"Communication works for those who work at it." – John Powell

For those considering a career in communications, a key question is how much money you'll make when you graduate. Furthermore, will that salary be sufficient to pay for your degree debt?

While predicting one's future income is subject to uncertainty, especially in the current economic climate, there is, luckily, a lot of data out there. The staff at MastersInCommunications.org analyzed and collected data from the US Department of Education about how much money communications majors earn.

Using data from the College Scorecard, a data resource about the earnings and debt of graduates of US colleges, we looked at which undergraduate communications programs produced the graduates with the best and worst financial prospects.

We found that communications majors from Georgia Tech and the University of Pennsylvania have the highest earnings, while Shaw University has the lowest-earning graduates. Colleges like Devry and Grambling State University produce communications graduates with the highest debt, while the City University of New York (CUNY) has graduated with the lowest debt levels.


Before analyzing colleges where communications graduates earn the most and least, let's look at the overall data. According to the most recent data from the US Department of Education College Scorecard, the median college graduate with a communications degree earns $31,400, approximately the same as the median US worker.

Not all communications programs are created equal, however. And you have ample reason to consider an online bachelors in communication program or an online masters in communication program. Below is the distribution of undergraduate communications programs segmented by median annual salary:

How Much Money Do Communications Majors Earn?

How Much Money Do Communications Majors Earn?

55.6% of graduates from college communications programs earn between $30K and $40K per year. Nearly 95% of communications majors make under $40K per year. No undergraduate institution reported communications majors earning above $60K per year. Which colleges produce communications majors that make the most and least? The following chart shows the schools reporting the highest median earnings among their undergraduates who studied communication:

Colleges Where Communication Majors Earn Most and Least

Colleges Where Communication Majors Earn Most and Least

Communications majors from the Georgia Institute of Technology earn the most in the country, with a median salary of $57,600 annually. In second place is the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League school where graduates earn just under $50,000 annually. In third place is the Mitchell Technical Institute, a technical college in South Dakota.

Communication graduates from Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, earn just $14,900 per year, the lowest in the country. SUNY Broome and Technical Career Institute graduates earn the second and third lowest salaries.

Regarding debt, which school communication graduates emerge with the highest and lowest burdens?

College Where Communication Majors Have Most and Least Debt

College Where Communication Majors Have Most and Least Debt

Communications majors from Devry University emerge with $42,430 in debt, the highest in the country. Grambling State and Lane College communications majors also graduate with more than $40,000 in debt. On the other hand, several community colleges graduate communications majors with less than $10,000 in debt.

High levels of debt can be a problem, but that can be made up for by having a high income. Which colleges produce communications majors with high debt-to-income ratios, and which come with high incomes relative to their debt? The chart below shows the schools with the best and worst debt-to-income ratios (Total Debt / Annual Income):

Colleges Where Communication Majors Have Most and Least Debt to Income

College Where Communication Majors Have Most and Least Debt

Some schools whose students graduate with debt also have the least favorable debt-to-income ratios. Grambling State University and Shaw University produce communications graduates with the highest debt-to-income ratios by a considerable margin. On the other hand, schools that have graduated with low debt relative to their income are a mix of community colleges (CUNY), lower-priced private schools (Brigham Young), higher-priced private schools (Cornell), and state schools (University of California). For a communication major who looks to graduate with a substantial income relative to debt, all types of schools may fit the bill.


This analysis analyzed how much money communications majors earn after graduation and how that varies by school. The typical communications major earns about $31,400 though that number varies considerably by the school. At some schools like Georgia Tech and the University of Pennsylvania, graduates can earn substantially more than that amount. However, at many schools, communications will earn much less than average and come out with a mountain of debt. It's essential to consider the meaning and debt data carefully before choosing which school to attend.


Fair Use Statement: Please share our content for editorial or discussion purposes. We ask that you link to this page and give proper credit to MastersInCommunications.org.

Recent Articles

Who’s Sorry Now? 5 Things to Say Instead of Apologizing

Unfortunately, even those with advanced degrees in communications are often guilty of saying "I'm sorry"…

Five Body Language Mistakes That Can Sabotage Your Job Interview

It’s the big interview for your dream job and you’re excited to demonstrate your qualifications.…

The Essential Guide to Speech Language Pathology: Meaning, Importance, Process, Education, and Professions

Speech and language are essential components of communication and interaction, playing a critical role in…

Man Stressed at Work

Using Key Communication Skills To Manage Stress

Stress is something that happens to almost every person from time to time. It is…

Is Mass Media Good or Bad for You and Your Family?

Since the internet, and particularly smartphones, became household commodities, mass media's impact on people and…

Simple, Powerful Methods for Becoming a Great Communicator

A fine orator can make the world dance to his tune. With quick wit, a…

Crises on Campuses Call for Better Communication Between Key Leaders

The news headlines confirm that crises are a sad fact of college life, and no…

Why Communications Pros Should Have a Seat at the Executive Table

If you are a communications professional, and you have the ear of the CEO, consider…