Arguably the news capital as well as the nation’s capitol, Washington, D.C. is an exciting place for communications majors to pursue a career. The District is home to hundreds of media outlets and research centers that broadcast news and information to the rest of the world, as well a host of community newspapers and blogs that focus on the area’s unique concerns. Overall, the District’s employment department forecasts that jobs for media and communication workers will grow nearly 12% between 2008 and 2010. Communications graduates may also find that the skills their learn during their major will be helpful for finding work in one of the district’s many lobbying, advocacy, or research organizations.
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.
D.C. may be one of the best places for journalism opportunities in America. The District is home to 41 news-oriented print publications, which together employ at least 1,593 journalists, according to a 2010 study by the New America Foundation. The Washington Post is one of the most respected newspapers in the nation, and has one of the highest circulations. Ethnic and community newspapers, such as The Washington Informer and Washington Blade, are also an important part of the local media mix, as are the abundance of local blogs, such as DCist. A number of major magazines also make their home in the District, including National Geographic. Taken together, the diversity of journalistic offerings means a variety of opportunities for communications graduates.
Local Newspapers and Guides:
- The Washington Post
- The Washington Times
- The Washington Examiner
- Roll Call
- The Hill
- Stars and Stripes
- Congressional Quarterly
- Washington City Paper
- DC Agenda
- Washington Hispanic
- Washington Informer
- Washington Blade
- Washington Jewish Week
- The Washington Sun
- The Washington Diplomat
- Voice of the Hill
- Washingtonian Magazine
- National Journal
- Washington Association of Black Journalists
- Society of Professional Journalists – Washington DC Pro chapter
- National Press Club
- White House Correspondents Association
- National Association of Hispanic Journalists – DC chapter
TV and Radio Broadcasting
The District also boasts superb opportunities for communications graduates who are interested in broadcast journalism. Several cable television channels have headquarters in the city, including C-SPAN, Black Entertainment Television, the National Geographic Channel, and Smithsonian Networks. In total the District has 37 FCC-licensed TV stations, including two public television properties.
D.C. is also host to 15 AM stations and 47 FM stations, according to the FCC. Together they employ approximately 219 journalists, according to the New America Foundation. Talk radio – from both a conservative and liberal bent – is particularly popular in the capital, as is news and sports. National Public Radio has its headquarters in the city, as does Voice of America, the U.S. government’s official broadcast service, which provides radio, television, and internet content for an estimated 143 million people around the world.
Resources and Professional Associations for TV and Radio Broadcasting:
- National Association of Broadcasters
- Maryland D.C. Delaware Broadcasters Association
- Broadcasting Board of Governors
- National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters
Marketing and Public Relations
With DC’s concentration of nationally-oriented businesses and foundations, jobs in marketing and public relations are particularly abundant. The forecast looks bright for communications graduates who are interested in this area: the District’s employment department forecasts an 11% rise in jobs for Marketing Managers between 2008 and 2010, as well as an 11% rise jobs for PR managers. The department also expects an 18.8% rise in jobs for Public Relations Specialists during the same period.
PR and Advertising Firms:
- Smith & Harroff, Inc.
- Mopwater Social PR
- The Borenstein Group
- MDB Communications
- Merrick Towle Communications
- Davis & Company
- White and Partners
- Arnold Worldwide
Professional Associations for Advertising and Public Relations:
- Public Relations Society of America – National Capital Chapter
- Black Public Relations Society – Washington, DC
- DC Ad Club
A number of scholarly and issues-oriented, publishing houses call D.C. home, from the innovative New Academia Press to the environmentally-focuses Island Press. The outlook for editors in DC is considerably better than elsewhere in the nation: the District’s employment department says jobs for editors will rise by 6.4% between 2008 and 2018. In addition, jobs for writers and authors will rise 9.2% in the same period, which means that an independent writing career could b a good option for communication graduates.
Book and Magazine Publishing Companies:
- Azul Editions
- Beothuk Books
- Cotton Tree Press
- Entasis Press
- GirlChild Press
- New Academia Publishing
- The Portal Press
- Pretend Genius Press
- Island Press
- Regnery Publishing
Book Publishing and Writing Associations and Resources: