Associate's in Communications & Public Relations: Degree Overview

Oct 16, 2019

Associate's degrees in communications and public relations focus on consumer/investor relations, event planning, and writing news and press releases. Most of these programs include general education courses and hands-on training.

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Essential Information

Associate of Science (A.S.) programs typically last two years and are offered within media or communication schools at community colleges and 4-year institutions. Students in this type of degree program can gain the necessary knowledge and skills for the ever-changing media industry. Students hoping to enroll must have earned a high school diploma or its GED equivalent.

Associate of Science in Communication and Public Relations

Required courses typically differ between academic institutions; however, practical and theoretical coursework is at the core of most communications and public relations degree programs. Coursework teaches students to create information for the media, the principles of marketing and advertising and microeconomics. Other fundamental courses might include:

  • Mass media
  • Radio production
  • Management of broadcast networks
  • Methods of oral communication

Popular Career Options

Associate's degree programs in communications and public relations prepare students to seek employment as one of the following:

  • Radio promotions assistants
  • Marketing assistants
  • Public relations assistants

Job Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), program graduates can seek employment in government, advertising, healthcare and education within communications firms, government agencies and public relations organizations.

The BLS projects a 6% increase in job opportunities for public relations specialists during the 2018-2028 decade. It also determined that the median annual salary for public relations specialists was $60,000, as of May 2018.

Continuing Education Information

Upon successful completion of an associate's degree program, a graduate can go on to earn a bachelor's degree, which is the standard for those interested in communications and public relations work, according to the BLS. Additionally, an individual with at least five years of experience and a bachelor's degree can earn accreditation from the Universal Accreditation Board if he or she becomes a member of the Public Relations Society of America and participates in the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations process. With the same credentials, graduates can also earn an Accredited Business Communication designation by the International Association of Business Communicators.

An Associate of Science in Communications and Public Relations program prepares graduates for entry-level careers in public relations and communications or to go on to a bachelor's degree in the field.

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