Career Opportunities with a Degree in Strategic Communication

Career opportunities in PR and Strategic Communication are projected to continue growing as companies, public entities, and nonprofits find they need experts to help them navigate complex new avenues of digital, public, and advocacy communication. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment opportunities for media and communication professionals will grow by 4% between 2018 and 2028, resulting in about 27,600 new jobs.

Masters graduates of American University’s School of Communication are prepared to enter the workforce inside the Beltway and beyond as media relations managers, publicists, public relations consultants, social media outreach coordinators, and campaign managers. The online MA in Strategic Communication will empower you to take advantage of opportunities in all spheres — corporations, government, the nonprofit sector, and entrepreneurship.

According to U.S. News and World Report, Washington, D.C. is one of the strongest PR hot spots in America, where the average annual salary of a PR specialist is over $99,000. However, the Master of Arts in Strategic Communication will prepare you to work for businesses and organizations beyond Washington.

While technology and platforms may change and evolve, the need for effective communication will remain. With the conceptual tools and strategic-thinking skills you’ll gain in this program, you will be able to adapt to developments in the field and transform yourself over the course of your career.

American University is pleased to offer select students an Online Merit Scholarship of up to $10,000. Admitted students will be eligible for scholarship consideration based on academic credentials, professional experience and exceptional leadership skills.

Statistics Show Success

Our graduate census shows that 95 percent of School of Communication graduate students were working, in grad school, or both within six months of graduation. Their employers included:

  • Discovery Communication
  • Edelman
  • American Public Health Association
  • Ogilvy
  • Hearst Television Inc.
  • NPR
  • Microsoft
  • Reuters
  • U.S. Department of State

Critical Skills for Current Needs

AU’s online programs are shaped by what employers need and prepare you to meet industry trends and requirements.

Graduates are prepared for a wide variety of positions, including public relations, corporate communication, marketing communication, political communication, and nonprofit communication. Learn more about our graduates’ success and read their testimonials about our strategic communication program.



JEFFREY RUTENBECK: AU undoubtedly is a place to help people get to their next level. It's kind of a combination of inspiring and scary, how intense some people can be about where they want to go. And they've shopped around and looked at dozens of programs. And they've found, this is the one that's going to get them where they want to go. And when that match is made, it's a beautiful thing.

JUSTIN SMITH: One of the nice things about the program is that it allowed me to apply directly, the lessons I was learning to the work that I was doing at the time. So that's kind of the advantage of going to school at the same time as working in the same profession that you want to continue in. Is that I was able to immediately apply the lessons and I was learning from the University into my work.

VICKY WILKINS: I think we also do pay attention to what the skills are the students need, and what employers are telling us is critical in the labor market to make sure we do shape an experience that prepares students to go out and work.

JEFFREY RUTENBECK: And this is one of the important things I tell people about going to graduate school, go to a graduate school where you are surrounded by people who have the same level of intensity and interest and passion as you do, because that will be one of the most important networks you will have going forward in your life.

KATIE KRESPAN: I think that I make a difference on an everyday level, but some days I wonder if I could be doing more. So coming back to American really gave me the opportunity, I think, to obtain the skills and the knowledge that I need to make a bigger difference.


Career Services

American University’s Career Center offers the same services online and over the phone that it does on campus. Students and alumni have access to resources for their job search, career advising, internships and scholarships.

Students and graduates can also network, look for jobs, and apply for positions by making an account at AU Career Web, our online career search tool.

Learn more about career services in this career services webinar recording

Amplify your career potential with the online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication: Call us at 855-725-7614, or request more information.