PR & Applied Communication
Types of Degrees PR & Applied Communication Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many public relations, advertising, and applied communication graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What PR & Applied Communication Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, public relations, advertising, and applied communication majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.
Knowledge Areas for Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication Majors
This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
- Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Skills for Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication Majors
When studying public relations, advertising, and applied communication, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Abilities for Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication Majors
As a public relations, advertising, and applied communication major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
What Can You Do With a PR & Applied Communication Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with public relations, advertising, and applied communication:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Advertising and Promotions Managers||5.4%||$117,130|
|Public Relations and Fundraising Managers||10.3%||$114,800|
Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in PR & Applied Communication?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of public relations, advertising, and applied communication majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||308|
|Hispanic or Latino||321|
Students from other countries are interested in Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication, too. About 2.7% of those with this major are international students.
How Much Do PR & Applied Communication Majors Make?
Salaries According to BLS
Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $68,440 to $131,570 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to PR & Applied Communication
Some careers associated with public relations, advertising, and applied communication require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
Find out what the typical degree level is for public relations, advertising, and applied communication careers below.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Less than a High School Diploma||1.6%|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||2.6%|
|Some College Courses||5.4%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||2.1%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||2.1%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||1.6%|
Online PR & Applied Communication Programs
In 2018-2019, 152 schools offered a public relations, advertising, and applied communication program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||15||0|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||2||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||1||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in PR & Applied Communication Worth It?
The median salary for a public relations, advertising, and applied communication grad is $78,090 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 96% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $763,800 after 20 years!
Explore Major by State
District of Columbia
Majors Related to PR & Applied Communication
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to public relations, advertising, and applied communication.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|General Organizational Communication||1,885|
|Other Public Relations, Advertising, & Applied Communication||1,866|
|International & Intercultural Communication||293|
|Technical & Scientific Communication||150|
*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Bill Koplitz under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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