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Communication and Public Relations Associate's Degree Program

A communication and public relations associate's degree program can train you to work in fields relating to television, film, radio or the Internet. Through classes in public relations, speech, and media, these programs can prepare you for assistant positions or to transfer to a four-year school.

What Communication and Public Relations Associate's Degree Programs Are Available?

You may find that your 2-year program in communications and public relations serves as preparation to transfer into a bachelor's degree program. After completing this program, you can either be awarded an Associate of Arts or Associate of Applied Science degree.

There are colleges that offer courses in this field through distance education. Online courses may only be restricted to introductory courses in advertising, public relations, mass communications and broadcasting. Although you may be able to find online courses, you may still be required to complete an internship or field experience.

Online Options Some courses may be available online
Common Courses Media writing, public relations, business, public speaking
Possible Careers Associate's degree: marketing or public relations assistant; bachelor's degree: public relations specialist
Median Salary (2018) $60,000 (for all public relations specialists)  
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 9% growth (for all public relations specialists

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

What Courses Can I Expect?

Your program may require you to complete courses in public relations, economics, media writing, mass media, public speaking and business organization. Like many degree programs, general education courses in speech, mathematics, general science, humanities, history, English composition and social science may also be required. By the end of your education, you may know how to arrange events, prepare press releases, collaborate with interest groups and run interviews.

What Can I Do With My Education?

With an associate's degree in this field, you may be able to find assistant positions in marketing, public relations, communications or journalism fields. However, you will need a bachelor's degree to find entry-level positions. You can transfer your credits from an associate's degree into a bachelor's degree program.

With a focus in public relations, a bachelor's degree can most likely prepare you for public relations specialist positions. You may eventually qualify for a career as a public relations coordinator, public information officer, account executive, communications specialist, media relations specialist and corporate communications specialist.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that there may be a 9% increase in public relations specialist positions between 2016 and 2026 (www.bls.gov). This growth may be caused by an increase in contract services and the prominence of social media.