A Question for all you Communications Majors…

by Darwin on May 9, 2011

Like clockwork, the regurgitated article on newly minted college grads with 6-figure debt are flying again.  You can always count on this old standby from CNN, Yahoo, and the like.  Recently, it was HuffingtonPost with a similar tale (here).  What is consistent across all these solemn tales is usually a naive Communications major.  It’s rare that you’ll see the petroleum engineer or nursing student that can’t find a job.  It’s the dreaded Communications degree.  They went into it bright-eyed and bushy tailed only to leave disillusioned and broke.

So, rather than showcasing yet another Communications major without a job and 6-figure debt, I wanted to just pose this question to all the Communications majors out there:

Why Communications?

For the life of me, I just can’t fathom why anyone still chooses this major.  Don’t get me wrong, there are a ton of highly successful communications majors running companies, leading, innovating and minting cash like there’s no tomorrow.  And I could be out a job tomorrow, so I’m not knocking current communications majors out there in the workforce.  But these Communications success stories are only told after the fact and going in, surely, people can’t expect there to be a high level of success compared to other majors, right?  I mean as a high school kid (we’re talking 15-20 years ago), I remember the Communications degree being a constant source of jokes – right up there with basket-weaving. [And this was before internet universities. Getting a Communications degree online just sounds like a punchline just needing a set-up.].  These jokes have carried on to this day.  Who majors in a joke major?  What I don’t get is whether people, especially taking on $100,000 or more in debt, have really thought through the implications of their decision.

I don’t know about you, but paying down $100,000+ on a $40,000 salary (if you hit the jackpot with that major right out of college!) doesn’t seem practical.  It’s already a risky calculus spending 6 figures on a college degree at all, but when you go to a private college, take on tons of debt and choose a major that just doesn’t seem likely to either a) land you a job or b) land you a high-paying job, I just can’t fathom what motivates people to do so.

So, again, I know there are plenty of happy, successful communications majors out there.  But there seem to be orders of magnitude more miserable ones – most of them doing something completely unrelated to their field.  Can you please help us understand…

Why Communications?

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