"I know that I want to do something in the communication field. I am kind of interested in journalism, but my parents tell me to go into public relations because that’s where the money is at. I don’t know how I feel about that, but at the same time, I’m not really all that focused yet, so I thought I should at least think about it. Would you recommend PR to me as well as a profitable career? Or should I stick with the journalism idea? What about other careers in the communication field, like broadcasting?"
Asked by Don from Baltimore, MD on May 20, 2013
Answer to "Why Should I Go Into Public Relations?"
I think you should choose a career which interests you, but that being said, if all things were equal, I’d agree with the assessment your parents have made that PR is a good choice. Why? First off, the money is indeed good. Secondly, the demand is excellent. It’s hard to find a job in the communication field nowadays, whether in journalism or in broadcasting, but you will find a lot more openings in PR than you will in either of those other fields. Since PR is expanding rapidly (much faster than most other occupations in communication or any other field), it is one of the best opportunities out there. If you have a talent for it and you enjoy it, it’s a great choice.
If you think about it, the high demand for PR makes a lot of sense. PR is like advertising; there is always going to be a need for it, and with the internet, PR specialists who excel at online publicity generation are even more highly valued. Many companies are working really hard right now to expand their online presence and grow awareness of their brands.
Once great thing about going to a school where Communication is a major and PR, journalism, broadcasting, and other aspects of the field are concentrations is that you can try taking classes in all those different topics. They will all count toward your degree, but you can get a feel for each and decide which ones you enjoy the most. You probably should select the introductory public relations course as one of your elective choices when you enter into school this year. Also try taking the introductions to journalism and broadcasting if those fields are of particular interest to you.
Many of the skills you use in the various communication related fields do overlap, which makes it relatively easy to switch from one concentration to another later in your education, even in your last couple of years. Indeed, many graduates have done the class work necessary to fulfill the requirements for multiple concentrations by the time they are done with school, even if they can only declare a single concentration. This means you could end up qualified to work as a journalist or a public relations specialist. In short, there are a lot of possibilities open to you, and you it may be possible that you can explore each of them over the course of several years before you need to make a final decision.