Types of Degrees Public Relations Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many public relations graduations there were in 2020-2021 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Public Relations Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, PR 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 PR Majors
PR majors often go into careers in which the following 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 PR Majors
When studying PR, 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 PR Majors
As you progress with your PR degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:
- 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 Public Relations Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with PR:
|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 Public Relations?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of PR majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||395|
|Hispanic or Latino||688|
PR appeals to people across the globe. About 2.3% of those with this major are international students.
How Much Do Public Relations Majors Make?
Salaries According to BLS
PR 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 the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
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 Public Relations
Some degrees associated with PR may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. 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 PR 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 Public Relations Programs
In 2020-2021, 189 schools offered a PR 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)||0||0|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||7||1|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Public Relations Worth It?
The median salary for a PR 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 Public Relations
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to PR.
*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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