Pursuing online public relations graduate programs could give you the best opportunity to develop or improve your knowledge and skills and potentially delve into the PR industry – all from the comfort of your living room. Online courses provide a unique top learning format that could meld into your current routine, enabling you to continue things such as your current career, while facilitating the journey towards your academic goal. Continue down the page for a comprehensive, helpful guide to online PR graduate programs programs.
Many people choose to pursue online public relations graduate programs to either potentially enhance their current professional prospects or to gain skills and knowledge that may be necessary to pursue a career in the bustling media industry. What’s great about this specific program is that the PR skills are not limited to just future PR career paths, but could be applicable to a wide array of media and communications career paths. Some potential entry-level careers you could pursue by earning a bachelor’s degree in public relations, and could possibly benefit from pursuing a graduate degree, may include:
As a potential added bonus – one many students might be excited to hear – these careers are projected to possibly see a growth in employment according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. From 2014-2024 public relations specialists are projected to see a 6% growth[ii], sales agent 3%[iii], market research analyst 19%[iv], event planner 10%[v], and writers 2%[vi]. Earning a PR graduate degree could possibly prepare you to jump start a career in this field confidently and with the necessary knowledge and skills to potentially see career enhancement.
PR and advertising may seem similar at a cursory glance and this is only reinforced when they are often combined into one department in the workplace. Both of these industries have the same goal – to disseminate a message to the public at large about their client. Where they differ is in how they go about distributing their information. Those in advertising pay money to media outlets to share their message while PR professionals rely on dispersing theirs to a wide range of channels in the hopes that they may share it.
Online public relations graduate programs are offered in a variety of format so that students like yourself may easily incorporate your academic pursuits into your preexisting schedule, whether that includes working, family care, or other pursuits. What may help further refine your search is knowing exactly what you want to get out of your program. Answering the following questions might help refine your search:
Answering these questions before you browse potential programs below could help focus your search to include perfect PR graduate programs for your lifestyle and professional goals.
Public relations master’s degree programs build upon the skills learned in an undergraduate PR setting. Due to this, programs may require you to submit 2.5 to 2.75 undergraduate GPA in a related field. Additionally, many programs require the completion and submission of GRE/GMAT exam scores as part of the application process.
If you’ve begun to investigate some potential master’s degree programs, you may have come across some of these common degree offerings:
These programs may touch on or address different, specific aspects of the PR industry, but also engage with some common core curriculum necessary for media related work. Students may engage with topics such as PR history & theory, media strategies, brand development and management, international relations, and crisis management to build their media toolbox for possible future professional settings.
With these course requirements in mind, completing a public relations master’s program usually takes students 1 to 2 years. Programs vary though, so be sure to contact your preferred school.
Online PR Graduate Certificate Programs may be a great opportunity to gain valuable PR industry knowledge and skills without earning an undergraduate degree in the same field. This could make applying to this graduate program more accessible for students new to communications. Additionally, these programs may not require scores which could save you time and money when applying. While these programs may not require an undergraduate degree in a similar field, they do often require the submission of an undergraduate GPA. Many require students to submit a 2.75 to 3.0 GPA
PR graduate certificate programs offer an abbreviated curriculum that touches on the key concepts of the PR industry. These skills and knowledge are the essentials for participating in the field without necessarily touching on other electives. Students may engage with topics such as managing social media campaigns, writing press releases, brand portfolios, and crisis communication in order to strengthen their PR skills. This shortened coursework also affects completion time, with many programs capable of completion within 1 year. Program lengths vary by school.
Online public relations graduate programs may be a great choice for those working or maintaining other aspects of their life while pursuing their education. This program format enables students to log into their classes at their own convenience. This means you decide when your class times are so that it doesn’t interfere with your current routine.
The online format may also tap into some aspects of on-campus degree programs. Many programs offer access to their online libraries and databases for your research and studies. Additionally, some schools may offer a lecture streaming service so that you can tune into class live.
With this information at your fingertips, you could have everything you need to continue your search for a PR graduate program. To take the next step, browse the list of program links below. To further refine the search, select your preferred degree program from the menus above. This should help cater the list more specifically to your desired program. Once you find a program that meets your requirements, click through the link to request more information. To apply, visit your intended program’s official site. A perfect public relations graduate program for you could be just below this paragraph!
Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/public-relations-specialists.htm#tab-8 | [ii]bls.gov/ooh/sales/advertising-sales-agents.htm#tab-6 | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/sales/advertising-sales-agents.htm#tab-6 | [iv]bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/market-research-analysts.htm#tab-6 | [v]bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/meeting-convention-and-event-planners.htm#tab-6 | [vi]bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/writers-and-authors.htm#tab-6