PR Education debates are happening all around the PR blogshpere. Last month the Indian PR blogsphere was all over PR education and now in the British PR blogsphere, a debate has sparked off, after a student (from my university) sent a letter to PR Week.
The debate is that do you need a PR degree to get a PR Job? My loyalties lie towards the qualifications side. I strongly agree with the idea that PR degree holders should be the first in line to be entitled to PR jobs. “It should be a must.”
My perspective stems from the very simple equation that with a degree one can attain work experience. However with work experience you cannot gain theoretical knowledge. No matter how many years of work experience a person might have, it will never enlighten him to the theoretical aspects of the job that can only be mastered through a specialized educational degree.
I completely fail to understand the hue and cry (like TWL) over whether PR degree holders should be the only ones to be entitled to a PR job. Hasn’t the world already awoken to the notion of specializations in every field, which are now considered the order of the day. Isn’t it true that you need to hold an MBA degree for a management job, a teaching credential to become a teacher, a journalism degree to become an editor. So why should it be any different for PR degree holders. I think it’s only fair enough that only PR degree holders should be considered for PR jobs.
Stuart Bruce puts it well when he says “One of the big benefits of PR degrees is that they try to equip students with the ability to see the big picture and understand PR in context. They also teach the basics of many skills needed…”
I can challenge any student today who doesn’t have a PR degree to do better than me in this field. I just think it is not possible. The knowledge I have acquired about PR history campaigns, current affairs of PR, is so much more than a student who does not have a PR degree. I don’t think that a person studying English as a major would be interested in current affairs or history of PR neither will He/she start learning the strategies to organize a campaign. It is just not going to happen.
These days I am organizing a campaign on social media, and trust me it is not as easy as it sounds. I am sure that a person from journalism or any other major will not even know about the ideas and strategies I am using. He will be better than me in only one thing, which could be writing (Not to be boastful), but I doubt mine and my fellow PR students witting skills are any less competitive.
Lastly, No matter how many years of work experience (without specialized qualification) one might put into a PR job, he can only specialize or master aspects of PR that he has worked on. This cannot beat the person who has attained qualifications through the highly structured and extensive curriculum taught in a PR degree course.
Any PR companies hiring people today, should consider what I have said above.
Continued in my next post as well – The Uproar over PR credentials