50k+. Also, this is JUST an idea...of course i'm going to explore my majors.
  • elena02elena02 Posts: 6Registered User New Member
    My mom was a communications/journalism major and she does marketing and freelance writing. I am goimg in as a communications major and think i want to do marketing. I prob wouldnt major in english unless you want to b a writer, minor would prob better and then major in communications...
  • jinglejingle Posts: 1,198Registered User Senior Member
    grigg02, you don't need or want a PhD to pursue the jobs that interest you. A PhD in English is really only appropriate if you want to be an English professor. If you want to work in media, then major in English or Communications as an undergraduate (I don't think it really matters which) and seek out internships and other practical job experiences. Many campuses also offer extracurricular opportunities--for instance, the campus newspaper, the campus radio station--you might also check out a local TV station in the town where your college is located. These are crowded, competitive fields, so you will need to be entrepreneurial about your job search and proactive about finding mentors.
  • flyaroundflyaround Posts: 392Registered User Member
    Agree with jingle, a phd can hurt you because you will be overqualified for most employers. Really only appropriate if you want to teach.
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