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Communication Sciences Major

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Communication Sciences

11,266 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
8,636 Master's Degrees Annually
#45 in Popularity
$82,210 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Communication Sciences Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many communication sciences graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 11,266
Master’s Degree 8,636
Doctor’s Degree 1,028
Graduate Certificate 247
Associate’s Degree 192
Basic Certificate 137
Undergraduate Certificate 14

What Communication Sciences Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to communication sciences and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Communication Sciences Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

Skills for Communication Sciences Majors

When studying communication sciences, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities for Communication Sciences Majors

A major in communication sciences will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Communication Sciences Major?

People with a communication sciences degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Audiologists 20.3% $75,920
Health Specialties Professors 25.9% $97,370
Speech-Language Pathologists 17.8% $77,510

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Sciences?

11,266 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
96% Percent Women
29% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
Communication Sciences runs middle of the road when it comes to popularity, ranking #45 out of all the undergraduate majors we track. In 2018, about 11,266 graduates completed their bachelor’s degree in this field. This major is dominated by women with about 96% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of communication sciences majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Communication Sciences Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 521
Black or African American 565
Hispanic or Latino 1,774
White 7,758
International Students 112
Other Races/Ethnicities 536

Geographic Diversity

Communication Sciences appeals to people across the globe. About 1.0% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • Canada
  • Saudi Arabia
  • China
  • South Korea
  • India

How Much Do Communication Sciences Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences made a median starting salary of $25,850 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $23,775 (25th percentile) and $27,950 (75th percentile).

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Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a communication sciences degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $80,700 to $122,320 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to communication sciences. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Communication Sciences Major  ( 80700 to 122320 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with communication sciences require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for communication sciences careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 0.7%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 1.1%
Bachelor’s Degree 3.0%
Master’s Degree 47.4%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 7.8%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 1.2%
Doctoral Degree 33.4%
Post-Doctoral Training 5.8%

Online Communication Sciences Programs

In 2017-2018, 344 schools offered a communication sciences program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 9 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 3 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 2 1
Associate’s Degree 27 8
Bachelor’s Degree 18 4
Post-Baccalaureate 9 1
Master’s Degree 294 15
Post-Master’s 6 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 89 1
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 68 3
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 4 0

Is a Degree in Communication Sciences Worth It?

The median salary for a communication sciences grad is $82,210 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 106% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $846,200 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to communication sciences.

Major Number of Grads
Nursing 293,633
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 104,465
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 90,916
Health & Medical Administrative Services 87,058
Allied Health Professions 86,125
Public Health 34,089
Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Professions 28,068
Dental Support Services 27,155
Mental & Social Health Services 26,783
Health Sciences & Services 24,436
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences 19,962
Medicine 19,418
Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science 19,295
Somatic Bodywork & Therapeutic Services 15,451
Health/Medical Prep Programs 11,807
Other Health Professions 8,426
Dentistry 6,518
Osteopathic Medicine 6,392
Dietetics & Clinical Nutrition Services 6,056
Health Aids/Attendants/Orderlies 3,875
Alternative Medicine & Systems 3,481
Veterinary Medicine 3,175
Chiropractic 2,503
Advanced Dentistry & Oral Sciences 1,714
Optometry 1,674
Medical Illustration & Informatics 1,608
Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services 1,089
Veterinary Biomedical & Clinical Services 804
Medical Science 738
Podiatry 543
Bioethics/Medical Ethics 535
Movement & Mind-Body Therapies 373
Alternative Medical Support Services 244
Energy & Biologically Based Therapies 73

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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