BIG QUESTION: Is a degree in PR an advantage when looking for a job?

Research by the PRCA has found that agencies are luke-warm about the value of PR degrees

Research by the PRCA has found that agencies are luke-warm about

the value of PR degrees

Anna Fairbairn

IPR student group chairman

’It depends what degrees other graduates hold. People from English and

journalism courses could rank as highly as PR graduates. But having a PR

degree definitely helps you in the early days of your career; it helps

you to understand why you are doing something, rather than just knowing

how it is done. But as an industry we must address why some employers

are not impressed by PR degrees.’

Mike Hatcliffe

Scope Ketchum

’At the moment it’s not much of an advantage, but a lot of the fault for

that must lie with the industry, as we haven’t really worked out how to

use PR graduates. They are more senior than account assistants but often

don’t have enough experience to be taken straight on as account

executives. There are good people out there so agencies should create

room to take them on.’

Jan Davison

Biss Lancaster

’Our experience is that traditional degree subjects stretch the

intellect of students, and that’s what we’re looking for. If you’re

bright you’ll quickly pick up what public relations is all about by

learning on the job.’


Trevor Morris

Quentin Bell Organisation

’It doesn’t make any odds to me what a graduate’s degree subject is. I

look at their personality, intelligence and analytical abilities.

In fact, having a public relations degree can often be a


They often believe they are better qualified than their peers and so

deserve to get promoted more quickly than others, which is not

necessarily true.

And their applications have to be so much better than non-PR graduates

to stand out. I am more likely to notice mistakes in letters or CVs from

PR graduates who should know better. Having said that, I do think the

quality of public relations courses, and the graduates from them, is


Danny Moss

Manchester Metropolitan University

’The industry is beginning to recognise the value of recruiting people

with PR degrees. There was cynicism originally about whether PR could be

taught, but that is changing. People in agencies should support the

degrees they were calling for five years ago.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in