The recent study of the PR industry carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research shows that PR is a £6.5bn industry, making a significant contribution to UK plc,' said CIPR director-general Colin Farrington.
'As the profession grows in size and influence, there is a big demand for professionals with specialist skills, knowledge and qualifications,' he added.
The survey of 200 students graduating from a variety of establishments also showed a predominantly female industry – 80 per cent of interviewees were women.
Nearly four fifths of those employed were full-time, with 14 per cent in temporary or work-placement roles. Twenty per cent immediately took salaries of more than £20,000.
According to the CIPR, PR remains one of the top three career choices for university students.
The body currently approves 43 courses in the UK and two in South Africa. Cardiff University, Leeds Metropolitan and Manchester Metropolitan all offer CIPR-approved degrees.
Courses range from BAs in PR to masters degrees in corporate communications.
Leader, p19; Analysis, p15