Back to School: Why PR Professionals Should Obtain a Master’s Degree

 

Most PR pros would rather take that first full-time job offer over going back to school for another couple of years. School just isn’t an enjoyable experience for many individuals. 

Honestly, at one point or another, people come to the point in their lives where reading boring text, memorizing words and phrases, writing papers, taking tests and giving presentations lose their appeal.

So, why should you go back for two or more years after receiving a bachelor’s degree? I have wondered the same thing, and am currently in a position where I am trying to decide if I need one myself. 

I want to share some important things from my own research while weighing in on the value of a master’s degree.

Job Competition

I remember when an associate degree was enough to nab a great job. Truthfully, little schooling was needed to nab a long, sustainable career—especially in PR. 

However, there are higher-level degrees available for up-and-coming PR professionals, and many employers are becoming more aware of all that these programs have to offer students.

We’re currently living in a period where a bachelor’s degree is the standard for most college students. But with the stability of the American economy in constant limbo, employers are in need of more from job seekers. 

Needless to say, considering said circumstances, a master’s degree is quickly becoming a very attractive option for companies looking to fill a variety of top-tier positions.

To be able to confidently say you’re an official master of something—especially PR, mind you—and proudly place such an accomplishment on your resumé will make you much more competitive when vying for meaningful employment after school. 

Simply put, you’ll be ahead of the game.

A Better Understanding of PR

Four-year degrees take four years for a reason. You have the opportunity to learn about numerous areas of academia and gain a basic understanding of a self-selected field. But if you want more learning, there aren’t nearly as many options.

Master’s degrees provide a more in depth look into your field of choice and allow you to understand it on a more personal level. 

You are also given many real world experiences before actually stepping out into the unforgiving mix of things. For a PR person, this is key.

Additionally, a greater and deeper knowledge of PR will make you more confident and will show future employers and co-workers that you belong in the competitive, unforgiving field of PR. 

Who knows? In spite of what the naysayers might vocalize, it may also give you a winning edge or earn you a promotion or two.

So Fresh and So Clean

In reality, there is a huge need for PR-savvy people out there, and recent graduates know it. Why? Well, they’re all competing for the same jobs. 

If you have the time and resources, it wouldn’t hurt to head back to school for two more years to gain an advantage over your peers. 

They are precious years, and receiving as much education as possible will put you ahead of the herd. After all, there’s no such thing as too much education.

So what do you think? Am I correct in planning to head off to graduate school following the completion of my undergraduate degree, or is my head stuck in the proverbial clouds? Share your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below.

 


Rhett Ahlander is a PR student at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. After graduating this coming April with a bachelor’s degree, he plans to pursue a master’s degree and continue learning more about PR. When Rhett isn’t studying, he enjoys writing, running and playing soccer. Follow Rhett on Twitter to keep the conversation going.