I remember reading somewhere that communications major were just undecided students and those looking for an easy degree. As if. Communications, while pretty broad, is a challenging field to succeed in. Think about it: how many communications, public relations and marketing majors graduate each year? A lot. And how many paying jobs are there available in the field? Not so much.
This is a fact most communications students who want to work in media are aware of. I am, sadly, one of them. Still, I couldn’t see myself completing any other major. English was too literary, media studies was not the right fit and marketing seemed nice until I thought of all the economics class I’d have to take.
A communications major was broad enough for me to pursue various interests – marketing, social media, writing. However, the communications program offered at my school, Glendon College – York University, wasn’t what I expected. I first felt doubt in my Introduction to Communications course where we learned about rhetoric and semiotics. Looking through my program requirements, I realized that this degree was mostly research and theories – which isn’t a bad thing but I wanted more practical learning.
I just recently finished a course titled Social Media, Advertising and Marketing. I got an A+ mainly because it was an easier class but also because I loved it. Instead of an exam, we got to do a social media audit for the school and a presentation of our strategies to improve it. Part of our grade involved a photoshoot for our Linkedin profile pictures and a certification from Hootsuite. In all, I liked how un-traditional the course was and it was exactly what I wanted from my degree – learning but in a way that I could apply it to my future endeavours. Where would my learning of some dead guy’s text about the theory of communication be useful?
I thought about my next steps. Plan A is to transfer into another school, in a public relations program – a program that could offer me a lot more practical learning opportunities. Plan B is to stick it out at my school for another year and see which major I’ll switch to.
Either way, I refuse to pay the amount I do to complete a degree I have no interest in, one I do not believe will help me in my career. I would prefer to graduate with experience, a portfolio of work and new skills. While many believe we shouldn’t expect those things from university, with how much we’re paying for our studies, it should be a given that we’ll come out prepared for the job market.