GROW! Marketing and Public Relations Tips

PR Career Path – Experience vs. Education

Posted by Tyler Nolley on Thu, Apr 13, 2017 @ 11:14 AM

Young PR professionals might ask themselves “what’s more important – gaining valuable experience or continuing your education?” Well, it depends. A degree is as beneficial as you make it, so if you use the knowledge wisely, it can definitely be advantageous. However, real-world experience is also very important when entering the PR world.

There are benefits and disadvantages to both options. Here are some key factors to consider when weighing your options.

Read more to learn about the different outcomes of continuing your education.


Delayed Experience

While you’re prepping for grad school, many of your peers will be securing their first jobs in the field. Although you may have internship experience, it doesn’t quite compare to that first full-time positon. The extra time spent earning a Master’s degree delays gaining beneficial experience in the field.

Make the most of your educational experiences by making sure you stay active in the PR field while receiving your degree. Whether it’s through internships, volunteer work, or student associations, there’s always work to be found in the PR field.

Big Investment

Grad school can be expensive. If you plan on continuing your education as soon as you complete your Bachelor’s degree, loans and payments might start piling up.dollar-941246__340.jpg

To put your financial troubles at ease, it may be more beneficial to spend some time working before going back to school. This will give you the opportunity to gain some work experience and save money. Some companies might even pay for you to continue your education if they feel it’s beneficial.


Earning a graduate degree and not having entry-level experience could put you a little behind your peers when searching for jobs. You may even feel “too qualified” for the typical entry level positions. This can be frustrating since you are fully aware of the extent of your capabilities, but everyone has to start somewhere


Highly Qualified

Some positions may require a Master’s degree to apply. Higher education is being rewarded with exclusive access to executive and management positions. Although it’s not always required, it can still give you an advantage over the competition.


Career Opportunities

Continued education provides you with opportunities that aren’t as easily accessible in the workplace. Career advisement services, networking events and mentor opportunities can provide access to positions only offered to university students. Continuing your education also means continuing to expand your network, which might help you land your dream job.

Higher Salary

Research shows that the salary of Public Relations Directors with a Master's Degree with a moderate relevance from a school with a fair reputation is $121,553 - $132,043. This study shows that your degree and your school reputation can greatly increase your base pay and bonus.

When it comes to experience vs. education, both can provide great opportunities. Carefully consider these factors when deciding if continuing your education is the right move for your career.

To learn more about building your personal brand, check out our branding case study.

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Topics: Public relations, branding, Garden Media Group, Garden Media, Internship

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