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Online Associates Degree in Public Relations

Public relations professionals create the connection between an organization and the media, consumers, other businesses and governmental agencies. When businesses or non-profit organizations hire public relations specialists, the goal is to present a unified message about the brand and to foster a positive image. A company's reputation may depend on how well its public relations department responds to an issue. These specialists are trained in print, broadcast and Web-based communications techniques and strategies.

About associate degrees in public relations

Colleges and business trade schools offer two-year programs leading to associate degrees in public relations. Courses may include detailed studies in journalism, advertising, political science, psychology, consumer behavior, and tools of the trade such as word processing, multi-media, newsletter production and press releases. Optional courses can help you focus on a specialization for careers in industries such as technology, health care or government. Some colleges require an internship with a public relations firm where you can build a portfolio and make career connections.

Public relations job outlook and salary

Entry level roles for the profession include office administrative assistants, researchers or junior account representatives. In 2010, secretaries and administrative assistants earned a median wage of $34,920, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The BLS reports that entry level creatives -- writers and artists -- may qualify for some jobs without a four-year degree, but competition is expected. New professionals should be adequately armed with an education, knowledge of tools and practices, and an internship or related work experience.

With job experience and a four-year degree you could move up to a role such as public relations specialist. The BLS reports a median 2010 wage of $52,090 for these professionals, and top earners took home $95,200. The five states with the highest employment level of PR specialists in 2010 were California, New York, Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania. The BLS forecasts a 24 percent increase in these specialists' jobs from 2008 to 2018, or 66,200 new positions.

Get the jump on the competition. Candidates with degrees in public relations, a strong portfolio of work and professional exposure may seize the advantage when it comes to beginning a career. If you are already working, you can pursue online studies that allow you to continue gaining real-world experience while you expand your knowledge of the field.

Featured Online Public Relations Degree Programs

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  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked among the Best Online MBA Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
  • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
  • Online courses make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 18 months and a master’s degree in 14-24 months.
Good for Working Adults
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  • Demonstrate effective written communication and analytical skills.
  • Apply management skills in decision-making and analysis of the organizational structure.
  • Examine ethical behaviors and legal implications of an organization in social, environmental and corporate environs.
  • Evaluate the role of a manager in the global economy.
  • Develop critical thinking skills for analysis in strategic planning and innovation.
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  • 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.
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  • Located in Hollywood, CA, offering degrees in film, music production, business, animation and more.
  • Scholarship, financial aid and military benefits are available for students who qualify.
  • Programs taught by award-winning industry professionals in real-world working environments.
  • Features industry-standard facilities including recording studios, soundstages, green screen, movie theatres and more.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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  • Push Your Creativity To The Next Level.
  • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
  • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
  • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
  • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
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