Is IT Worth IT to Get a Master's Degree in Public Relations?

Public relations (PR) is a budding field designed to help clients develop and maintain their relationship with the public. Public relations agencies manicure the public image of their clients. In our content-driven society, the PR field is growing fast. Schools offering Public Relations degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

A Master's Degree Can Help You Rise to the Top of the Industry

A master's degree is not required to break into the public relations field. In fact, many public relations specialists start out with a bachelor's degree in public relations or a related field (public relations, journalism, communication, English or business). However, if your goal is to rise to senior-level positions, you may want to consider pursuing a master's. There are incredible career paths within the public relations field that typically require more than a bachelor's degree:

Public Relations Manager

While public relations specialists help build campaigns to maintain a client's public image, public relations managers run the show. They design projects and oversee teams to carry out PR campaigns. Public relations manager positions may require you to invest in a master's degree. A manager title comes with an average yearly salary of over $50,000 more than specialists.

Speechwriter

Speechwriters craft speeches for politicians and other public figures to deliver. Because the words of public figures hold weight in how they are perceived by the public, speechwriters must be master wordsmiths. They help their clients develop a personal brand and appeal to a specific audience. If you are interested in managing the image of an individual and enjoy writing, you may find specializing in speechwriting a fulfilling way to apply your public relations degree.

Chief Marketing Officer

A Chief Marketing Officer designs oversee and executes the marketing vision for an entire company. They must be visionaries, able to see where their industry will be years ahead in order to best prepare and grow their company. Chief Marketing Executive must also be a strong leader to manage their company's marketing department. They will need to have incredible organizational skills to manage multiple teams and projects at once.

Brand Director

A Brand Director must stay in touch with the needs and desires of their audience. They must manage their company's brand to tap into the current trends in society. As such, Brand Directors have an enormous amount of responsibility to manage the public face of their company, ensuring that their branding remains relevant and effective in our fastly-changing society. They must coordinate the message and brand of a company across its products, websites, and social media accounts.

Careers with a Master's in Public Relations Average Salary*
Public Relations Manager 114,800
Speechwriter 81,936
Chief Marketing Executive 170,191
Brand Designer 70,299

*www.payscale.com

Experience Means More than a Masters

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, a bachelor's degree is adequate to qualify for most entry-level public relations jobs because the most important skills necessary to succeed in public relations cannot be learned in a classroom. Public relations specialists must be clear and confident communicators and showcase strong interpersonal skills. Many public relations specialists work their way up through their company by gaining on-the-job experience. In fact, an internship may be more valuable than a master's degree to help you snag your first job. Success in public relations comes down to experience and personality.

Credentials Outside of a Masters

Some public relations professionals opt to pursue professional development outside of universities. There are PR professional development certificates like the APR (Accreditation in Public Relation), during which you might study management, ethics, communication, best practices and more. By pursuing professional accreditation outside of a master's degree, you set yourself apart as a driven and passionate PR professionals.

The worth of a master's degree in public relations depends on your career goals; If you desire to work your way up in one company from an entry-level position, a master's degree might cost you unnecessary time and money, however, it may be worth it if:

  • You do not have a bachelor's degree in a related field but want to pursue a career-switch into public relations.
  • You have ambitions to advance to a senior-level position. A master's in public relations can help you to establish yourself as a leader in the industry.

Your personal career goals within the broad field of public relations should help you determine whether or not a master's degree is worth it for you.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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