Why you don’t need a degree to have a career in comms

Hattie Curl, Account Director, Technology

A career in PR and marketing is fast-paced, dynamic, creative and – at times – challenging. It stretches you outside of your comfort zone, allowing you to achieve things you never thought possible.

You’re responsible for setting the scene for an entire company, telling its story and promoting its brand through the media, its content and social channels.

It’s an incredibly exciting industry and there’s a lot of plate spinning. You need to be interested in the news and current affairs, hungry for knowledge and able to juggle different tasks and clients. You should have a thirst for problem-solving and be effective at managing time.

But what’s key is the qualifications you need to begin your career in communications: none.

Thriving without a degree

I didn’t get a degree. It just wasn’t the right fit for me. For some career paths, it’s an absolute must. You wouldn’t go to a doctor that hadn’t done the full training but working in PR and marketing is different.

You can flourish in this industry without understanding literary theory or quantum physics. I am thriving at Aspectus and worked my way up to an Account Director where I am now setting the comms strategy for some of the most innovative tech companies out there. Put simply, you do not need to have been to uni to have a successful career in communications. That’s why we created The Aspectus Academy, a hands-on apprenticeship that gives you on the job experience and kick-starts your future.

The day to day

In PR and marketing, every day is different, and the skills you need to tackle each day aren’t necessarily only taught via a degree.

Your days consist of coming up with interesting ideas, explaining to businesses why these will make a positive impact and then executing on your plans – be that via social media, blogs, selling stories into the press or so much more.

One minute you’re ringing up the BBC to pitch them interesting research that was, in fact, based on an idea you had. The next you’re head down drafting a comment in reaction to a breaking news story. Then, you’re researching the perfect job titles for a paid LinkedIn campaign and working with the design team to create snazzy visuals which tie everything together. Afterwards, you’re collating the end of month report to showcase all the fantastic work and how it is making a direct difference to businesses.

Forging your own path

It can be daunting not knowing what you want to do next, where you want your career to go or even how you should go about it.

If you do want to go to uni, that’s great! You can still have a career in PR and marketing. But if you don’t think a degree is for you, you can definitely thrive without it. Here at Aspectus, a bunch of us are in the same boat, all without a degree. All you need is ambition, creativity and passion, and then you’re all set.

Sound like something you want to be a part of? Apply for our apprenticeship, The Aspectus Academy, and begin your comms career here.

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