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Public relations is a field that works to enhance a company's reputation. Those who work in this field are skilled publicists that are able to put the company they work for, or represent, in a good light. Overall, public relations professionals protect the reputation of their company. An online public relations' certificate may help to get students an entry-level job in this field.
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Throughout pursuing a public relations online certificate a variety of courses must be taken to complete it. Courses may include these courses or a variation of them:
- Ethical and legal responsibilities
- Public relations planning process
- Using proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation
- Research skills
- Writing clearly and simply
- Writing styles, processes, and formats
- Public relations firms and departments
- Evaluating and planning a public relations program
- Research techniques
- Communication process
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Average Completion Time
On average, it takes students about one year to complete a certificate in this field. However, some schools may allow students to complete it in about six months. If the certificate is taken via distance learning the student is often allowed, and encouraged, to work at his or her own pace, therefore, able to finish at a more accelerated pace or a slower pace.
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Top Online Schools
Penn Foster offers an online public relations certificate. This is a distance learning certificate that allows students to complete the course at their own pace, given they are regularly turning in assignments and keeping current with their studies. Most students complete the certificate in about a year. The total cost of the program is $475.00 and students are automatically eligible to make monthly payments. If a student chooses to pay their tuition in full, he or she is eligible for a discount, and will pay $395.00. Penn Foster also participates in the US Armed Forces veterans education benefits program. This school is also affiliated with DANTES which allows all United States military personnel to be eligible for tuition reimbursement.
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The competition in this field is fierce. Because of this a combination of experience and education are ideal for all candidates. The more education and experience a person has the better their chances of scoring a position in public relations. Once a student gets into the field, they may find employment as a public relations professional in service-providing industries, social assistance and healthcare, government, advertising and related services, and education services. Other opportunities lie in financial institutions, communications firms, and government agencies.
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Career Outlook and Salary
Between 2008 and 2018, employment opportunities for public relations specialists are expected to increase by 24 percent. This is much faster than the projected growth for most occupations. Public relations specialists working in managing enterprises and companies earn an average of $55,530 per year. Those working in public relations and related services and advertising earn an average of $55,290 per year. Those working in universities, professional schools, and colleges earn an average of $46,660 per year. Those working in local government earn an average of $51,340 per year. Those working in business, labor, political, professional, and similar organizations earn an average of $55,460 per year.
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Why is it Better to Obtain This Degree Online?
Pursuing this degree online will allow students to also gain experience in this field because they will have the time to do an internship or find work with a public relations firm. It allows frees up time for other necessary activities, such as social and family obligations. It also gives students the freedom to study at the time of day that is best for them.
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Penn Foster Career School. (2010). Public Relations Certificate. Retrieved on November 27, 2010 from Penn Foster Career School: http://www.pennfoster.edu/public-relations-cert/index.html
US Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2010). Public Relations Specialists. Retrieved on November 27, 2010 from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos086.htm
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