When I was a freshman at Dalton State College, my ambition was to become a Emergency Room (ER) or Oncologist Nurse so I could help others in need. However, after failing to be accepted into Dalton State's nursing program for two consecutive years, I lost my sense of purpose and self-drive as a student.
Since I was in middle school, I envisioned myself as a nurse, but now the vision would never become a reality. My college path had come to a haltering dead end. Which path would I take now? I decided to meet with my advisor who strongly advised me to schedule a face-to-face meeting with the Chair of the Department of Communication, Dr. Kris Barton. Initially, I was nervous with meeting Dr. Barton, but the conversations about the field of Communication were extremely insightful and invigorating that I realized in that moment that I wanted to major in Communication. Currently, I'm a senior at Dalton State College and will be apart of the first graduating class receiving a B.A. Communication. Upon completing my undergraduate degree, I realized that there are common misconceptions people have about the purpose of studying Communication and its placement in the workplace.
What is the value of studying Communication?
According to McKinney and Schmitt, Communication is one of the most popular undergraduate majors. One of the reasons for its popularity is the relevance of communication knowledge and skills in relation to succeeding in all aspects of our life. In order to advance in your professional life, you will need to know how to present your ideas effectively, build good interpersonal relationships with colleagues and customers, manage conflicts constructively, and listen thoughtfully through communication. Since you've been communicating all your life, you might ask yourself why do you need to study communication formally. When students practice formal communication, it can improve their skill set. For example, some people have natural talent for music or playing baseball. But, they can become even better musicians or baseball players if they take voice lessons or hire a personal trainer.
Can communication affect my personal life and relationships?
We develop our personal identities through the process of communication and interacting with others. Whether its interacting with teachers, friends, romantic partners, or co-workers, we use communication to express our views. Also, we learn about other people's personalities and how they perceive the world through mass communication and our best friend, social media. In Social Intelligence (2007), Daniel Goldman stated "humans are wired to connect." For that reason, effective communication is the heart of personal relationships. We build connections with others by revealing our private identities, asking questions, working out problems, listening to others, remembering shared history, and making plans for the future. Did you know the primary distinction between relations that last and those that don't last is effective communication? The power of communication can drastically influence all aspects of our life. During the age of globalization, communication skills are vitally important for effective communication where we have daily encounters with people of different races, genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities, religions, and traditions.
What jobs can you receive with a degree in Communication?
If I had a dollar every time someone has said to me "What kind of jobs can you get with a Communication Degree?", then I would be a millionaire. The essence of communication skills lead to success in most careers such as attorneys, accountants, bankers, human resource, journalists, doctors, and other professionals who need communication skills to be effective in the workplace. It's not surprising that most employees list communication skills as one of their top qualities in job candidates. Are you discovering a pattern? A common misconception is students graduating with a Communication degree are only limited to working in strictly communication departments. However, that common misconception is not entirely true. Some Communication majors have went on to become journalists, public relations managers, and broadcasters for television companies. Whether its conducting Communication research, teaching Communication on the collegiate level, or working in a business's marketing department, a Communication degree has endless career opportunities.