Marketability for Communications Studies


The existing literature clearly indicates that graduating students need more training in communication studies (not less). It is also interesting to note that the academic peer reviewed evidence produced outside the field of communication studies externally validates the value of a communication studies program. Given the interdisciplinary applications of communication studies, the range of need for communication studies training is quite diverse. For instance in the field of accounting alone international research findings and anecdotal evidence alike suggest that new accountancy graduates often begin their careers with inadequate oral communication skills (Gray, 2010, p. 40). National and international studies consistently agree that accounting practitioners and professional groups consider communication skills in general to rank among the most important skills for graduates to possess upon their entry into an accountancy career (Albin & Crockett, 1991; Borzi & Mills, 2001; Hock, 1994; Johnson & Johnson, 1995; LaFrancois, 1992; Morgan, 1997). Studies also show that the acquisition of graduates with suitably strong communication skills represents a particular and ongoing concern to accountancy employers (Courtis & Zaid, 2002; McLaren, 1990; Zaid & Abraham, 1994). Internationally, academics and practitioners agree that accounting students writing and oral communication skills are two major areas needing more attention in the university curriculum (Albrecht & Sack, 2000; Henderson, 2001; Simons & Higgins, 1993), and a considerable body of scholarship has sought to make informed recommendations to the curricular offerings at university level accounting education (see, e.g., Henderson, 2001; Sin et al., 2007; Usoff & Feldmann, 1998). A 2005 survey (see Stevens, 2005, pp. 2-9) of Silicon Valley employers showed that employers believed that the communication skills of their new hire college graduates needed improvement. They identified a need for stronger oral communication skills, especially as these involve working with technology, and also observed a deficiency in writing and proofreading abilities. Employers reported that oral and written communication skills needed improvement in several areas, including the use of vocabulary and self-expression. College graduates skills are not always adequate to perform the tasks required on the job. Employers said students needed stronger writing skills; more training on professional uses of e-mail; and additional education regarding self-expression, impression management, and avoidance of slang. The article concluded that employers were less than satisfied with overall communication skills of their new hires and recommended that students receive more training in both oral communication and written communication skills. In addition, they indicated the need for increased facility in using electronic media, such as e-mail and PowerPoint, and training in self-expression and promoting a positive self-image. An examination employer demands on a more generic "macro-level" also reveal a need for strong communication skills. The Wall Street Journal reported the findings of a survey of 480 companies that found employers ranked communication abilities first among the desirable personal qualities of future employees (Work Week, 1998). In a report on the fastest-growing careers, the U.S. Department of Labor states that communication skills will be in demand across occupations well into the 21st century (1995). In a national survey of 1,000 human resource managers, oral communication skills were identified as valuable for both obtaining employment and successful job performance (Winsor, Curtis, &. Stephens, 1997). Executives with Fortune 500 companies indicate that college students need better communication skills (Association Trends, 1997), and cases studies conducted in high-wage companies report that essential skills for future workers include problem-solving, working in groups, and the ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing (Murane &. Levy, 1996). People outside business and the communication discipline agree. When 1,000 faculty members from a cross section of disciplines were asked to identify basic competencies for every college graduate, skills in communicating topped the list (Diamond, 1997). In a national article in The Scientist, author Jim Richman says, "If I ever give any advice, it is that you can never do enough training around your overall communication skills. It really adds tremendous value back to you (2002)." And an economics professor confirms that "we are living in a communications revolution comparable to the invention of printing. In an age of increasing talk, it's wiser talk we need most. Communication studies might well be central to colleges and universities in the 21st century."

Multicultural Communication
Global growth continues to emphasize the importance of and the need for effective communication skills to interact across cultures. To understand intercultural/ multicultural communication, one must first understand what human communication is. It is important to learn the various approaches to the study of communication and to understand that different cultures see issues differently one from another. That is why, as the world and organizations become more diverse, the need for experts and professionals who specialize in the area of multicultural communication is greatly increasing. When you look at the world's leading companies, many already have entire departments devoted to diversity and culture. Public and private organizations and businesses whose work forces are highly culturally diverse have created job opportunities for those with knowledge in communication, specifically as it relates to cultural differences. Careers in multicultural communication include: Trainers in the workplace with knowledge in dealing with cross-cultural issues such as leadership, conflict management, change management, and customer relations are in high demand. Other opportunities can be found in the health care professions and in nonprofit organizations. Americans assigned to foreign countries and who may work for the Foreign Service in places like American-run government offices would benefit from training. NSU Communication Studies courses that can enhance a career in multicultural communication would include: Intercultural communication, leadership, interpersonal communication, persuasion, conflict management, public speaking, business and professional communication, nonverbal communication, listening, and ethics.

Organizational and Corporate Communication
Job opportunities exist for organizational communication professionals in virtually all major employment sectors, including health care, manufacturing, retailing, banking, construction, communications, transportation, agriculture and forestry, military, education, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, computer and data processing, energy and petroleum, hospitality and recreation, insurance, justice systems, utilities, government, and the consulting and training industry. The growth in opportunity and the diversity of potential jobs contributes to the choices those studying organizational communication have. Many organizational communication positions are enhanced with other specific areas of communication study.