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Publishing Major

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Publishing

229 Master's Degrees Annually
#197 in Popularity (Master's)
$69,480 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Publishing Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many publishing graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 229
Graduate Certificate 4

What Publishing Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, publishing majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Publishing Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in publishing should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Skills for Publishing Majors

A major in publishing prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Abilities for Publishing Majors

A major in publishing will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Publishing?

229 Master's Degrees Annually
90% Percent Women
24% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
The major attracts more women than men. About 90% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of publishing majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Publishing Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 9
Black or African American 15
Hispanic or Latino 18
White 144
International Students 27
Other Races/Ethnicities 16

Geographic Diversity

Publishing appeals to people across the globe. About 11.8% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • Canada
  • India
  • Brazil
  • Mexico

How Much Do Publishing Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The median starting salary of students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree in publishing was $42,050 per year. These stats come from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $39,600 (25th percentile) and $46,100 (75th percentile).

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We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to publishing so take that into consideration.

Salaries According to BLS

The median salary for someone in a career related to publishing is $69,480. This median refers to all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Publishing Major  69,480
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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Some careers associated with publishing require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for publishing careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 80.4%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 1.3%
Master’s Degree 17.0%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 1.3%

Online Publishing Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 23 schools offered some type of publishing program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 4 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 1 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 0 0
Bachelor’s Degree 4 1
Post-Baccalaureate 4 1
Master’s Degree 9 2
Post-Master’s 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Publishing Worth It?

The median salary for a publishing grad is $69,480 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 74% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $591,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to publishing.

Major Number of Grads
Communication & Media Studies 5,184
Public Relations & Advertising 2,370
Radio, Television & Digital Communication 1,666
Journalism 1,618
Communication & Journalism (Other) 636

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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