by Bailey Garcia, staff writer

Students pursuing a communication related degree are often faced with having to defend the worth behind their field of study. Is this because of a miscommunication?

When entering college some students are not fully aware of what exactly this degree path entails, sometimes leading to a stigma that it’s an easy path or not a worthwhile one. But that stigma couldn’t be more wrong.

Communication courses can introduce a world of new skills and opportunities to those who choose to pursue the degree.

“One of the more impactful skills so far is improving my understanding of myself, and by extension, others,” says Taylor Jones, former Computer Science major who switched into the field of communication. “Often, students will say that this is the ‘easy’ degree to go for, but my experience has been that it’s been one of the more challenging disciplines because it asks us to examine ourselves and understand how and why we communicate the way we do,” they say.

PPSC offers Communication as a degree track, as well as offering individual class options, even for students not in the communication field. What students may not know is that these classes can be beneficial to all, not just those in this specific field.

“If we cannot understand ourselves, we cannot understand others to find shared meaning. The skills of self-awareness and self-esteem are vitally important in how we navigate our whole lives, and the communication discipline helped me hone them,” says Jones.

So, what kind of skills can students learn in these classes?

Professor and Chair of the Communication department, Kristy Callihan says, “[The program offers] tangible skills for any workplace such as public speaking, conflict management, effective group communication, self-awareness and intercultural communication… plus much more!”

Applying for a new job on job boards such as Indeed, reveals that “excellent/efficient/effective communicator” is a skill almost all employers look for in potential new employees. “We are a ‘glue’ discipline, meaning you can earn a degree in COM and work in the field, but you can also take COM classes to bolster any degree in customer service, strong team dynamics, effective group communication and communicating across cultural differences. These are the soft skills every employer wants,” Callihan says.

Communications are the basis of our relationships both professionally and personally and has impacted mine in significant ways,” says Jones. “Communication is more than speaking to each other; it’s everything from your gestures to the things you don’t say, and the skills taught in this discipline are invaluable,” they say.

Whether a communication major, or a student looking to expand their communication related skills, these courses can be invaluable in any career path.

The PPSC Communication program page and ‘Indeed’ say some of the potential careers related to this field include public relations, fundraising manager, broadcast announcer, marketing, social media coordinator, volunteer coordinator, sales and many others.

For more information on communication classes at PPSC, visit the communications department page: Communication | Pikes Peak State College