The Value of Continuing Education in PR

The question was asked at last November’s Hoosier PRSA luncheon. “Would you recommend graduating college seniors dive right into a Master’s degree, or should we work in the field for a couple of years first?”

During the luncheon in November, known for the month of Half Day with a Pro, the aspiring Purdue student asked her question to the distinguished panel of APR professionals. They answered their wise, honest opinions that it is good to get a couple of years under your belt before going after an M.A. degree in PR, or some communication field. The question was then opened to the audience for feedback. I never spoke up.

For some people, working in the field for a couple years prior to obtaining a graduate degree is completely logical. For me, I was determined to achieve that competitive edge early in my career. Following my Butler 2009 graduation, I immediately started my graduate work in IUPUI’s M.A. in PR program, concentrating on PR Health Care and Life Sciences; one of the three different areas of management. The flexible, part-time program was perfect for my schedule as I also was just starting an internship at Borshoff, a PR and communications agency in Indianapolis.

Though the program is specifically designed for working professionals with three to seven years of experience, I am proof that this claim is not necessarily true. In fact, working (now full-time) at Borshoff, while completing my graduate degree has been one of the smartest things I have ever done. I write better, think more strategically, research effectively, proof with a critical eye, and can lay out a campaign in perfect ROPE method with ease. In other words, I am ‘mastering’ the field (no pun intended) and applying what I learn at work, at school, and what I learn at school, at work. It’s the best of both worlds.

Looking back, I wish I would have spoken up at the November Hoosier PRSA luncheon. I would have explained to the girl and audience, that it depends on the person and the stage of life they are in because it is different for everyone. Now just happen to be the right time for me to complete my degree, and I am a better PR professional, with my coworkers and my clients, because of it.

For more information about IUPUI’s M.A. in PR program, visit or follow on Twitter at @IUMastersinPR

Post by Jackie Koumpouras  –Jackie is an account associate at Borshoff and currently in her last year of graduate school at IUPUI studying PR Health Care and Life Sciences.