PR Education Disconnect: While the number of public relations graduate programs in the U.S. nearly tripled since 2000 (26 to 75), inconsistent curricula and degree requirements may be lowering the perception of the value of this education and is creating confusion for students, educators and employers. Three studies by the Commission on Public Relations Education include the opinions of more than 400 PR practitioners and educators on what should be included in graduate programs. The findings include:
PR pros and experts have a split opinion on whether a master’s degree is important in hiring, but say it should equal three years’ professional experience.
Employers are “on the fence” on the value of graduate education when making a hiring decision and still expect professional experience.
- Employers see three possible reasons for the “split opinion”: the difference in quality of graduate programs, the likelihood that educators give a higher rating than practitioners and a generational change.
Source: Commission on Public Relations Education