Q. Currently wrapping up my last year of college and my fifth internship, I can definitely say that I want to go into PR. I was wondering though, in regards to continuing education, what are the pros and cons of going to graduate school for a masters in a public relations/communications versus business school for marketing. -AF
A. Although I have neither, I have become a proponent of both advanced degrees for certain individuals. Your decision should be based on what the advanced degree might contribute to your long-term career goals. If you are committed to an PR career and do not see yourself in a senior management position, you should gravitate to the communications degree (and it isn’t necessarily essential for your your long-term success). If you eventually want to run a company or serve in a senior position within an agency or corporation, you would be better off getting an advanced business degree. The business degree also will be better for a marketing position, although I contend there will be more PR opportunities available over the next 10 years than marketing positions.
Until the current bleak job market, most undergrads opted to go to work for a year or two and then pursue graduate degrees. Unfortunately, the rules have changed, and getting an advanced degree has become a popular option while waiting for an improved job market. In your case, five internships is impressive and should enhance your chances of landing a job. A key advantage of getting a job before heading to graduate school: most agencies and corporations will help pay tuition for your advanced degree.