Updated on Friday 1 March 2013
With the average person spending about 70 percent of his or her day communicating, it is no surprise that the field of communications is an important discipline for dynamic and fast-paced careers. International students seeking to study communications in the US will discover a wide range of opportunity in a country where media is at the center. The top communications schools in the US teach students the value of media, messages, culture and interaction.
Silenced by the brevity of a moment, the world is seen from behind a lens. It is the rawness of it that excites you. You can see the world from the eye of a witness. As the nation unravels every story, every headline, you realize the importance of documenting history. Like the American magazine journalist Henry Luce, you came “as close as possible to the heart of the world.”
Thanks to the power of media convergence, the field of communications studies is larger than ever. The average person spends about 70 percent of his day communicating in some way. The discipline centers on the use of messages to create meanings across diverse contexts, cultures, channels and media. Whether it is journalism, broadcast, public relations, advertising or telecommunications, the United States has some of the best schools for communication.
Since the field of communications is so broad, there are many career opportunities available for international students studying in the top communications schools in the US. With the newest technology, top ranked professors and a country in which media is at the center, international students seeking to study in the best schools for communication can discover a wide range of opportunity.
Though the student will receive a broad education in communications, most schools will require the student to choose a concentration. Schools excelling in communications will have a distinctive specialization in one of the many concentrations in the field.
With a journalism concentration, students can obtain a job as a reporter, copy writer, news caster, editor, media interviewer, author, talk show host and more. A journalism student can earn a degree in print journalism, online journalism, or broadcast journalism. The top communication schools in the US are very competitive and rigorous as they develop some of the best journalists in the ranking by valuing journalism ethics, objectivity and integrity. These schools often have connections within the industry and can help students in their job search with distinguished faculty and countless internship opportunities.
Among them are the following:
Admission into these schools is very competitive, the strictest having about a 35 percent acceptance rate. Students who choose to study journalism should expect writing intensive classes and social interaction.
The public relations industry is growing fastest in the US. According to the Public Relations Society of America, annual US spending on public relations and “word-of-mouth marketing” spending will grow 14.6 percent due to an “improving economy and the changing nature of the industry.” The purpose of public relations is to maintain a positive public image for an employer, client or company. International students studying public relations in the US will learn how to write material for media releases, produce sales, market material, raise funds for organizations and work closely with the media. Students studying public relations can receive a job as a publicity manager, marketing specialist, lobbyist, media analyst, media planner, corporate public affairs, advertising manager and other career options.
Of the top communications schools in the US, the ones with noteworthy public relations programs are Auburn University, Boston University, University of Central Florida, University of Alabama, University of Southern California and the University of Tennessee. Many of these schools provide hands-on experience for students with internship opportunities and organizations on campus to help sharpen the skills needed for public relations.
International students who enjoy promoting and selling products should seek an advertising concentration. Students studying advertising learn to create inventive and strategic advertisements and advertising campaigns. Some schools may require students to co-study fields such as marketing, business, and psychology to fully understand how people climb the pyramid of awareness, desire, and buying and how the advertiser can use media channels such as TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and the Internet to persuade consumers. Students who decide to take the advertising track can find career opportunities as an advertising specialist, creative director, media planner, marketing specialist, media buyer, copy writer, media sales representative and more.
Students who want to study advertising in the US should consider colleges with strong marketing and graphic design programs. The University of Pennsylvania includes extra classes in commercial design. The University of Texas offers a masters degree and PhD in advertising and students have the option of completing a dual degree in both advertising and business. Other colleges with significant advertising programs are Ashford University, University of Illinois, Boston College, Carnegie Mellon University, College of William and Mary, Washington University, and Yale University.
Imagine the world from the perspective of a journalist, a public relations specialist, an advertiser. Imagine the symbols, the emotions, the words, the breaths—everything that makes up the communication you crave for each day. In the expanding and ever-changing field of communications, international students will find the highlight of media convergence, online media, and social media in the best schools for communication in the US while still holding sacred the integrity of the communications world before it was connected through the Internet. With a communications degree, students can engage every city, country and culture, making the big world small and the small world big and connecting the world through communication.