Alternative Careers with a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders

So, I have a bachelor’s degree in CSD….now what?

While the majority of students majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Penn State choose to pursue graduate work in audiology or speech-language pathology, some students also pursue employment or degrees in other fields. Below are areas that may be of interest to you.

First, check out this site: thebestschools.org

Options that require additional education

  • Master’s degree in Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Master’s degree in Special Education
  • Master’s degree in Counseling
  • Master's degree in Occupational Therapy
  • Doctoral degree in Physical Therapy
  • Graduate degree in Linguistics, Social Work, Psychology, or Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Child Life Specialist (requires a 6-9 month internship)
    http://www.childlife.org/
  • Recreation Therapy
    http://www.recreationtherapy.com/trcollg.htm
  • Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL)
  • Respiratory Therapy
    http://www.coarc.com/36.html
  • Radiology Technician
  • Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)
  • Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA)
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
  • Special Education/Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Physician's Assistant
  • Nursing

Options that do not require additional education

  • Vision Therapy
  • School District
    • Personal care attendant (PCA)
    • Classroom assistants
    • Substitute teacher (if you have had an education emphasis)
    • Speech therapy assistant (depends on the state)
  • Hospitals / Outpatient Clinics: Consider working in the following departments: rehabilitation, otolaryngology (ENT), pulmonology, GI, neurology, pediatrics
    • Rehabilitation Aide: work with therapists, order supplies, set up, take down and assist in sessions
    • Support staff, scheduling, billing, etc
    • Patient / family advocate
    • Hospital Unit Coordinator (HUC): manages incoming orders and communicates with medical staff.
  • Corporate: Support staff, marketing, trade shows, etc for publishing companies that develop, market and sell therapeutic materials. A few of many include:
    • Hearing aid companies
    • Prentche Romich (AAC equipment)
    • Ablenet
    • Thinking Publications
    • Super Duper
    • Linguisystems
  • Nonprofit Organizations: http://panojobs.careerwebsite.com/jobseeker/search/results/
    Fundraising, volunteer coordination, participation and planning special events for various nonprofit organizations. A few of many examples are:
    • Special Olympics
    • An Autism Society (Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, et al.)
    • National Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • Other
    • Hospice care
    • Respite care
    • Daycare centers and preschool aids
    • Activity Coordinator; nursing home
    • Home health aid/Personal care worker (private)
    • Aide or manager in home for developmentally disabled adults
    • Teaching English as a second language in a foreign country
    • Research lab manager/research assistant

Opportunities Listed by Field

Health-related professions

  • speech-language pathology assistant
  • audiology assistant
  • rehabilitation aid in a hospital or nursing home
  • therapeutic support staff
  • health services administrator
  • physician's assistant
  • public health specialist

Education

  • education – special education or general education
  • paraprofessional in school district learning support
  • school aid to impaired child
  • autistic school aid
  • early intervention
  • TESOL teacher
  • early childhood or child development specialist
  • school counselor
  • public administrator or public policy specialist

Related Items

  • rehabilitation counseling
  • hearing instrument specialist
  • ASL interpreter
  • clinical intake specialists
  • technology support staff
  • group home staff
  • community outreach programs
  • employment search firm
  • education or health law
  • top- and mid-level managers, executives, administrators

Development, Promotion, or Sales

Develop, promote, or sell educational materials, tests, augmentative communication devices, voice recognition and production systems, textbooks, reference books, assistive listening devices, software, and accommodations for individuals with physical disabilities for use in:

  • clinical fields
  • education
  • health care

"Edutainment" Industry

  • review or write scripts
  • coach actors in dialogue, accents, or communication mannerisms
  • management-related occupations