Explore Opportunities and Lifestyles

Expanding Opportunities

The career outlook in media and communications is exceptionally strong.  Almost every organization today is a media organization -- they all have websites, social media accounts, run events, train and recruit employees using media, and generate money through advertising or solicitation of donors. That means that there are plenty of jobs for people with degrees like the ones we offer in the Park School.

Check out Deloitte's Media and Entertainment Outlook 2019 for an example of the burgeoning market.

    Careers You Never Imagined

    It seems trite to say this - but it's true.  We prepare you for jobs that don't even exist today.  Think back even 10 years-- there were no social media directors or YouTube stars, or influencers or digital analysts -- all popular jobs and careers these days.  And while the word "communications" may conjure up images of news anchors, film directors, or advertising execs, there are thousands of other roles.  You can be in front of the camera or behind -- you can work primarily in an office or totally out in the field.  You can have a steady job with pretty regular responsibilities or you can work "gig to gig" as a freelancer or entrepreneur. 

    As you progress in your degree in communications, you'll want to start looking at potential careers so that you can take advantage of courses, clubs, and internships that will lead to a job or offer of graduate study that you'll enjoy and for which you'll be qualified.

    Conducting research will impact the direction of your search by helping you identify fields and careers more clearly. Also, doing careful research will help you market yourself more strategically and allow you to have a more focused conversation about your interests with potential employers. 

    Finally, consider the work environment.  Many job sites in media are not in an office, but rather in a studio, in the field, or at client sites.  Some jobs require similar tasks every day, while in other careers, no two days are alike. 

    But don't think of careers in communications as primarily revolving around just creating content. There are even more jobs as strategists, legal specialists, media planners, government and employee communications directors, event designers, curators, critics, and distribution and financial executives.

    You can learn a lot by doing some online research and also by attending guest lectures, and networking with upper-level students and alumni.

    Occupation

    • What does a typical day look like?
    • What credentials are required?
    • What is the typical career path?
    • What skills are required to be successful?
    • Are particular degrees or certifications required?
    • In what environments do people with this occupation work? (for-profit, non-profit, government)

    Industry

    • What are the job functions of this industry?
    • What are the potential job titles within this industry?
    • What kinds of skill-sets are expected for the kinds of work I would do in these jobs/this industry?
    • What are the different areas within the industry in which I could potentially work?
    • What are the current social/economic trends for this industry?
    • What is the job market outlook for this industry?

    Organization

    • What is their mission/purpose for existence?
    • What are their philosophies and core values?
    • What is their reputation with their clientele/customers?
    • What are the working conditions in this organization? How are employees treated?
    • How are employees compensated and rewarded?
    • Do employees seem to enjoy their work?
    • Has the organization been in the news lately? If so, for what?
    • What kind of internship programs do they offer?

    The Gig-to-Gig Lifestyle of Entertainment Media

    Erin Doran in Los Angeles

    "Office cleaned out and that’s a wrap on wrap for Ballers Season 5!! Absolutely enjoyed going to work everyday with such an amazing crew for the last four months. Thank you to everyone who had made this experience and production so special. From here, I am very excited to share that starting Monday I will now be working as the Production Secretary on Season 1 of Freeform’s reboot of the show, Party of Five!!"

    In the field of communications, the styles of work vary greatly.  For instance, many careers in the entertainment industry (film and television) are "gig to gig" -- that is, people don't have full-time jobs but rather get contracts to work on a specific project or show -- and when it's over the entire crew disbands.  Just think of film directors-- they don't have a steady job- rather they work on a series of films, sometimes with gaps of time in between projects.  Many occupations in media are anything but 9-5

    The Fast-paced Life of News

    David Muir covering storm

    Many careers in media, such as an ABC World News anchor like alumnus David Muir '95, require long hours in stressful situations.  No two days are alike.  While this is a rush of excitement for some people, others would find these conditions very difficult.

    Melding Business and Communications

    Jusan Hamilton - race executive

    Careers in strategic communications, advertising, and public relations can be much more similar to those in business.  While you might think they don't have the glamour of the entertainment or news industries, there are more stable jobs with specific career pathways and predictable schedules. For example, our alum Jusan Hamilton pursued a degree in Integrated Marketing Communications to land a job in his dream company, NASCAR where he is a fast-rising executive.

    Entrepreneurship Beginning in College

    Rita Bunatal - entrepreneur

    Rita Bunatal '16 is the founder & creative director of Malaika Apparel Co., a Pan African Apparel & Lifestyle Brand. Envisioned in the spring of 2015 when she was still in college, Rita started to create designs that were inspired by the happiness, pain, frustration, joy, anger and excitement she felt in the midst of not only being a 1st generation African, but also as a black woman living between the U.S. and Ghana.  She entered, got feedback, and won several college competitions that helped her shape and finance her business. Since the launch of Malaika Apparel Co, her work has been featured in BuzzFeed, The New York Times, Blavity, HerCampus & Essence Magazine.  In addition to running her business, Rita Bunatal is also a Marketing Coordinator for SheaMoisture Hair Care at Sundial Brands LLC., one of the fastest growing companies in personal care. She is responsible for assisting the brand team in trend research, product development and strategic marketing plan creations.

    Rita holds a B.S. in Communication Management and Design with a Corporate Communications focus and minors in African Diaspora studies & Communication studies. She identifies as a Ghanaian - Kenyan American & a Pan-African womanist. She was also recognized for her work with viral photo campaign during her sophomore year in college -- The Real Africa: Fight the Stereotype. The campaign dispelled common stereotypes about Africa and was featured on CNN, BET, USA Today amonst many others. She was also named a Future of Ghana 30 Under 30 Pioneer in 2019.

    Check out Ithaca College's Career Services

    IC's Office of Career Services provides many tools to explore internships and careers, workshops, personal guidance on resumes and interviewing, and a robust database of jobs and internships.