Career Pathways

Communications & Media

Communications and media careers transcend industry. Nearly every organization, whether for-profit or non-profit has a need for media, communications, advertising, marketing, public relations or journalism professionals. Media professionals and communicators generate billions of dollars in earnings each year. The sector as a whole is expected to grow in some areas while declining in others.
As technology continues to impact our lives, media and communications have to adapt to keep pace. With that in mind, career opportunities in more traditional media, such as print, are expected to decline over the next several decades. At the same time, career opportunities working with emerging and non-traditional media are expected to explode in the future. As the field evolves, many professionals find themselves practicing their craft outside of the structure of an advertising agency or traditional news organization, and instead are working as freelancers.

The Vault Guides offer information about communications and media careers. Each guide gives, among other valuable information, an overview of the job, and entry level requirements. You’ll notice that some jobs may overlap with a variety of majors or industries. Access The Vault to learn more.

Common Career Paths

  • Copy Editors
  • Copywriters
  • Editorial and Research Assistants
  • Editors
  • Fashion Photographers
  • Fashion Writers and Editors
  • Film and Television Producers
  • Food Photographers
  • Food Writers and Editors
  • Foreign Correspondents
  • Illustrators
  • News Anchors
  • Newspaper Editors
  • Online Journalists
  • Online Producers
  • Photo Editors
  • Photojournalists
  • Podcasters
  • Political Columnists and Writers
  • Political Reporters
  • Public Opinion Researchers
  • Radio and Television Producers
  • Reporters
  • Science and Medical Writers
  • Sports Broadcasters and Announcers
  • Sportswriters
  • Advertising and Marketing Managers
  • Art Directors
  • Business Managers
  • Copywriters
  • Digital Advertising and Marketing Workers
  • Digital Designers
  • Fashion Photographers
  • Food Photographers
  • Graphic Designers
  • Illustrators
  • Internet Marketing and Advertising Consultants
  • Marketing Consultants
  • Marketing Research Analysts
  • Media Planners and Buyers
  • Media Relations Specialists
  • Public Opinion Researchers
  • Songwriters

Preparing for a Career

Skills pay the bills in media and communications. Your ability to think strategically or produce incredible content plays a large role in your career success. At the same time, media and communications are people-focused industries. Soft skills such as communication and teamwork are equally important to long-term career success. Many media and communications professionals have these soft skills:

  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Critical observation
  • Customer service
  • Flexibility
  • Commitment
  • Adaptability
  • Conflict resolution
  • Collaboration

Practical Skills

Practical skills are an essential part of positioning yourself as a highly-sought-after candidate. VCU has a partnership with to provide free skills training. Consider taking some of these recommended courses. To access VCU’s Lynda portal visit, and log in with your eID and password.

  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • HTML, CSS and JavaScript
  • WordPress
  • Social media metrics
  • Google analytics
  • Graphic design principles
  • Shooting and editing video
  • Color theory and basic design principles
  • Ethics
  • UX design
  • Online marketing
  • Growth Hacking
  • Video storytelling
  • PPC Content marketing
  • Google Adwords

Applying and Interviewing

Resumes and Cover Letters

Opportunity Search Resources

Internship, Shadowing and Volunteering Resources

American Press Institute
Poynter News U
VCU Advertising Facebook Group
The Hodge Partnership 
Delucchi Plus
CreateAthon on Campus VCU
Martin Agency One-week Summer Program
VCU Student Media
VCU Ad Club

Full and Part-time resources

Advertising and creative
Ad Age Talent Works
American Marketing Association Jobs
Talent Zoo
Authentic Jobs
Aquent / Vitamin Talent
The Creative Group
Creative Circle

Journalism and Media
Journalism Jobs
Society of Professional Journalists
Investigative Reporters and Editors
Virginia Press Association
Online News Association
Data Journalism Jobs

Meet with an Advisor

To schedule an appointment with a Communications & Media advisor, call (804) 828-1645 or log into your Handshake account.

Rhonda Hall [View Image]

Julia Bailey

Virginia Commonwealth University
Division of Student Success
907 Floyd Avenue, Room 143
Box 842007
Richmond, Virginia 23284-2007

Phone: (804) 828-1645
Fax: (804) 828-2060
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Created by VCU University Relations

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