Life After UIC
Communication is one of the most sought-after knowledge areas among employers. Studies by the National Association of Colleges and Employers rank interpersonal (4.67), teamwork (4.65), analytical (4.56), and oral (4.53) communication skills at the top of the most desirable list (5 equals extremely important), ahead of computer and written communication.
The comprehensive curriculum of the Department of Communication insulates graduates from employment declines that have occurred in older occupations such as journalism or speech teaching. A UIC communication graduate has skills that apply to many different occupations. Research by the National Communication Association has identified a range of jobs open to communication graduates:
Advertising or marketing specialist, copy writer, account executive, sales manager, media planner, media buyer, creative director, media sales representative, and public opinion researcher.
Language arts coordinator, high school speech teacher, forensics/debate coach, drama director, college or university professor, and speech communication department chairperson.
Electronic Media (Radio/TV/Internet Broadcasting)
Broadcasting station manager, director of broadcasting, film/tape librarian, community relations director, unit manager, film editor, news director, news writer, transmitter engineer, technical director, advertising sales coordinator, traffic/ continuity specialist, media buyer, market researcher, actor, announcer, disc jockey, news anchor, public relations manager, comedy writer, casting director, producer, business manager, researcher, account executive, floor manager, and talk show host.
Print or Electronic Journalism
Reporter, editor, newscaster, author, copy writer, script writer, publisher, news service researcher, technical writer, acquisitions editor, media interviewer, and talk show host.
Publicity manager, advertising manager, marketing specialist, press agent, lobbyist, corporate public affairs specialist, account executive, development officer, fund raiser, membership recruiter, sales manager, media analyst, media planner, creative director, audience analyst, news writer, and public opinion researcher.
Theater, Performing Arts, Dramatic Arts
Performing artist, script writer, producer, director, arts administrator, performing arts educator, costume designer, scenic designer, lighting designer, theatre critic, makeup artist, stage manager, model, theatre professor, and casting director.
In Related Fields
Sales representative, executive manager, personnel manager, public information officer, industrial and labor relations representative, negotiator, director of corporate communication, customer service representative, newsletter editor, communication trainer, human resources manager, mediator, and buyer.
Teacher (elementary and secondary), school counselor, educational researcher, audiovisual specialist, educational administrator, school/university information specialist, director of college news, director of a collegiate information center, educational tester, development officer, educational fund-raiser, alumni officer, college placement officer, college admissions director, and college recruiter.
Government or Politics
Public information officer, speech writer, legislative assistant, campaign director, research specialist, program coordinator, negotiator, lobbyist, press secretary, and elected official.
Trainer for communication technologies, closed circuit television producer/director, systems analyst, technical copywriter, language specialist, speech synthesizer, cognition researcher, audio and visual computer display specialist, and performance assessor.
Health educator, school health care administrator, medical grants writer, hospital director of communication, clinic public relations director, health communication analyst, research analyst, medical training supervisor, communications manager for federal health agencies, health personnel educator, medical center publications editor, hospice manager, drug rehabilitationist, health care counselor, activities director, marketing director, and health facility fund raiser.
International Relations and Negotiations
On-air international broadcasting talent, corporate representative, translator, student tour coordinator, diplomat, foreign relations officer, host/hostess for foreign dignitaries, and foreign correspondent.
Public defender, corporate lawyer, district attorney, public interest lawyer, private practice lawyer, legal researcher, mediation and negotiation specialist, paralegal researcher, legal secretary, legal reporter, and legal educator.
Social and Human Services
Public administrator, social worker, recreational supervisor, human rights officer, community affairs liaison, park service public relations specialist, philanthropic representative, religious leader, and mental counselor.
from the College of Charleston, Department of Communication.
Pathways to Careers in Communication
The LAS Cooperative Education and Internship Program reports that half of the communication students who participate in the internship program each year get jobs in their field within six months of graduation. Those who began jobs after their internships found work in
- television and radio stations
- corporate promotions departments
- market research firms
- human resources departments
- event planning businesses
- advertising agencies
Many alumni of the Department go on to graduate school. They pursue professional degrees in business and finance, law and public administration, social work and health, as well as journalism and education. Some go on for doctoral study in communication and in other social sciences and humanities.
The faculty are willing to write letters of recommendation for students who have performed well in their classes, especially at the upper level. Students planning on graduate study get to know their professors' areas of specialization and take courses that encourage direct contact, so that the professors can provide individual advice and write specific letters of support.
The Department usually advises its graduates to apply to other departments for further study. Applications for UIC graduate programs are available for download from the Office of Admissions and Records. Applications may be submitted electronically.
Interviews with alumni show that within a few years of graduation, former students find their way into careers and recognize the merits of their liberal education in communication. Alumni of the program are generally willing to advise current students and act as mentors in their field of work.
Alumni of the Department hold positions they did not anticipate as students, ranging from real estate development to project manager in the Chicago Public School system, as well as some they expected, such as in news production.
Students in the program build contacts with alumni who come back to speak during classes and join in extra-curricular activities. The Department encourages students to organize group activities involving alumni on different career paths. For example, in 2003 current majors and alumni organized the Communication Society, which became a campus student organization.
When returning to campus, alumni report using almost everything they learned in their communication courses, and they indicate that some aspects of the program they found most challenging while enrolled (such as statistics and intensive writing) proved the most beneficial to them on the job.