PR Campaigns – The blog

December 3, 2008

No PR Degree, No Problem

Filed under: CAST Communication — dfishfel @ 8:32 pm

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.



  1. 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.)

    Comment by drgilpin — December 3, 2008 @ 9:35 pm | Reply

  2. 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

    Comment by kellimatthews — December 4, 2008 @ 8:43 am | Reply

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

    Comment by Bas — December 4, 2008 @ 8:49 am | Reply

  4. 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.

    Comment by Amybeth — December 4, 2008 @ 8:54 am | Reply

  5. 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!)

    Comment by Jeff Davis — December 4, 2008 @ 8:58 am | Reply

  6. 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.

    Comment by arizonabrian — December 4, 2008 @ 10:51 am | Reply

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