Is a degree necessary for working in the PR industry?

It appears to be the norm these days that people who work in the PR industry have a degree, but is it really necessary? Currently there is a dominance of people in the industry with a degree and it is now expected that all applicants have one even though it is usually not stated in the job specification.

A lot of companies value a degree as most believe it gives the person the research and writing skills needed for the job which is highly desirable. It can also create common ground between the candidate and the interviewer depending on where they both studied. However with the rise of student fees it is likely the industry will see a decrease of candidates with degrees. Work experience is still highly valued, but also the candidate needs to be passionate about the job.

In recent years agencies have been putting more emphasis on the importance of having a degree but now the market is saturated with candidates who have degrees. Now the economic climate is making it tough for any candidate regardless of a degree or not, this is where work experience and internships can really help.

An apprenticeship scheme has been set up by the PRCA with the aim of increasing diversity within the profession. Hiring people from a broad range of backgrounds improves the quality of a company’s workforce and brings in new skills. It is now being recognised that intelligence, communication skills and good work ethic are qualities that are found in candidates regardless of a degree.

These days’ senior level staff in the PR industry is a mix of people in their forties and fifties. From these people there are people who have degrees and then people who started their careers when very few people went to university. It is likely the PR industry is going to return to this, work places diversity will increase and the trend for hiring only graduates will be seen as very strange. As long as you are keen and able to get some work experience under your belt and prove to an employer you have what it takes, then it is not always necessary for people to go to university.Here are some graduate and entry level PR jobs.



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