As a graduate of the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies, you will have the kind of skills and knowledge that managers increasingly value as a top priority.
The ability to communicate clearly, effectively, and persuasively transcends job titles, positioning you well for any number of careers—and giving you added flexibility as your career choices evolve and new opportunities emerge. Our graduates work as public relations directors, advertising executives, real estate developers, journalists, public policymakers, lawyers, educators, and corporate managers, among many other professions. And CRS alumni and other visiting speakers regularly visit campus to share their experiences and advice with students and assist with internship opportunities.
The SU Center for Career Services will also play an important role in preparing you for your job search by helping you identify your strengths, offering workshops on critical job-hunting skills, and providing one-on-one counseling and strategy sessions. The center also has an internship program that can help place you with a local or national business or organization in a position relevant to your interests.
Each area of interest listed below demonstrates how your CRS degree can be tailored to prepare you for a particular career or profession. Dual majors and related minors at SU are also suggested.
If you’re interested in….
Education in virtually any context and setting—schools, universities, corporations—calls for clear and compelling communication skills. Whether you plan to work in a classroom, in university administration, fund-raising and development, or corporate training, you’ll gain vital skills through such courses as Rhetorical Criticism, Empirical Methods of Communication Research, and Applied Communication Research. Dual majors and related minors that you could pursue include education and English and textual studies. Possible career fields include teaching/scholarship, university administration, corporate education, and development (fund-raising).
Business and industry
Communication careers in private business and industry demand an intimate understanding of organizational and group dynamics as well as sophisticated presentation and leadership skills. With CRS, your coursework could include Small Group Communication, Leadership, Managing Diversity, Nonverbal Communication, Communications in Organizations, and Presentational Speaking, among others. Dual majors and related minors that you could pursue include management, marketing, and information management. Possible career fields include advertising, diversity management, corporate-wide communications, event planning/coordination, and meeting management.
The art of political communication calls for advanced persuasion and argumentation skills and the ability to communicate complex information in a way that is both accessible and respectful. If you’re interested in pursuing public office or working as a political staff member, speech writer, analyst, activist, or consultant, you might choose courses in Political Communication, Managing Diversity, Rhetoric and the Public Sphere, Speechwriting, Women’s Political Discourse, and Persuasion. Dual majors and related minors that you could pursue include political science, policy studies, sociology, or public communications. Possible career fields include legislation, political campaign management, speechwriting, political activism, political staff management, issues advocacy, and political analyzing or consulting.
Media and entertainment production
Careers in creative fields require a mastery of both interpersonal and group communication. Your CRS courses might include Performance Studies, Small Group and Organizational Communication, and Rhetoric of Film. Dual majors and related minors that you could pursue include music industry, English and textual studies, and various offerings through the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Possible career fields include creative production or promotion of media entertainment, management of creative talent, music/concert promotion, talent agency specialization, and talk radio/television.
Public affairs and advocacy
Excellent communication skills are fundamental in positions involving representation. You’ll likely be crafting official messages for businesses and organizations or working for and/or with communities, families, or individuals. Just a few related CRS courses include Communication and Community, Managing Diversity, Rhetoric and the Public Sphere, and Leadership/Stewardship Communication. Each focuses on preparing you to craft persuasive arguments and statements and will also facilitate your ability to work effectively on behalf of people and causes. Possible career fields include public or government relations, fund-raising, issues advocacy, consumer affairs, social/human services, and grant-making/writing.
The capacity to grasp complex information, speak persuasively, and harness the power of speech is essential to those hoping to enter the field of law or work as an issues advocate. As a student interested in these fields, your academic work in CRS could include courses in Public Advocacy, Presentational Speaking, Nonverbal Communication, Argumentation, Rhetoric and the Public Sphere, Persuasion, and a seminar in legal communication. Dual majors and related minors that you could pursue include political science, policy studies, and English and textual studies. Possible career fields include a legal career (pre-law focus), jury selection consulting, and issues advocacy.