Balancing your work with a new education may seem impossible with your busy schedule, but online master's in public relations programs might be a convenient option to help combine the two!
Pursuing your masters in public relations online, you could potentially attend classes as your routine permits – whether that’s during your lunch break, in your local coffee shop on the weekend, or from the comfort of your living room. This flexible schedule could create the best opportunity to develop new public relations skills and knowledge to potentially enhance or jumpstart your career. Not to mention that commutes are virtually non-existent when you study in your own home!
Depending on your professional goals and interests, you could choose to pursue your online masters in public relations degree as either a master of arts (MA) or master of science (MS). While both programs cover similar curriculum, they differ in their teaching strategies and intended focus. MA programs often concentrate on scholastic PR research and may require students to take a more practical, hands-on approach to their coursework. The MS, on the other hand, might focus more intently on the analytical side of PR like data analysis.
The topics covered in both of these programs are intended to help elevate your current communications capabilities. Curriculum might include subjects such as PR history, media strategies, brand development, international relations, and crisis management. These subjects could further your understanding of public relations theories and methods and potentially be applied to a future career. With this coursework in mind, students might expect to earn these online masters degrees in public relations in 1 to 2 years. Specific courses and program length may vary by school.
By pursuing an online masters in public relations, these classes might only be a few mouse clicks away. Taking your classes online could be a great option for students with other priorities outside of their education. You could potentially log into your courses as your schedule allows, which might mean your professional and educational obligations never overlap. When you make the course schedule yourself, it could be easier than ever to pursue your education! Additionally, online masters programs might also support their students with access to online resources. This could include typical on-campus facilities like libraries and research databases. Many online programs also build in collaborative group projects and discussion groups. Even though you may be studying in your living room, you might not be missing out on aspects of the traditional university experience!
Many students who pursue an online masters in public relations degree aim to pursue a career as a PR professional post-graduation because it draws directly from the skills and knowledge learned in a masters program – but there may be several more career paths that may be available! It is perhaps less well known that that same PR skills and knowledge could be put towards other professions that require similar proficiencies like writing, public speaking, or data analysis. You could potentially apply your PR know-how to careers such as a sales agent, market research analyst, event planner, or writer to name a few. These positions are currently projected to see employment growth from 2014 to 2024. Specifically, public relations specialists are estimated to see a 6% growth[i], sales agent 3%[i], market research analyst 19%[ii], event planner 10%[iii], and writers 2%[iv]. Earning a public relations masters online could be a great way to prepare yourself to take advantage of this employment growth.
While many PR industry positions require a bachelor’s degree for entry-level roles, an online masters in public relations could be a great choice if you’re looking to potentially enhance your career.[v] The skills and knowledge you may gain from the masters program extend beyond the foundations taught in an undergraduate degree and may be potentially vital to more advanced positions, such as managerial roles. Additionally, if you’re new to the field, masters programs could help you better understand the key concepts and common practices of the industry that may be needed to jumpstart your career in this field. No matter if public relations is entirely new to you, or part of your daily routine, an online masters in public relation could be just the thing to help you achieve your professional goals.
When you’re researching prospective online masters in public relations, you may find that many programs combine advertising and PR curriculum – or even the degrees themselves. This is because the two concentrations, in the professional sphere, have a similar goal: to distribute their message to the public. Where they differ is how they go about doing that. Those in the advertising industry typically pay for their message to be distributed by certain outlets, while PR professionals disseminate their message to many different outlets in the hope of finding an audience. Since these programs are so similar, you may find what you learn as part of an online masters in public relations could be attributed to the advertising field post-graduation. A nice bonus!
There’s no time like the present to take the next step in melding your professional and educational spheres into one productive routine with an online masters in public relations. Scroll further down this page for a list of potential masters programs that could be perfect for you! To request more information from a particular program, click through the appropriate link and select “request info.” Good luck finding a perfect online public relations masters degree!
Sources: [i]bls.gov/ooh/sales/advertising-sales-agents.htm#tab-6 |[ii]bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/market-research-analysts.htm#tab-6 |[iii]bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/meeting-convention-and-event-planners.htm#tab-6| [iv]bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/writers-and-authors.htm#tab-6 | [v]bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/public-relations-specialists.htm#tab-4