Guide to College Majors in Communications

What is Communications?

A college degree in communications is based on the Greek and Latin studies of language and rhetoric, and how they could be used as tools to benefit all of society. These ancient teachings are the foundation for many modern societies and form the core of studies in communications, linguistics, archeology, religion, philosophy, art history, fine arts, sociology, ancient history, and law.

In its highest form, rhetoric–or persuasive arguing–was structured using logos (logic), pathos (emotion), or ethos (status of the speaker) to convince an audience to believe the message being delivered. Innovative ideas were discussed through hypothesis, thesis, and antithesis–a structure which allowed scholars to consider and advance practical and theoretical knowledge which could then filter down through all sectors of society. Study any political speech or mass media message today and you’ll see this rhetorical structure in use. Walk into any lab or brainstorming session and see how new ideas or processes are thought up, tested, and proven or disproven.

The concept of “communication” itself has been widely studied, debated, and held up as a mirror to culture. Common language, or vernacular, consistently evolves to define communities and to set them apart from another. Think of how hip-hop, l33tspeak, and text messaging are all ways of defining subcultures in Western society, just as the use of Latin set scholars and clergy apart in earlier centuries.

In the modern business world, a major in communications teaches you to combine a convincing argument with the appropriate medium to effectively deliver your message. It’s the modern marriage of theory and application.

The information industry is present in all parts of society and employs, in one way or another, 50% of American workers. The highest percentages are seen in the medical and public relations fields.

This is a great career choice for you if:

* You have an innate desire to understand and synthesize what you hear into a message you or someone else can use
* You have strong verbal and writing skills
* You display a caring, helpful attitude; a desire to teach or inform; and a never-ending curiosity about what’s going on around you

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