Qualifications for communicators

October 2012

With the growth of courses and qualifications in communication management, the issue of education and career paths leading up to and augmenting a career in corporate communications and public relations is a timely one. The UK’s PR Academy has recently released the findings from its 2011 Qualifications for Communicators: Trends Survey, shedding light on the link between career progression and holding a professional qualification. A key, somewhat surprising point picked up in the report’s foreword is that the expected fall in the proportion of public sector respondents who said they had funding available has not, in fact, happened: rather, there has been a rise from 64 per cent to 70 per cent. The PR Academy interprets this as a “reassuring sign that communications professional qualifications continue to be valued by employers.” 85 per cent of the survey’s respondents hold in-house positions. The proportion of respondents holding a first degree remains virtually unchanged from the previous year at 74 per cent (below left), although, the survey notes, changes in higher education funding might well impact on this trend in the future. Elsewhere, 72 per cent of respondents say that holding a professional qualification has led/or are confident that it will lead to career progression, compared with 80 per cent last time. Also of note is the fact that 75 per cent of respondents who work in the public sector have a first degree, compared to 70 per cent of those who work in the private sector (below right). Although the total number of respondents who receive funding for qualifications through their employer remains static at 66 per cent, there has been a rise in the proportion of public sector respondents who indicate that funding is available, from 64 per cent to 70 per cent. Given the widespread cuts in the public sector, this result is surprising, notes the report, though anecdotal evidence suggests that employers are keen to train and hold on to employees rather than filling skills or knowledge gaps with new hires. Taken from The PR Academy's Qualifications for Communicators: Trends Survey 2012

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