In this article we provide an overview of public relations degrees as well as public relations university courses that are required and some public relations graduate school program information. The main goal of a public relations department is to enhance an institutions reputation. The role of a public relations department is to serve as a reputation protector. Public relations personnel provide services for the organization by helping to give the public and the media a better understanding of how the company functions. The importance of the spokesperson to describe what the company does and why can’t be downplayed. A PR person helps to set policy and to describe it in such a way as to put the best light on the subject. Public relations graduate school programs vary by requirement but may require students to take courses in areas such as conflict management and negotiation training.
Public Relations Education and Training
The jobs within the field include press secretary, event coordinator, marketing manager, media planner, lobbyist and speech writer. This level of position officially requires a bachelor’s degree and related public relations university courses taken prior to graduation. The minimum degree in public relations is typically a bachelor’s degree, but there are a some master’s programs available also.
A master’s degree is the level where the graduate is able to be employed in a management position. Courses are offered online as well as from bricks and mortar institutions. A associate’s degree will be helpful for a few jobs, but the competition is such that the higher degrees are a better choice.
Courses in public relations requires a core curriculum of journalism, marketing, communication and advertising. The bachelor’s degree might be a BA or a BS. The specific classes don’t vary a great deal from one school to another. An associate’s degree might be a communications degree. It would typically have a public relations concentration in a addition to required public relations classes. Public relations courses may then include:
- Business Communications
- Media Message Design
- Desktop Publishing
- Media Relations and Messaging
- Social Media
- Digital Campaigns
- Speech Writing
- Communications Research
- Mass Media Fundamentals
The Public Relations Society of America offers an exam leading to accreditation in public relations. In addition to the testing process and the bachelor’s degree, the accreditation candidate must have five years of work or teaching in the field. The candidate must also complete an interview with a professional panel.
Public Relations Careers
A public relations degree may be required for positions as spokespersons and representatives of the company when interacting with individuals, news media and the community in general.
A person with a degree in public relations is responsible for arranging events such as product launches and campaigns, advertising of products and services and descriptions of company activities. The specialist in this field might work closely with all sorts of other media outlets, including newspapers, magazines, Internet and social media.
For those who are interested in a career as a public relations specialist, a bachelor’s degree is important. In addition, the individual who is most likely to be successful in being hired as a PR specialist is someone who has had experience with this type of employment previously.
Many of the positions with public relations degrees are in public sector fields, but there are also openings for those who are in company management, supervisory and administrative positions. Public relations careers may be available in media houses, business and non-profit organizations, human and social service organizations, medical facilities, educational institutions, as well as government agencies and sports and entertainment organizations.
Estimated Income and Projected Career Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that for 2010, the median annual wage of public relations managers was $91,810. The lowest 10% earned less than $49,720, and the top 10% earned more than $166,400. Employment of public relations managers and specialists is expected to grow 21% from 2010 to 2020. The median annual wage of public relations specialists was $52,090 during the same period. The lowest 10% earned less than $30,560, and the top 10% earned more than $95,200.
The employment of public relations managers and specialists is expected to grow 21% from 2010 to 2020 while that of public relations specialists is expected to grow 23% during the same period. The employment of public relations managers is expected to grow 16% from 2010 to 2020 (BLS). For persons interested in public relations as a career, the basis is a bachelor’s in public relations degrees and work experience in the field.
Public Relations and Communications Programs
- Bachelor’s program options include Communication, Political Communication, Cinema-Television, and more.
- Several concentrations available, including Rhetoric and Public Culture, Strategic Communication, Theatre, Journalism, Internet and Social Media, and more.
- All concentrations are designed to teach students the fundamentals of journalism, helping them prepare for careers as reporters and writers.
- Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
- Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Communication Studies
- Online degrees offered include BA in Accounting, BA in Business Administration, MBA, and more.
- Business students may be eligible for scholarships such as the Entrepreneurship Scholarship.
- Courses help students develop knowledge of marketing, accounting, economic principles, and financial management.
- Business Administration students can specialize in areas such as Entrepreneurship, Finance, and Project Management.
- BA/Public Relations and Marketing
- BA/Sports and Recreation Management - Marketing
- Online MBA program ranked 6th in the USA by CEO magazine.
- In a university-sponsored survey, 4 out of 5 alumni reported being satisfied with their experience.
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- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Business Development
- Public Relations, Master of Arts (Online)
- BA Communication - Professional Writing
- MA Communication - New Media and Marketing
- BA Communications - New Media
- And more...
- Online and Bachelor's programs include B.S. in Advertising, B.S. in Web Design, B.A. in Interior Design, and more
- Curriculum focus on preparing students for a creative career by teaching them the fundamentals of advertising and design
- Students can choose from courses that cover areas such as advertising concepts, art direction, experience design, and online marketing
- Over 50 locations nationwide, with a student support team dedicated to helping students grow
- Graphic & Web Design (BFA)
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- BS in Business Administration - New Media/Internet Marketing
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* Programs vary by location
* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information
- Associates in Internet Marketing