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January 2, 2012 / compassioninpolitics

Should I get a masters degree in public relations?

Real job in communications (marketing/PR) + part time degree pursuit…
As someone who went straight from an undergraduate degree to a masters program, I might have done will to get some work experience under my belt if at all possible. If you can get a real gig, do the degree part time. If you can’t get a “real gig” or internship-type gig, do the degree full time.

Why this strategy bears other strategies by a long shot….
This strategy optimizes for experience, learning, and your level of debt. It also takes into account the inertia argument and the “if you don’t do it now, you won’t have time later.” Finally, it minimizes the risk and opportunity cost associated with the masters degree. If your family has money and they are willing to fund your education, it may be fine to go full time, but then hustle like there is no tomorrow to get a fantastic communications side-gig and/or internship during your downtime as well as your summer.

Second, pick a program which 1) has a national reputation 2) a track record of successful placements (ie they have a robust network) 3) practitioners, not just academics. This is incredibly important in PR ( in fact, 2 and 3 are likely more important than 1 ).

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