No PR Degree, No Problem

I came across a post on the blog PRos in Training by Kelli Matthews about joining the PR industry without even having a PR degree.  I know that a lot of people graduate college and have a profession that has nothing to do with their major, however should a PR professor be giving helpful hints to non- PR majors about getting in to the PR industry and developing a career.  With the economy as bad as it is and with PR job opportunities shrinking every day why are we trying to help people with no education in this industry get a job.  I think we should be focused on helping people within the industry or people that have be studying this industry for a while.  Or is this a good thing that the PR profession to begin to open the doors for people will all different educational backgrounds.

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6 Responses to No PR Degree, No Problem

  1. drgilpin says:

    You might want to proofread this post and clean it up a bit. (Also, you do remember that no more blog posts are due, right? Not that I’m complaining.)

  2. kellimatthews says:

    As both a professional and an educator, I want people in PR who are smart, creative and strategic. Your PR degree will give you a foot in the door for an entry-level position, but it’s those characteristics (among others!) that will keep you there and move you up into a rewarding career.

    As I mentioned in my post, a large number of PR people who work in the industry today do not have PR degrees. The door has long “been open to people from different backgrounds.”

    I work very hard to make sure my students are ready to enter the real world. And I know that the best of them will find a job because they are smart, creative and strategic – not *just* because they have a PR degree. But I also recognize that my blog and my presence in social media means that the definition of my “students” expands beyond the campus at the University of Oregon.

    I appreciate your comment. I don’t agree with it, but I appreciate it.

    Kelli Matthews
    University of Oregon

  3. Bas says:

    Wow. How about the best getting hired? Stop complaining and start working harder.

  4. Amybeth says:

    As someone currently working at a PR company with a very non-PR degree, I disagree with this thought. If you translated this attitude into the business world, it would not fly to squeeze out the competition on such a basis. Also, as a recruiting professional in the PR world, sometimes diverse educational backgrounds bring a fresh (and much needed) set of eyes to the strategies. More and more companies are considering such options as a matter of fact…

    In my personal opinion, if you possess the skills that a particular employer is looking for, you’re going to get the job regardless of whether you hold a degree in journalism or a degree in biology.

  5. Jeff Davis says:

    We need smart people in PR. The major is not as important, as the bright new hire can supplement on-the-job experience with continuing education opportunities. What we don’t have the time to do is teach new employees how to edit and write. (I agree with drgilpin – Proofread your post!)

  6. arizonabrian says:

    The PR profession is not “beginning” to open its doors to other professions. The doors are always open if you have the right skills. In my opinion you don’t need a degree in PR to work in this amazing industry, but you do need to have writing skills and some related experience. I am a graduate of ASU, but unlike you, I went through the Hugh Downs School. The only PR course I took in college was an entry-level one (can’t remember the course number).

    I had three amazing PR internships and a part-time job at the Trib during my time as a Sun Devil. I learned so much from bosses and colleagues at those positions. I created opportunities while my friends and other students just sat back and settled for mediocrity. I was hired at my first PR position a month after I graduated and haven’t looked back since. Every day I learn something new about the industry, trends, and techniques. I love it. I’m a classic example of someone who did not graduate with a 4.0 and a degree in PR, but my networking persistence and willingness to learn keeps paving the way for me to have wonderful opportunities.

    I have to respectfully disagree with your comment, “I think we should be focused on helping people within the industry.” Everyone deserves a chance, if this is something they want. The students who go out and make a difference are the ones who are going to land the opportunities. They don’t have to have a 4.0 and a degree in PR.

    Good luck as you enter into the real world.

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