A PR degree:worth trying?

A degree has many advantages but it has always been an issue around if a degree can help a better career. Speaking of PR, it is an industry that lays emphasis on practical skills and work experience. So if you have an opportunity to do a PR academic qualification, will you try it? A university degree or a professional qualification?

Since PR is struggling for its status and professionalisation, there is no specific entry standards for a PR career. It is easy to find that employees in one single PR agency can study very different subjects in university. One more thing is that many employers prefer candidates from other backgrounds because they need someone who know better in one section such as technology, biology and finance. A PR graduate won’t have any superiority under this circumstance.

Take the media industry as example, it only recruits 500 graduates a year. But every year 250,000 graduates come out of university and 23% are interested in advertising or PR as a career (Source: guardian) You can imagine how fierce the battle would be. Last time, when I can attended the PRCA Career Day, there were graduates majored in Maths and Engineering!

Employers are looking for personalities, skills and abilities. Neither of these equals a degree. We can only say that if you have done or are doing a degree, it is more possible for you to have logical thinking and rigorous attitude. But are you aware of the current trends? Do you read papers and know the latest issues? Can you speak and write well? These are the questions you should ask yourself in advance.

Nowadays there are  over 200 colleges having degree programs or curricula in public relations. And many of them help students gain  internships or work placements in public relations. I think this is the best way. The student can not only learn the knowledge but also can work in a real PR environment to put their knowledge in practice and develop the skills they need.

Reference:

http://www.peppermintpr.com/peppermintpost/2009/03/13/are-pr-degrees-a-waste-of-time/

http://www.collegegrad.com/career/careerinpublicrelations.shtml

http://publicsphere.typepad.com/behindthespin/2005/05/are_pr_degrees_.html

http://www.mediaweekjobs.co.uk/article/307002/do-qualifications-help-a-media-career-/

Further Reading:

http://www.quora.com/Do-you-need-to-have-a-PR-degree-or-certificate-to-work-in-PR

http://www.its-elementary-watson.com/what%E2%80%99s-the-value-of-a-pr-degree-and-two-great-case-studies/

http://stuartbruce.biz/2007/04/the_great_pr_de.html

http://www.behindthespin.com/features/starting-a-degree-in-pr-read-this-first

http://www.octopuscomms.net/who-are-we/blog/2012/2/6/%E2%80%9Cthe-value-of-a-pr-degree-lies-in-more-than-just-the-skills-you-graduate-with%E2%80%9D.aspx

http://greenbanana.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/the-reputation-of-a-pr-degree-should-prove-its-value/

http://www.cipr.co.uk/content/careers/careers-advice

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