Is a degree in PR necessary?

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I’ve seen a lot of discussion on this topic on different PR blogs. Is a degree in PR really necessary when some people start in a company without any specific PR qualifications and work their way up? It takes time and a lot of money, so is it worth it? I did an English and Creative Writing degree and then went on to do a Public Relations MA to make my qualifications more job specific. I’m currently half way through my masters, so thought I’d discuss what I’ve gained from it so far, and whether I feel it’s necessary…

At first, starting the degree I will admit I was a bit dubious. Does anyone really see an ethics module and think ‘yes this is going to help me get a job!’ Probably not. But now that I’m half way through, I don’t think I could imagine having gone into a PR career without the knowledge I’ve gained from the course.

When I started, I was finding it hard to even explain to people what PR meant. I mean, it’s not the easiest thing in the world now, but I understand it. Studying has given me insight, advice from people with real experience in the industry, a real interest in PR and boosted my confidence.

If you read my last post on tips for surviving a pitch presentation, you will have seen that I absolutely dreaded standing up and talking to a room of people. I’m never going to enjoy it to be fair, but now I’m not anywhere near as scared. I’ve had constructive criticism, praise and support from others in my position and now I’d say I’m more confident presenting.

There are others on my course that already have jobs in the PR industry but have chosen to do an MA. I feel like despite on the job experience- studying the industry and it’s history, making connections with like minded people, and getting first hand advice from lecturers is still vital and worth while.

I’d love to hear your opinions on the topic. Let me know below or catch me on Twitter. If you have a PR job but didn’t study the subject do you wish you had? Are you a PR student and feel your course is worth while?Β 

 

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One thought on “Is a degree in PR necessary?

  1. Thank you for sharing this post. As a senior about to graduate with a degree in public relations, I can totally relate to this post. What is this degree really going to help me with? Does having a PR degree guarantee that I will be working in PR? I really like that you point out the aspects of PR that have helped you in the professional world. Have you met people through work that do not have a PR degree, and significantly lack the confidence that PR has given you?1

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