What can I do with a degree in Communication Sciences & Disorders?

Two women sit at a table. One is looking at the camera and one is writing something on paper.

Graduate school options: fields related directly to our degree

Graduate school options: allied health and educational fields related to our degree

Graduate school options: other. A background in human development and communication may be an excellent preparation for a wide range of careers. A few examples:

Special programs

  • Teach for America. Working in low-income school districts as a classroom teacher. 
  • Americorps.  A wide variety of service positions.
  • City Year. Service in an inner city school. 
  • Peace Corps. Programs for children and youth and education are two high-need areas. Children with disabilities are mentioned on this list.

Examples of positions students have taken instead of going to graduate school

  • Behavioral therapist for children with autism
  • Working with adults with intellectual disabilities. Example positions: job coach; housing support staff (in community residences, for example); or classroom support staff (e.g., in Wood Lane school)
  • Speech assistant in states that allow this. Important note: your CDIS degree is pre-professional so does not prepare you for SLP-A jobs; e.g., in Texas you need to complete a supervised practicum to qualify for their speech assistant positions.  There is no mechanism for qualifying for such positions in Ohio. We don’t support or encourage this option without additional training but if you can locate the necessary training, this may be a possible route for you.
  • Substitute teacher (especially for intervention services/special education)
  • Positions in the health care insurance industry

 

For students not pursuing graduate school, things to consider:

  1. Many positions require a bachelor’s degree at the entry level. You can now compete for these, since you meet the qualification of having a 4 year degree.
  2. Your degree can help you secure a wide variety of positions, but finding a job will require creativity and persistence.
  3. Develop a professional resume that reflects the experiences and talents you have to offer; you may need more than one version if you are pursuing more than one direction in your career search. Don’t forget your volunteer and other relevant co-curricular experiences in student organizations when building your resume.
  4. Make use of the Career Center,  including attending job fairs, using their career interest assessment tools, career counseling, and any other resources offered to you by the university.
  5. Pursue and develop contacts in industries and careers that interest you. Interview people formally and informally to find out more about what it takes to succeed in a particular field.
  6. Read books and websites on job hunting and career development. Find out how to excel at interviews, dress for success, move up the ladder from an entry level job, etc.. If resources exist specific to a job that interests you, educate yourself as much as possible about that job. A classic is What Color is Your Parachute by Dick Bolles.
  7. And finally, but most importantly: Don’t sell yourself short.  CDIS majors sometimes compare themselves unfavorably to their classmates who are going to graduate school. Be yourself! Never forget that your college experiences have prepared you to write, do research, communicate orally, and think critically. You may also have significant organizational and leadership experiences, or skills in working with the public, from your previous jobs and volunteer work. Each graduate is a unique individual—we know you have a lot to offer the world and we are excited to hear what your new adventures are, in whatever realm. You have finished a degree in a tough major and you should be proud of yourself--we are proud of you!

In deciding what you want to do with your life, or what you want to do next with your life, there are only three questions to ask yourself: WHAT, WHERE, and HOW.

1.  WHAT  do you most love to do?

2.  WHERE  would you most love to do it? and

3.  HOW  do you name such jobs, and how do you find such jobs?

Dick Bolles, http://www.jobhuntersbible.com/articles