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June 10, 2013 / NextStepU

Major Monday — Communication and Rhetoric

female student with school books portraitDo you find yourself looking for the deeper meaning in television shows and movies?  Are you interested in the development in new media? Do you enjoy arguing multiple sides of a given issue? Are you interested in the way two people speak to each other? If you have answered yes to any of the above, consider communication and rhetoric as a possible college major. Communication and rhetoric students focus on the exchange and meaning in all messages.

According to the College Board, communication and rhetoric programs most often lead to a bachelor’s degree. However, students also have the option of continuing their studies in grad school. Taking AP Psychology, AP English, speech or journalism classes in high school will help you prepare for the work you will be doing as a communication and rhetoric student in college. Some typical college courses for this major are communication theory, persuasion, rhetorical criticism, public speaking and mass communication.

What to know before you apply
Before choosing a college, it is beneficial to consider whether an internship is a requirement in the program. For this type of study, an opportunity for hands-on experience can help you very much in the future. Also, it is important to know whether the program offers you the type of classes or particular concentration you are interested in. Communication and rhetoric is a very broad field, and it is good to know the program’s focus of study beforehand. For example, are you more interested in dissecting media texts or studying the way people communicate with each other?

A communication and rhetoric degree can lead to careers such as a public relations specialist, a news analyst, or an advertising manager, amongst others. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, PR specialists earned an average salary of $60,400 per year in 2011, while news analysts earned $76,370. Advertising managers earned an average yearly salary of $103,350 in 2011.

> For more information about choosing a career check out


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