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The Pros and Cons of a PR Degree

The Pros And Cons Of A PR Degree

Should you get a public relations degree if you want to work in the PR industry? Depending on who you talk to the responses will differ. For some PR pros, they believe in the impact a degree can have especially when they consider the success they’ve had in the industry. For others, a career change landed them in PR and they were able to easily learn the ins and outs of a growing sector with ease.

Regardless, if you are considering a career in PR then this post will outline insights from other current PR professionals about their thoughts on the importance of a degree when working in the PR industry.

Out of 186 votes, a staggering 48% of respondents said, “No, a PR degree is not worth it.” The other 28% said, “Yes, a PR degree is worth it,” and the remaining 23% were impartial to it. Read below for the responses from a select number of PR professionals to see what they had to say.

 

 

Frank Strong, founder and president of Sword and Script, he says:

Frank makes an interesting point and personally I’ve spoken with many other professionals who didn’t study PR but are still thriving. Although there are not direct correlations between business and PR that you might see on the surface it can benefit you when it comes time to manage clients or even run a PR business of your own.

 

Diana Kozak also mirrors Frank’s point above:

 

Jared Meade, MPS, APR, CMPRCA, says:

For Jared, he started studying PR early on in his career and continued building his expertise academically and professionally. He is an accredited PR professional and has a master’s degree in strategic public relations, however, even he acknowledges that other professionals he knows are doing well without a degree.

 

Bob Batchelor, a former professor for 16 years and current PR professional, says:

His point is well worth noting for students and new PR professionals just starting their careers. I’m also a history buff myself and always felt as thought knowing what came before would help me to understand where we are now. Secondly, and most importantly, being a good writer and critical thinker, as Bob says, is a vital skill for ALL public relations professionals. You are constantly adapting, thinking on your feet, and literally writing!

 

For Sarah Graham, Account Executive at DPA, she feel this way:

I can’t help but relate to Sarah from my personal experience entering the workforce. I was able to land my first job off one class I took in college and never thought I’d stand a chance without academic backing.

 

Demi Kriss, now a writer, studied PR and communications. Here’s what she had to say:

Internships are a great way to learn on the job experience and suss out whether or not a position or role is right for you. At OnePitch, we’ve worked with dozens of interns over the years and some of them have gone on to work in PR as well as other industries. You can only learn so much in school and the benefit of direct experience has lasting implications.

 

Callum Taylor, a current PR intern, says:

He brings up a great question to ask, is it worth it personally and/or financially? School isn’t inexpensive and can be a huge time commitment but the lessons you learn can be instrumental for you as an individual.

 

Lastly, Chloe Louise Maxwell, a Junior Digital PR Executive, says:

In today’s environment, PR is moving as quickly as the news does and the things they teach in school may be behind once you’re settled into a career. However, you can also get ahead on your own and learn valuable skills like SEO from online resources such as Moz or SEMrush.

 

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If you’re thinking of working in PR, whether you’re still in school or considering a career change, think about these pros and cons as you navigate through your decision process. And, if you want to know more about what to expect, read this post for advice on entering the industry.

To stay updated on the latest happenings in the PR industry and at OnePitch, make sure to follow us on Twitter!

Jered Martin

Jered is the co-founder, COO and support manager at OnePitch. He handles operations for OnePitch; along with strategy, support, business development and hiring. He studied Communications with an emphasis in marketing at Cal State University Long Beach. In his free time, he enjoys surfing, eating cheap street food, cooking, and exploring the outdoors.

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