Major Overview

Are you interested in a fast paced career that allows you to do something different every day? Do you enjoy being creative and multi-tasking? A career in Public Relations or Advertising might be for you.

Public Relations specialists work to create a positive image for their clients. These clients include celebrities, brands, and organizations, among many more. In order to shape this reputation, specialists must be strong, creative writers and have the interpersonal skills to develop relationships with the media and those who will share information and spread the name of the client. Students will take classes in image management, media campaigns, newswriting, broadcast media, videography, and speech writing along with businesses classes to acquire these necessary skills.

Schools offer the option to major in either general Public Relations or Advertising or you may decide to specialize in a certain area. Some areas of specialization include Organizational Communication, Public Relations/Image Management, Political Communication, Health Communication, Sports Communication, International and Intercultural Communication, and Technical and Scientific Communication.

Required Skills

In this major, as with any major in the Communications field, there is a heavy emphasis on clear writing skills. Specialists spend much of their day writing press releases, emails to clients or media members, speeches, annual reports, or pitches making writing extremely important. This career also caters to a student who is a people person and is able to handle multiple projects at once. Strong organizational and critical thinking skills will make you successful in this field.

Public Relations specialists work full time and often have long days that cause the workweek to extend over 40 hours. Depending on the project they are working on, specialists may work in the evenings and on weekends.

Public Relations and advertising employers often require experience before hiring. Graduates must pay their dues before moving into management positions. This is often done through internships. Interning while working towards your degree will allow you to gain valuable experience within the field making you a more desirable candidate.

Careers

A degree in Public Relations and Advertising opens up many career possibilities. Since you will take classes that improve your writing, communication, and organizational skills, you will be considered an asset to many companies. Graduates may find jobs with agencies or working for a company as their in house publicist.

Public Relations and other communications fields are expected to grow at a faster than average pace, giving graduates excellent job opportunities. Work experience and internships will make you more competitive in the field.

The average starting salary of a Public Relations and Advertising graduate is $35,862 and the mid-career salary is $66,766.

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Major at a Glance

Top statistics for this major

College Ranking by Major

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Yearly Graduations
 15,083
Average Starting Salary
$35,862
Average Mid-Career Salary
$66,766

Related Majors

Explore all the majors withing the field of Communication & Journalism

Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Public Relations & Advertising might open up.

Advertising and Promotions Managers
Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes
Broadcast News Analysts
Communications Teachers, Postsecondary
Community Health Workers
Editors
Entertainers and Performers, Sports and Related Workers, All Other
Health Educators
Public Relations Specialists
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers
Radio and Television Announcers
Reporters and Correspondents
Technical Writers
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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