PR in Education: are schools telling students if PR is the right career for them?

I mentioned a couple of blog posts back that I was planning this blog post. It’s something that’s kind of irked me for the last 3 years. I mean, it’s not, like, haunted my nightmares or anything, but it is something I often wondered about.

My school and careers advisers never told me that PR was a thing; I didn’t know it existed, I didn’t know what it was and I didn’t know that my A-Levels, talents and passions all tied in nicely to being a PR pro. We all know PR isn’t the most hugely studied course at uni, but how is it expected to be when 6th forms & colleges aren’t telling students PR is something they could consider studying?

In this post, I’m going to have a look (and use my dissertation brain to have a little research) into the reasons why PR courses aren’t full to the brim of students…

Potential students aren’t informed by their schools that PR is an option to study!

Me and some of the girls on my course were talking – over cocktails, obvs – about how we came to know PR existed. Me, as I frequently mention, because of my Dad and the other girls were all from family and friends or from just looking into it by themselves. What’s more, is that we all studied very similar subjects – English, Media, Psychology, Languages to name a few. We were born and bred PR naturals and didn’t even know it! Both these things interested me so, for the purpose of this blog post, I did a little poll on Twitter to find out how the PR twitter world came to discover PR;

poll

Out of 20 votes, and a couple of extra people I asked too, the overwhelming majority was through their own research! And what’s more shocking, 0% said through careers advisers or teachers?! I can’t be the only one shocked at this can I?!

To me, it seems that teachers are very good at promoting the courses such as History or English or Geography, but not so good at the ones that are ‘outside of the box’. My little sister is currently in year 12 and at the time where she should probably be thinking about what to do at uni and if she even wants to go to uni, but it seems the school is little to no help in helping her decide…unless she wants to study a subject you already study at school.

I want to start a PR revolution (lol – bit extreme maybe). If you’re interested in languages, media, business, writing,  talking, psychology…your path could fall naturally to PR without even knowing it. Schools do hold careers fairs, maybe us PR people should step forward and go and preach about our bloody fab industry?! (I nominate myself to do this, FYI). My university often talked about ‘how to promote the PR course’ and I genuinely think we need to start at the root – the year 12s and 13s who are researching into potential uni courses are who should be targeted; they shouldn’t be targeted when they already are aware of PR’s existence in our business and social science world, but when they’re trying to work out what their passions and talents lead to as a career.

What do you think? Do schools need to vary the uni course options they offer to students, or is it up to them to discover good ol’ PR? Let me know! 🙂

Liv xo 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “PR in Education: are schools telling students if PR is the right career for them?

  1. Lack of awareness of PR as a career option is one of the reasons there’s such a lack of diversity in the industry. If the industry is overwhelmingly white British (and it is, see the PRCA census results from yesterday) then it stands to reason that those PR practitioners will tell their family and friends about it – who are also white British – and so the cycle continues. It’s one of the reasons I stared the PRcareers website – to encourage young people from more diverse backgrounds (not just ethnicity but also from different social backgrounds) to study PR and to consider it as a career option. Raising awareness of the industry with school leavers and graduates is vital if the profession is serious about communicating with more diverse audiences.

    1. That’s really interesting! I wasn’t aware of that but yes, PR Careers is definitely a great way to reach younger people.

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