Careers in Organizational Communication

Graduates of master’s programs in corporate or organizational communication can work at companies in both the private and the public sectors, facilitating and improving channels of communication between managers and their employees, company leadership and the public, and leaders of different companies in the formation of partnerships. Organizational communication professionals may specialize in one area of corporate communication, or oversee communications across multiple departments within a company. Examples of roles that graduates of master’s programs in corporate and organizational communication may pursue after they graduate include:

  • Corporate Communication Consultants: Corporate communication consultants work for companies that help other corporations improve their internal and/or external communication. For example, they may design and implement initiatives aimed at improving employee engagement, team-building, or leadership training. Or they may work with the marketing department of a company to revamp the company’s brand messaging. They may even work closely with company leadership to help them clarify or revise their organization’s mission statement, and to change internal and customer-facing communications accordingly. Consultants also help managers within companies to communicate more effectively with employees under their supervision.
  • Marketing Directors: Marketing directors oversee the design and creation of advertisements and marketing content that promote a company’s products or services. They typically manage a team of marketing specialists, and supervise the progress of multiple marketing initiatives simultaneously. Marketing directors combine an expert understanding of their company’s industry (e.g. tech products, education, clothes and fashion, etc.) with their training in effective customer-facing communication to create engaging content that builds their company’s customer base and brand identity.
  • Public Relations Directors: Public relations directors manage a company’s public image, and its relationship with all parties external to the company, including consumers, investors, and other companies. They typically supervise a team of public relations specialists, who craft external-facing communications such as press releases, informational content both online and in print, social media posts, and speeches, all of which aim to maintain the positive reputation of a company and its leadership. PR directors and their staff also collaborate with other departments to organize speaking engagements and business events and facilitate partnerships with other companies.
  • Project Managers: Project managers, while not strictly communication professionals, employ strong interpersonal and organizational communication skills in order to push a particular project forward. They coordinate teams from different departments across their company (e.g. the finance department, the engineering or product design department, the marketing department, the legal department, etc.) in order to ensure that their project is adequately funded, is designed with the consumer in mind, passes legal considerations, and is launched at a time that aligns with when the marketing department can promote it. All of these tasks require that project managers possess a strong understanding of their company’s organizational structure, as well as the kinds of communication to employ when working with people from different departments.
  • Human Resources Specialists and Directors: Human resource specialists and directors serve as the point-person for employees within an organization. They guide new employees through a company’s internal systems and protocols, and also develop training materials and modules to support employees’ development and success.
  • Managers: Managers across all fields, from product management to project management, employ strong interpersonal communication skills and a solid understanding of corporate communications to support the teams under their supervision, facilitate progress on key projects, and to uphold a company’s mission statement.
  • Public Affairs Specialists and Advocacy Specialists: Public affairs and advocacy specialists work in governmental agencies and at political non-profits to help these organizations connect with and educate the public. They use their strong understanding of organizational communication and sociopolitical issues to advance the policy and social service objectives of their organization.
  • Media Researchers: Media researchers use their understanding of communication theory, rhetorical criticism, and organizational dynamics to gather data on and analyze how systems of communication operate and evolve across a variety of contexts, from sociocultural to organizational to political. They often write about and publish their findings in articles that inform both people in academia and people in industry about the landscape of communication across different fields.
  • Professors of Communication: Professors of communication conduct scholarly research on how communication impacts society and social institutions, as well as how communication operates at the individual, group, organizational, and community levels. They also teach undergraduate and graduate courses in communication, providing students with theoretical knowledge and applied skills in general and specialized areas of communication. While some positions may require a doctorate in communication or a related field, others positions may be open to graduates of a master’s program. This is also typically true for teaching positions at the community college level.

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