Communications and Public Relations Experts Critical to Organizational Success
Skilled communications professionals, especially those in public relations, are highly prized by organizations. Today's businesses and governments communicate globally at speeds and to an extent unimaginable even 20 years ago. Establishing and maintaining trust are more difficult and important than ever. Public relations (PR) professionals help the media and the public trust their business, nonprofit organization, or government agency, and also use various methods to disseminate publicity (positive information) to the media and public.
Because communications and public relations are fast-growing fields, there's lots of competition. Strong writing skills are a must in PR and publicity, and you typically need a bachelor's degree--if not a master's degree--to even be considered for the top jobs. Your best bet is to enroll in diploma or certificate courses that can eventually add up to a degree. You can take your pick of classes and degrees in fields such as public relations, advertising, communications, or journalism.
Degrees are the Key for Communications Professionals
Most communications specialists work in large cities and in headquarters of large industries, government agencies, school systems, colleges, and universities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were about 243,000 public relations specialists in 2006. Between 2006 and 2016, that number is expected to continue to grow. The median annual earnings for salaried PR specialists were $51,280 in 2008. Salaries were highest in business and industry, and lowest in government and at colleges and universities.
For a sure start and long-lasting success in this growing industry, it's important to get that degree. If you're just starting out, take classes and courses leading to a 9-month or 1-year diploma or certificate. The next step: a bachelor's or master's degree--and an exciting, demanding career in a fast-growing field.