Advertising or PR?

Q.  I have completed most of my general ed requirements and now need to declare a major.  I initially thought I wanted to focus on advertising, but now wonder if PR is the better long-term career choice.  Suggestions? 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A.  A.  As you might expect, I am an advocate of PR so I begin with admitting that bias.  Fortunately, both professions offer many opportunities where you can start your career.  However, it traditionally has not been easy to switch from one to the other so you’ll definitely want to chose the major that builds on your true passion.  To help you decide, I suggest looking at jobs available in both professions.  Read job descriptions to determine which ones sound most appealing to you.  The American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) an outstanding site called Careers in Advertising where you can learn more about preparing for a job in an ad agency, while viewing a wide range of jobs.  Public Relations Society of America provides a similar resource at the PRSA Job Center.  In comments to his earlier post about jobs in the UK, Richard Bailey provides an intriguing answer to a similar question.  Key to your decision is to pursue what excites you.  If you are undecided after doing some research, then simply pursue a liberal arts degree with a major in a subject area that is most appealing to you.  Agencies, both ad and PR, hire smart people and train them.  However, don’t forget to get involved in extra-curricular activities since they will help differentiate you from other graduates. 

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