Few states in the country can boast the same number of communications opportunities as California. The Golden State is the fifth-largest economy in the world, and the California employment department projects that the number of jobs available to media and communications majors will grow by 10% between 2008 and 2018. Los Angeles is the center of the nation’s film and television industry, while San Francisco is a major magnet for those interested in public radio and progressive journalism. With big cities like San Diego, San Jose, and Sacramento, the state is known as one of the most dynamic and diverse in the country, and its long tradition of high-quality journalism and citizen engagement makes it one of the most exciting places in the country to work.
Undergraduate Degrees in Communications – Choosing to earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree with a major in communications will give you the qualifications you need to start a career in mass media and digital communications. Whether you’re interested in journalism and independent filmmaking, or marketing and public relations, the know-how needed to reach people with a targeted message starts with a degree in communications.
Master’s Degrees in Communications – No matter your professional background or undergraduate major, you could earn a master’s in communications to prepare for a career in any number of diverse areas that include journalism, public relations, marketing, digital media and more.
Advertising and Public Relations
The number of public relations specialists is projected to grow a staggering 21.6% between 2008 and 2018, according to California’s employment department. The state is headquarters for some of the largest advertising agencies in the country, including TBWA\Chiat\Day in LA, RPA in Santa Monica and Riney in San Francisco. And the diversity of the economy means there’s no shortage of businesses looking for people to help them tell their story, whether it’s a high-end electronics company, a major educational institution, or a popular tourist resort.
Professional Associations for Advertising and Public Relations:
- Greater San Francisco Ad Club
- Public Relations Society of America — Los Angeles Chapter
- Public Relations Society of America — San Francisco Chapter
California is home to one of the most prestigious newspapers in the nation, the Los Angeles Times. And while the fortunes of print journalism have been declining around the nation, California’s emphasis on digital products has led to a blossoming of hyperlocal sites, which call on journalists to combine traditional journalism skills with new media opportunities. The state is also devoted to its alternative weeklies: both the LA Weekly and SF Weekly are popular guides to local news and events.
Local Newspapers and Guides:
- Los Angeles Times
- Los Angeles Weekly
- Sacramento Bee
- San Francisco Chronicle
- San Francisco Examiner
- Voice of San Diego
- San Francisco Weekly
- California Newspaper Publishers Association
- Society of Professional Journalists – Greater Los Angeles Chapter
- Society of Professional Journalists – San Diego Chapter
- Center for Investigative Reporting
- Capitol Correspondents Association of California
TV and Radio Broadcasting
Los Angeles is the capitol of the nation’s television industry, making it an unparalleled place to pursue a career in the small screen. California also has some of the largest radio markets in the country: Los Angeles is the second-largest in America and San Francisco is fourth-largest, according to the media research company Arbitron. California is also the birthplace of public radio, which started in the late 1940s in Berkley with KPFA, now part of the renowned Pacifica radio network.
Professional Associations for TV and Radio Broadcasting:
- Radio & Television News Association of Southern California
- Southern California Broadcasters Association
- California Broadcasters Association
California is known for having some of the best independent publishing companies in the country, including City Lights, Counterpoint, and Chronicle Books – and that’s just the Bay Area. While traditional publishing is in decline, California has managed to nurture a book culture that values progressive ideas, practical wisdom, and powerful stories. The state is also home to hipster publishing empire McSweeney’s, whose books and magazines feature cutting-edge literary talent.
- AK Press
- City Lights
- Ten Speed Press
- University of California Press
- Hay House
- SAGE Publications
Book Publishing Associations: