The (Abridged) Beginner’s Guide to Communication Studies

Brandon is smiling and gazing at the camera behind a forest.

This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Healthy Campus Initiatives. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @RowanHCI on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook

When I first entered college, I was unsure about what I wanted. My friends all seemed so solid in their paths to becoming mechanical engineers, accountants or even psychologists. For a long time, this made me insecure about my own choices and, more often than not, my inability to make them. However, even with all of the trouble that I had faced with indecision, I realize now that I found my place in one of the broadest majors Rowan University has to offer: Communication Studies.Brandon Simon is sitting on swing in the forest.

The most elusive thing about my major is its definition. What is communication studies? According to the University of Otago in New Zealand, communication studies can be described as “a study of how we communicate differently to various audiences/users and communities. It understands that communication is social, political, and media-based, and occurs in different contexts” (University of Otago).

This idea can be applied in countless different ways across two major tracks: Rhetoric/Cultural Criticism and Interpersonal/Organizational. This major gives students so many options when it comes to specializing in the specific fields of communication that they would like to study. While this freedom may sound like a good thing, students often can feel restricted when it comes to narrowing down their concentration and looking for a job.

Brandon is squatting down and smiling at the camera.

A graduate of communication studies can do anything with their degree. Some students in the Interpersonal track may find a job in human resources at a large company, while students in the Rhetoric track may go on to graduate school and conduct their own research. A minor or certificate of undergraduate study can also help guide students through this process. The number of opportunities out there can feel overwhelming, but the key is keeping an open mind and knowing how to market yourself and your acquired skills.

References 

What is Communication Studies. University of Otago, University of Otago, New Zealand. (n.d.). Retrieved February 3, 2022, from https://www.otago.ac.nz/mfco/about/otago040200.html

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Story by:
Brandon Simon, senior communication studies major

Photography by:
Stephanie Batista, junior business management major

Produced by:
Lucas Taylor, senior English education major

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