Public Relations & Advertising
Types of Degrees Public Relations & Advertising Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many public relations and advertising graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Public Relations & Advertising Majors Need to Know
People with careers related to public relations were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.
Knowledge Areas for Public Relations Majors
Public Relations 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.
- 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.
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Skills for Public Relations Majors
public relations majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- 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.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Abilities for Public Relations Majors
As a public relations 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 Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- 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.
What Can You Do With a Public Relations & Advertising Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with public relations:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Advertising and Promotions Managers||5.4%||$117,130|
|Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes||4.7%||$66,040|
|Community Health Workers||17.9%||$39,540|
|Entertainers and Performers, Sports and Related Workers||8.2%||NA|
|Public Relations and Fundraising Managers||10.3%||$114,800|
|Public Relations Specialists||8.9%||$60,000|
Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations & Advertising?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of public relations majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||1,319|
|Hispanic or Latino||1,972|
Public Relations appeals to people across the globe. About 4.1% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- South Korea
- Saudi Arabia
How Much Do Public Relations & Advertising Majors Make?
Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary
Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that public relations and advertising students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree made a median starting salary of $35,000 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $32,400 (25th percentile) and $36,900 (75th percentile).
One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to public relations.
Salaries According to BLS
Public Relations majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $55,530 to $90,930 (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 & Advertising
Some careers associated with public relations 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.
How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to public relations have obtained the following education levels.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Less than a High School Diploma||1.6%|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||5.4%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||0.6%|
|Some College Courses||8.1%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||10.9%|
|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.||1.3%|
|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.||0.7%|
|First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession.||0.6%|
Online Public Relations & Advertising Programs
In the 2017-2018 academic year, 532 schools offered some type of public relations and advertising program. 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)||81||6|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||24||4|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||5||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||6||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Public Relations & Advertising Worth It?
The median salary for a public relations grad is $69,480 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 74% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $591,600 after 20 years!
Majors Related to Public Relations & Advertising
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to public relations.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Communication & Media Studies||68,023|
|Radio, Television & Digital Communication||14,960|
|Communication & Journalism (Other)||1,920|
- 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.
Featured Communications / Public Relations Schools
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