What Can You Do With a Public Relations Major?

Job titles for public relations majors include marketing manager, speech writer, event coordinator, lobbyist, press secretary and media planner, among many others. Job opportunities vary depending upon what degree is held. For example, those holding a graduate degree may find work in upper-management positions. View article »

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  • 0:05 Career Options for PR Majors
  • 1:21 Median Salaries for PR Careers
  • 2:12 Job Outlook
  • 2:45 Coursework in a PR Program

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Video Transcript

Career Options for PR Majors

With the ever-evolving media landscape, there is always a need for professionals in the public relations, or PR, field. Specific job roles and titles can vary greatly but, regardless of job title, most career paths in public relations involve strategic planning and a lot of writing, so strong writing skills are a must. More about these careers, including salaries and job outlooks, follows, as well as information on public relations coursework.

Public relations majors can find employment in a number of settings, including professional services companies, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and educational institutions. A bachelor's degree in public relations can lead to a variety of job opportunities, including public relations specialist, media planner, media relations specialist, strategic planner, social media manager, marketing assistant, marketing coordinator, marketing communications specialist, account executive and copywriter.

Those with several years of experience or a master's degree are more likely to work in managerial and senior positions, including public relations manager, marketing manager, marketing communications director and director of investor relations.

Median Salaries for PR Careers

In March 2017, PayScale.com reported the median salaries for a number of public relations-related careers:

  • Public relations specialist - $45,368
  • Public relations manager - $61,575
  • Social media manager - $47,472
  • Event coordinator - $39,809

Marketing salaries varied by job title:

  • Marketing assistant - $36,179
  • Marketing coordinator - $41,340
  • Marketing manager - $62,650

The median salary for:

  • Account executive - $50,294

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Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs for public relations (PR) specialists was predicted to grow 6% between 2014 and 2024, which is around the average growth for all occupations. During this time, employment is expected to increase by 7% for public relations managers and fundraising managers. The BLS projected that social media usage by both companies and consumers will drive growth for both PR specialists and PR managers.

Coursework in a PR Program

Typical coursework for public relations majors focuses on such topics as media ethics and law, campaign planning, advertising, multimedia storytelling, public speaking, journalism and public relations writing.

Writing courses are important because graduates usually hold jobs that require a great deal of writing. These positions may require employees to compose press releases, campaign speeches, newsletters, public service announcements and media alerts.

The public relations career space can be highly competitive and usually requires a college degree. Overall, there are very diverse career paths that a public relations major can take, including PR specialist, PR manager, media planner and social media manager. Most jobs in public relations require strong writing skills, and for the avid writer and strategic thinker, a career in public relations can be very rewarding.

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