Everyone contemplating a career in public relations wonders where to start. (While I remain a proponent of gaining experience in the media, that’s no longer a requirment of any PR position–but I still maintain it can set you apart from other candidates.) Corporate positions are dwindling everywhere, while agency and nonprofit opportunities are spurring current growth within the profession. It is still possible to find corporate jobs, but entry-level opportunities are almost nonexistent.
Depending on your personal goals, I recommend focusing your search on agency and nonprofit jobs. Both will provide broad hands-on experience. You can “specialize” after you determine what you like or dislike about either assignment. Salaries for all three areas have gotten more competitive, although corporate positions usually start at a slight premium to agency positions, while nonprofit positions normally pay about 20 to 30% less than similar positions in agencies. Still, what counts most at this stage of your career is experience, and this might be the the best time in your life to help others while gaining valuable experience.