So, what can you do with a degree in Communication Arts & Sciences? The answer is pretty much anything you want to! While there's some disagreement among experts and pollsters about the importance of one's major to employers, the prevailing opinion is that—with the exception of some highly specialized and technical fields—getting a college degree itself is much more important to most employers than what you majored in. In fact, the range of employment opportunities available to you with a Communication Arts & Sciences degree is limited only by your imagination, ambition and experiences. Let’s go through some employment research that you might find surprising.
Employers are interested in the right skills, not necessarily the “right major”.
In 2000 the National Association of Colleges and Employers surveyed employers across the country to determine what employers look for in new college graduates. This study showed that employers tend to focus on finding graduates with the right skills rather than the right major. In addition, the majority of employers surveyed indicated that a new employee with the right skills could easily learn the specifics of an industry. The survey also showed that employers desire transferable skills, skills employees take with them to any job, such as written and verbal communication skills, the ability to solve complex problems, to work well with others, and to adapt in a changing workplace. These transferable skills are characteristic of a Communication Arts & Sciences education.
The kinds of skills you’ll learn in Communication Arts & Sciences can get you in the door and up the career ladder faster!
The Wall Street Journal’s online source, College Journal, notes that prominent MBA programs across the country are moving towards an approach to creative thinking and analysis that liberal arts schools have used for years in order to address the demand by employers for more liberal arts skills. In another report on the growing number of liberal arts majors who are CEOs, the publication notes that future chief executives may require a broader liberal arts education and wider international experience. College Journal concludes that some management professors think a liberal arts degree may offer future chief executives a broader foundation to operate in an increasingly complicated, global and fast-moving business arena. In fact, a director of Stanford University's MBA program as once noted that his program prefers applicants with liberal arts majors over those with business degrees. Moreover, approximately 20-25% of CEOs in the United States graduated with liberal arts majors and research shows that once in the door, students with liberal arts degrees tend to advance farther and be more sought out by CEOs for high-level jobs than non-liberal arts graduates. Communication Arts & Sciences can prepare you for success in business and civic careers with courses in interpersonal communication, communication theory, intercultural communication, strategic communication, social influence, small group communication, campaigns and social movements, and organizational communication.
While the specialized skills that come with other majors may seem to be an advantage, the universality of the types of skills you learn in Communication Arts & Sciences is truly your ace in the hole because you are not limited by a specialization and because employers regularly train employees in specialized skills on the job. Experts say that most people will change careers five to seven times in a lifetime; thus, specialized skills may be of limited value in the long run, while the depth and breadth of communication skills are limitless.
Remember…Communication is not job training, it’s mind training, and it’s a passport that can take you just about anywhere you want to go! There’s a good reason why programs in Communication Arts & Sciences have grown by over 500% in the past three decades! Please talk with us about opportunities for you in Communication Arts & Sciences.
Review the Penn State Berks Handbook for CAS Majors to learn more about majoring in Communication Arts & Sciences. In addition, we've created a career resource for CAS majors, the CAS Career Handbook.
- BA in Communication Arts & Sciences