A major for people who think too much, communication students are trained to see the double meaning in everything around them. The specific wording of a politician’s speech, the way images are laid out in a news article, nothing is without purpose. Everything is intentional and no piece of writing is innocent. Certainly, nothing can be taken at face value. These are the students who know about an editor’s bias and the damage it can do.
Communication students spend the first half of their studies theorizing over different possibilities. A speech, television shows, advertisements, every form of communication is placed under a microscope and in a context. They are applied to a historical and cultural framework. The two are a reflection of each other. Communication serves many purposes and ultimately shapes our past, present and future. How we communicate is a reflection of our culture. However, it is communication that builds and breaks different ideologies, in the process, creating and destroying accepted forms of behavior.
The second half of a communication student’s studies puts these theories to the test. Students write the stories. They coordinate with teams and perform independent research projects. Communication students are put in studios to create their own speeches, films and ads. This is the production side of a communication major’s education. It is their turn to utilize communication forms with intent and purpose.
This degree is the accidental child of psychology, anthropology, English and technology. It is the study of how language influences human behavior. Language and context is not confined to written words or spoken speech. It is in the images we see and actions we take. In the name of communicating ethically and efficiently, communication students learn their subject in order to tell the world something.
After graduation, these students understand different types of human communication. They are also prepared to keep up with frequent changes and advances in their field. Communication students can identify changing technologies and cultural shifts. Both of which influence and reflect changes in communication. Social media is one such technology that is currently changing the way businesses market their products.
Television, radio, internet, social media and print advertisements are all a type of human communication. They are technically methods of mass communication and each requires a different syntax in order to say the same thing. This is what communication graduates do best. They recognize the underlying persuasion in a humorous tweet. More importantly, they can locate why an advertisement is not working and how it could be improved.
Recognizing hidden messages reflects their understanding of theory. All their reading, studying and hypothesizing constructs critical thinking and a critical approach to different environments. For the same reason they make great journalists, communication majors make great conspiracy theorists. Communication majors view no form of communication as innocent. Everything has a bias and they have the ability to find it.
Critical thinking is just one skill these students are equipped to do. They can also apply it. When directing a script or drafting a story, critical thinking chooses the exact words, phrases and diction necessary to portray an idea. Effective communication helps these students function well as team players. When something is said is just as important as the words used to say it. Communication students understand the importance of deadline and know how to prioritize independent projects.
Their skill set is built for the advertising business. Marketing products, expanding a company’s reach and creating merchandise displays, these students can do it all. Communication students know merchandise placed behind a denim table is not going to sell. They also know that cluttered displays are distracting and send customers away empty handed. More to choose from is not always better. Just as, too many adjectives jumble a perfectly clear message.
Businesses employ these students as retail associates and marketing experts. Excellent at understanding underlying messages, communication majors are trained to interpret their culture and environment. They are also trained to predict it. Essentially, they are great merchandisers or people who find what populations want and sell it to them with subtle persuasion. Communication majors can market everything from clothes to information.
Intuition and gifted wording also outfits them for positions in public relations. These are the faces behind company social media accounts and advertisements. It is their job to ensure companies maintain a good public image. They study public reactions to different products and marketing campaigns, report their findings and learn from them. In this position, communication majors find their element in the corporate world.
Advertising positions use these students as editors and technical writers. The video and motion picture industry hires them for the same reasons. After all, it and the business industry are both marketing products. They are just different. Communication students in the video and motion picture industry market entertainment.
It is true. Communication just comes naturally to some people. Carrying on a meaningful conversation with anybody at any time or place is not an easy task. Communication students usually realize their talents long before learning of the major. After all, not everybody can carry on for hours with a complete stranger. These students are noticeably extroverted and interested in everything outside of their own head.
Constantly alert and scanning its environment, this personality is often associated with muscle aches. These students are aware of an underlying meaning in everything. They usually enter the major already believing everything happens for a reason and with tense shoulders from trying to find it. The tension is a reflection their empathy and emotion. They feel the weight of everything seen, which is a lot. It is everything seen by most people plus the hidden layers most overlook.
With so many different layers to evaluate, these students never see one right answer or direction. Everything is possibility and people are never instantly catalogued. For this reason, they can talk to just about anyone. Their intuition and drive to see the bigger picture makes for a naturally relatable human being. Being able to adjust and relate gives these students a special gift. They can often understand someone inside and out within a very short amount of time.
Obsessed with ideas and a bigger context, these students instinctively reject mundane, daily tasks. They find schedules confining and naturally rebel against them. Luckily, they are very independently motivated and productive as long as not trapped in what seems to be meaningless routine. Communication personalities also have a tendency to be easily distracted. When you live in world of ideas, it is very difficult to stay settled on one when another comes along.
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