Should I Major In Marketing Or Public Relations?

"I am a freshman in college and I am trying to choose my major. I want to make sure that whatever I major in is something which is going to actually result in job opportunities when I graduate, and preferably opportunities that are going to pay me well. It seems like sales would be a good field, because everyone needs to advertise, right? And I have heard that PR is big right now. Should I major in marketing? Will this land me some of those high paying PR jobs? Thanks."

asked by Carla from Seattle, WA

Sales is a great direction to look in if you want a steady job which pays well. There are many different opportunities in sales, whether you enjoy marketing, public speaking, art, video, or anything else along those lines. PR specialist is just one opportunity; other jobs include sales person, sales manager, marketing manager, marketing specialist, art director, editor or writer, and those are just a few of the possibilities.

One thing you might notice about these vocations is that they involve a lot of skills which may or may not be taught as part of other major programs at your school. Some schools offer marketing and others don’t.

Likewise, some schools offer a major called Communication, while others don’t. Odds are that “PR” is included under one or the other at your school, but not both. If your school has a marketing program, check for PR there first, but if you don’t find it listed as a focus, then look into Communication if your school offers it. Communication is a broad major which usually includes a number of different concentrations. PR is sometimes one of them.

With so many different options out there, you may want to try “sampling” a few classes in different aspects of marketing before you make up your mind. You don’t sound like you’re 100% set on PR. PR is big right now, and it’s one of the fastest-growing fields in the US. If you’re interested in it, then that’s awesome. It’s an excellent choice.

There are other marketing jobs which are growing fast too, and many of them pay as well as PR or even better. Check into becoming a marketing manager, for example. That’s a job where you can earn more than $50 an hour, and more than $100,000 a year, and with nothing more than a simple bachelor’s degree and some work experience.

Marketing is one of the best fields out there right now, and the cool thing about marketing is that it has an “evergreen” appeal. Marketers aren’t just important now, they always have been and always will be. So you are reasonably assured that your expertise will be needed by companies and individuals now and in the future.

There are a lot of people out there who pursue marketing, which may set you up against some stiff competition. Doing an internship while you are in your senior year is a good way to get ahead and earn credits while you’re at it. It might help you find your first job opportunity after college.

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