The public relations industry focuses on the management of information between businesses, government, public figures, and the public at large. And oftentimes, businesses, public figures, and nonprofit organizations will hire public relations professionals to help them attain public interest or publicity for their products and/or services. Individuals who have a passion for studying the workings of the modern media commonly enroll in public relations degree program. In this course of study, students learn how to secure clients, build positive media relationships, send out well-written press releases and statements, and properly handle the overall communication from clients to consumers. In a master’s degree program, students are exposed to topics like media relations, writing, advertising, marketing, strategy development, and more.
Why a Master’s Degree?
Public relations is a career that requires a strong education foundation, as well as years of professional experience. In fact, many public relations professionals have either a master’s or bachelor’s degree in public relations, marketing, or advertising. In a graduate degree program, students immerse themselves in thesis research and writing, which helps them cultivate various specialties and proficiencies within the industry. Some of the common positions students accept after completing a master’s in this discipline include account coordinators, event coordinators, public relations consultants and managers, advertising managers, and more. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), public relations managers usually have at least a bachelor’s degree.
Getting Into Master’s Degree Programs
Public relations master’s degrees commonly expect students to have the following before accepting them into their programs:
- Bachelor’s degree in public relations or related subject
- Relevant work experience
- Current resume
- Academic and/or professional letters of recommendation
- Passing GMAT or GRE scores
Inside a Public Relations Master’s Degree Program
It should take no longer than two to five years to complete a master’s degree in public relations. In their graduate programs, students will take upper-level courses that discuss skills and specialties in business and public relations. Some master’s program also require students to attain internships to fulfill their degree requirements as well.
Online degrees have become immensely popular over the past decade, and numerous schools offer students the opportunity to complete an online public relations masters degree. Online degrees are unique in that students can complete their work completely virtually over a period of time. However, some degree programs may require students to travel to campus from time to time to meet with academic advisors and professors.
What’s Next for Public Relations Master’s Degree Holders?
Students who complete a public relations online masters degree attain positions as account coordinators, marketing assistants, event coordinators, public relations consultants, public relations managers, journalists, advertising managers, and more. The BLS reports that public relations managers make close to an average of $92,000 a year. Advertising managers make a little less, averaging about $84,000 a year. Public relations management careers are expected to grow 21% over the next few years, while advertising management careers are projected to experience only a 13% increase.