Can you see yourself as the public face of a business, organization, nonprofit or government agency? Do you imagine yourself recording TV spots or issuing policy statements from a prestigious podium such as the White House press room? Or maybe you would be behind the scenes, writing press releases or magazine articles. Good public relations can influence the success of an organization so these professionals always need to be at the top of their game.
The journey to this sought-after career can begin with bachelor's degrees in public relations. In this major, you may study targeted subjects like these:
- Communication technology
- Layout, design, media and research techniques
- Mass and organizational communication
- Media law, regulations and ethics
- News reporting and editing
- Opinion and persuasive writing
- Public opinion and propaganda
- Public relations principles and practice
- Public relations speaking and writing
- TV and radio announcing
General education requirements may include English, mathematics and liberal arts, as well as social and natural sciences. Some programs mandate competency in computers or in a foreign language.
Public relations career outlook and salaries
Public relations jobs are found in many industries -- information technology, finance, sales, advertising, engineering, science, health care and government. Titles include:
- Advertising or sales agent
- Communications and media specialist
- Media consultant or social media advisor
- Press secretary
The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that a bachelor's degree in public relations plus an internship or relevant work experience can be key to obtaining an entry-level position in this competitive field. For public relations specialists, the BLS expects a high employment growth rate of 22.5 percent for the 2010-2020 decade; 2010 median annual wages reached $52,090.
Public relations and fundraising managers require 1-5 years of experience in addition to the bachelor's degree. For these PR managers, the BLS projects 2010-2020 job growth of 16.4 percent, and the yearly median salary was $91,810 in 2010.
Beyond your bachelor's degree
A public relations master's degree can provide opportunities for management or more time in the media spotlight. A doctorate can lead to scholarly research, teaching at the university level, or positions at the top of industry and government.
Public relations programs are conveniently available online for students with other obligations or those who wish to gain on-the-job experience while they complete their degrees. Step out into the spotlight with a bachelor's degree in public relations.