How valuable is it to have a degree in PR?

29 Mar

ImageI am just four months away from finishing my degree in PR, and I have started to think about my future job options. I have always thought that it is very beneficial to have a master degree to get better job opportunities. However, numbers from PRCA shows that 43 per cent of agency heads do not think that it makes any difference if you have a degree or not when they are recruiting. Moreover, 34 per cent says that a degree actually makes the applicants less attractive! (numbers from PR Week) So why do we spend time and money on a degree that we really do not need?

There are many points that show the importance of having a degree in PR. PR Week states that 70 per cent of agency heads think that a degree in PR is more valuable today than it was 15 years ago. Moreover, with a MA degree in PR you learn things like the history of PR, new issues in our profession and theory around the practical parts of PR. You also learn practical skills to make you highly equipped to take on a career in PR.  Furthermore, you gain a lot of knowledge from visiting PR agencies and listen to guest speakers with an in-depth knowledge in certain fields.

However, as all profession, it is crucial to have work experience. This is something that Julia Howsbam, founder of Editorial Intelligence and professor at the London College of Communication stresses. She says that “If you do not have work experience, no amount of academic qualifications can help”

Julia Howsbam also stresses that the industry is starting to embrace applicants with PR degrees. However, in the end, it is the individual that counts, regardless of their academic background.

I am very happy that I have studied a MA in PR. It has thought me all that I know about the business and I have done a lot of practical work that has made me confident to take on a career in PR. Even though agency heads says that it might not be important to have a degree, I certainly feel that it has helped me a lot to understand the academic and practical aspects of PR.

What do you think? Do you think PR degrees are going to be more important in the future?

Sources: http://www.prweek.com/uk/news/910679/

Image in courtesy of: Wecreatenyc.com

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