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2023 Publishing Degree Guide

Being a publisher gives you the ability to create visually stimulating layouts. Publishers take information, shift it into a distributable form, and advertise it to the general public. They work to ensure other people's messages are read and received by others. They can do everything from editing and designing book covers to producing and selling a final product.

As a student, you will take classes in computer hardware and software, digital imaging, page layout and design, desktop publishing, graphic design, and other courses that will teach you how to layout and arrange text or images. The curriculum will also focus on businesses classes such as marketing and finance.

A Spike in Publishing Degrees

#299 Most Popular Major
336 Degrees Awarded
22.0% Increase in Graduates

Publishing was the 299th most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 336 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 22.0% increase in publishing degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 262.

This year's Best Publishing Schools ranking compares 10 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom publishing rankings further below.

2023 Best Colleges for Publishing
2023 Overall Best Publishing Colleges >

Best Publishing Schools by Degree

Bachelor's Degrees in Publishing
Master's Degrees in Publishing

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Publishing

Publishing is a great major for someone who is creative and a multi-tasker. Publishers will do much of their work on computers making this a good job for those who understand and enjoy working with different types of software. Those who are successful in publishing pay close attention to detail and have excellent time management skills to ensure deadlines are kept and met. Meeting those deadlines takes a lot of hard work and can mean working overtime. Current publishers note that publishing can be hectic and, at times, can take up most of your free time.

It is recommended that those who are interested in publishing gain experience at a magazine, newspaper, website, or other publishing firm. This will teach you the basic tasks and prepare you for a career in publishing. Other opportunities to gain experience in publishing are by working with your campus' newspaper, magazine, or journal.

Publishing Degree Program Entry Requirements

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most publishing degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. Once you obtain your degree, additional publishing certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Publishing Degree Types

There are many different publishing degree levels. You can spend many years getting as high as a in publishing to something that takes less time like a . Different publishing degrees vary in how long they take.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to publishing, with approximately 80.4% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for publishing workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 80.4%
Master’s Degree 17.0%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 1.3%
Post-Master’s Certificate 1.3%

100.0% of publishing workers have at least a associate. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in publishing careers have.


This of course varies depending on which publishing career you choose.

Publishing Careers

Below Average Number of Jobs
$43.1k Average Starting Salary
-1% Decline Job Outlook 2016-26

A major in Publishing could lead to a variety of careers. While many graduates may decide to work for a publishing house, magazine, or website, there are plenty of other jobs graduates are qualified for. These include a career in book promotions and sales, advertising, project management, and writing. Some graduates decide to pursue an advanced degree and go into the fields of law, business or education.

As fewer newspapers, books, and magazines are being published in print, there will be likely decrease in the amount of publishers needed.

Small Decline Projected for Publishing Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your publishing degree?

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to publishing.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Editors 125,600 -1.4%

Publishing Degree Salary Potential

Recently graduated publishing students earned an average of $43,066 in 2019-2020. Earnings can range from as low as $31,328 to as high as $55,535. As you might expect, salaries for publishing graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Publishing Careers

Salaries for publishing graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers publishing grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Editors $69,480

Getting Your Publishing Degree

With over 33 different publishing degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased publishing school rankings to help you with this.

One of 5 majors within the Communication & Journalism area of study, Publishing has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Communication & Media Studies 66,787
Public Relations & Advertising 21,099
Radio, Television & Digital Communication 17,669
Journalism 13,552
Communication & Journalism (Other) 1,128

View All Publishing Related Majors >


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