Is a Communications Degree More Valuable than an English Degree?

Some students know that they want to pursue a more liberal arts educational path, and they investigate the advantages of pursuing a communications or English degree. Many elements of the communications and English disciplines overlap, and choosing between the two can be tricky. This dilemma can be readily solved by determining a career of interest, but many high school students are still undecided about their future career choices upon graduation. Here is an overview of the distinctive differences between the majors, expected outcomes of degree programs for each discipline, ideal degree programs and job prospects for both majors.


is communications a useful degreeDifference in Disciplines of Communications and English

Communications is a discipline that offers students a wide variety of subjects to study. For example, the study of broadcast media techniques, print journalism, public relations and internet multi-media marketing are all included in the discipline of communications. A key point of distinction for communications practitioners is their creative application of the latest technology within their work. Engaging audiences is a main function of the discipline, and many people today use more technical communication channels. The communications discipline requires its practitioners to keep up with the current and emerging trends related to capturing and maintaining the attention of people. The English discipline allows students to indulge in a variety of subjects within one major depending on the program chosen. For example, English majors can concentrate in the study of literature from various cultures and historic time periods, or they can hone their creative writing skills while studying works of great fiction writers of books and films.

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Skill Sets Gained By Communications and English Majors

Depending on the depth of their academic programs, communications majors usually graduate with creative problem solving, comprehensive research, technical and analytical skills. English majors learn how to articulate ideas in verbal and written forms, analyze varying perspectives on different subjects and work well in teams as well as autonomously. They also use critical thinking skills and know how to back up their viewpoints with information that is gained through extensive research.

Why Degree Programs Matter

Prospective students must consider a degree program’s curriculum and reputation when deciding upon either a communications or English degree. Those who choose to pursue a communications degree should make sure that their chosen program covers as many subject areas as possible. For example, students should be able to take broadcast journalism, print journalism, internet multi-media and public relations courses. It is also critical that students have access to experiential learning opportunities like working on the school newspaper, television or radio station. Great communications degree programs also include internships. English degree programs that require extensive written assignments are preferred to those that simply discuss literary works. This benefit allows students to build a portfolio of their work that can be used to show off their talents to potential employers.

Comparison of Job Prospects for Communications and English Majors

Communications majors can gain employment in areas like journalism, public relations, entertainment production, politics and sales. English majors can gain employment as technical writers, creative writers and journalists. Additionally, people often use English degrees to prepare for careers in law, government and at all levels of academia. These career paths require teaching licenses as well as graduate and professional degrees.


Students who have not decided on definite career paths usually pick majors that provide the most flexibility in the long term. This rule of thumb will help them to decide between gaining a communications or English degree whether they end up working in print journalism, academia or broadcasting.