Business Communication Careers: Job Description & Salary Info

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Are you interested in a career in business communication? See career options, job growth and education requirements to see if a career in business communication is right for you.
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Careers in Business Communication

The evolution of media and technology has increased the demand for specialized communication professionals for businesses throughout the country. Careers in this field include public relations specialist, advertising manager and market research analyst. These careers are compared in the table below.

Public Relations Specialist Advertising Manager Market Research Analyst
Career Overview Write PR copy, develop communications campaigns Develop projects to promote products or services Analyze and develop marketing strategies
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree, though some hold associate's degrees Bachelor's degree, though some positions require a master's degree
Program Length 4 years 2-4 years 4-6 years
Certification Voluntary certification available through the Public Relations Society of America and other organizations N/A Voluntary certification offered through organizations like the Marketing Research Association
Experience Required At least two years of relevant experience Up to five years of industry experience Five years of market research experience
Job Outlook (2014-2024) Fast-as-average growth (6%) * Fast-as-average growth (5%) * Much faster than average growth (19%)*
Mean Salary (2014) Roughly $64,050* Roughly $114,700* Roughly $68,700*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Public Relations Specialist

Public relations specialists develop and maintain an organization's public image through press releases, speeches and other forms of communication. They develop campaigns for promotions, community outreach, inter-organizational initiatives or fundraising activities. The demand for community outreach and public image maintenance should ensure above-average job growth for public relations specialists compared to other occupations over the coming years.

Requirements

Most public relations specialists are required to possess a bachelor's degree in communication, journalism, English or public relations. You may also develop your skills through business courses covering marketing, advertising or business administration. On-the-job training for public relations specialists can generally last up to one year.

Here are some real job postings for public relations specialists from December 2012:

  • A California health care provider seeks a communication specialist to write and produce communication for media, community citizens, business leaders and internal audiences. Candidates should possess a bachelor's degree in communication, journalism or humanities with at least two years of experience with web content or social media communication.
  • A Virginia consulting firm seeks a marketing communication specialist for a tobacco cessation campaign, providing web marketing, public relations and social networking. Required qualifications include a bachelor's degree in business or related field with three years of experience.
  • A Chicago consulting firm seeks a senior public relations specialist with experience in corporate environments and business-to-business communication. The successful candidate will possess at least five years of relevant experience.

Standing Out

Although bachelor's degree holders from various academic disciplines can receive on-the-job training for public relations positions, you may choose to pursue a specialized public relations bachelor's degree with courses covering public relations campaigns, writing and tactics as well as non-profit public relations. Many schools house chapters of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which can help connect students with internship opportunities, among other services. Your school may also house a student-run public relations agency that will allow you to gain experience working on real campaigns.

While not mandatory, certification is also available to PR specialists. The Public Relations Society of America offers the Accreditation in Public Relations designation, which entails passage of a certification exam. This organization also has an Accreditation in Public Relations + Military Communication designation specifically geared toward communication professionals in the military and Department of Defense.

Advertising Manager

Advertising managers develop projects to create interest in a product or service. They often act as a liaison between businesses or their sales representatives and advertising or promotions agencies. Some advertising managers specialize in specific media platforms, such as billboard signage, print, radio, television or Internet advertising with varying levels of creative control. Larger businesses may employ their own advertising manager or employ the services of an advertising manager working for a consulting firm.

Requirements

Advertising managers generally hold bachelor's degrees in fields such as advertising or journalism. Combined experience in advertising and business management with an academic background that involves course topics, such as consumer behavior, marketing, sales and visual arts, may prepare you for you for an advertising career. According to O*Net OnLine, 54% of advertising managers held bachelor's degrees as of 2012, while 22% had associate's degrees.

Here are some real job postings for advertising managers from December 2012:

  • A media company located in New York seeks an advertising operations manager to join its digital strategy team to work with the sales team for client campaign delivery. Applicants must have three to four years of professional experience.
  • A web-based retailer seeks advertising operations manager for local promotions campaigns in Seattle, WA. Candidates must possess a bachelor's degree and five years of experience, including two years of managerial experience. Master's degree-holders are preferred.
  • A New York-based mobile network provider seeks an advanced advertising manager for an evolutionary television campaign utilizing interactive and addressable advertising. Five years of experience is required, plus a college degree or additional commensurate experience.

Standing Out

Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2012-2022 projections indicate fast-as-average growth for advertising managers, additional opportunities may be available for candidates with skills and training in digital marketing. In fact, the transition from print media to electronic media could signal the close of 22% of newspaper publishers in the same decade, according to BLS projections, making advertising on digital media platforms increasingly valuable.

Market Research Analyst

Marketing analysts forecast sales trends and measure the effectiveness of marketing strategies for businesses. They analyze consumer data using statistical software and prepare comprehensive reports. These professionals use a variety of tools to measure demographics and consumer buying behavior, including questionnaires and focus groups. The increasing demand to utilize data and forecasting to develop marketing strategies is expected to lead to a job growth of 32% from 2012-2012, which is well above average compared to other careers, according to the BLS.

Requirements

Although a bachelor's degree may be sufficient for marketing analysis positions, many opportunities will require a master's degree with a strong background in mathematics, statistics and computer science. These positions may also entail an academic background with coursework in economics, communication and psychology. Entry-level sales or marketing experience may begin to provide you with the extensive professional experience necessary for employment in this field.

Here are some real job postings for market research analysts from December 2012:

  • A Denver, Colorado, cable television provider seeks a marketing analyst responsible for gathering and analyzing information for products and services. Requirements include a bachelor's degree plus two to five years of experience in data analysis and reporting.
  • A Large New Jersey-based food brand seeks a market research manager for innovation commercialization activities, including product development, positioning and promotion. Applicants should possess a bachelor's degree and four or more years of analytic and custom research experience, with preferred qualifications including a master's degree.
  • A San Francisco financial company seeks a market research manager to work with research partners and provide ongoing internal communication about research initiatives. Candidate must possess five or more years of experience and a bachelor's degree in economics, statistics or market research. Preferred qualifications include a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a related master's degree.

Standing Out

While BLS projections indicate rapid job growth in this field, bachelor's degree holders can expect strong competition for jobs. Candidates with advanced degrees and with the skills and training to master the increasingly sophisticated software used in market research should have a competitive advantage. You can also demonstrate your dedication to the field by earning certification through a professional organization. The Marketing Research Association, for example, offers the Professional Researcher Certification program for marketing professionals with three years of experience and 12 hours of industry-specific education within the past two years. Candidates must also pass an exam.

Popular Schools

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Featured Schools

South University

  • Business Administration (DBA)
  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Business Administration (BBA)

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Argosy University

  • Business Administration (DBA)
  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Bachelor - Business Administration
  • Business Administration (AS)

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George Mason University

  • Master of Business Administration

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Grand Canyon University

  • DBA with an Emphasis in Marketing
  • MBA: Marketing
  • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education

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Georgetown University

  • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management

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Keiser University

  • Master of Business Administration - Management (Spanish)
  • B.A. - Business Admin: Marketing
  • Associate of Arts - Accounting

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Kaplan University

  • MBA: Marketing
  • Bachelor of Business Admin
  • Associate: Business Admin.

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Saint John's University

  • Master of Business Administration: Interdisciplinary Business

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