Why You Don’t Need a PR Degree to Work in PR

There’s a common misconception that to work in public relations, you should major in PR or marketing, and I’m here to tell you that that’s nonsense. I believe that in an industry as complex and constantly evolving as PR, the best education you’ll receive is simply jumping right in and learning as you go. Additionally, because there are so many different variables that go into a PR career, there are countless majors that can be surprisingly helpful in preparing you for this job. In fact, I majored in English and minored in technical writing, which prepared me immensely for the writing and editing I’ve consistently done throughout my six years working at PR agencies. Here’s a few reasons why you don’t need a PR degree to work in PR.

  1. PR is present in any industry. Someone who has a degree in the sciences can work with PR in the pharmaceutical world. Likewise, they might have a background in engineering and decide to work with PR in the auto industry. There’s something for everyone in our segment, which makes it easy to find a career that aligns with your passions.
  2. Being successful in PR requires a lot of different skills. As AdWeek contributor Ilana Zalika explains, “You need to be analytical, a great writer, have a grasp of consumer psychology, understand how business works, and more. In fact, majoring in something other than PR gives you a fresh perspective to bring to the table.”
  3. Internship > Degree. If you want to pursue a career in public relations, getting an internship in the field will give you a far better education than majoring in PR. There is nothing like on-the-job experience, and even the best college professor could never provide you with a better learning experience than working in a fast-paced agency.