4 answers

Is a bachelors in Economics better then a PR or Marketing degree?

Updated Kansas City, Missouri

To make a very long story short, I received a regional scholarship however the school that I plan on attending does not have my major I want to study which would be Public Relations and Marketing.

A family friend told me it was better to get a degree in Economics, which would help me with figuring out how money moves, and also getting a degree in psychology, seeing how to reach clients and such.

I want to go into public relations or marketing, but since neither are available what's the best way to go?

#marketing #business #college #public-relations #economics #finance

4 answers

SUSAN’s Answer

Updated Annapolis, Maryland

It so completely depends... take a variety of courses freshman year, keep your options open. I’m a huge fan of Econ and statistics but am not a #’s nerd. I like big picture stuff but from an informed and educated perspective. Human behavior and communications tied into economics should prepare you well and afford you many choices.

At the end of the day, your relationships with faculty, roommates, classmates and teammates, are what you will grow and learn from. Never burn a bridge , never make assumptions and never ever be afraid to ask questions!! Most people are too scared to ask. Although you are on this website asking the question so I’d say you are steps in the right direction already !!! Take all advice you receive with a grain of salt and take what works for you from each person who advises you and don’t be afraid to take risks. CALCULATED risks mind you! I’m not talking about texting and driving or drinking and driving I’m talking about career risks, you don’t always have to follow the status quo dare to be different but not weird. Remember, two ears and only one mouth. Be yourself and be thoughtful, kind and appreciative and you will be rich with opportunities!!

Now go get ‘em!!! You got this!!!


Tom’s Answer

Updated Seattle, Washington

Hi Felicita. The answer from Rod is helpful indeed. Determine if you are a numbers person or people person. But find your passion about that soon. If you slant toward people you might be well advised to find another school. I was the latter and owned a marketing company for many years. I ran my small firm for a number of years and eventually ran on hard times for it. I found myself on the job market to work for someone else. Well almost any company needs marketing so there were a lot more job opportunities for that than say economist.

BUT....you might be thinking.... when you changed jobs didn't you have to apply in a lot of different industries?? Yup! The trick is to remember employers are hiring skills. And what successes have you had using those skills?? Marketing skills are amazingly transferable (to a great degree) between companies even in different industries. (Same for instance goes for accounting ; not so sure about economics). So.....my recommendation is marketing. I found it to be a fascinating career, a lot what I made it, and pretty adaptable when I needed to make a change. I'd suggest if the regional scholarship meant the difference between attending college or not, then by all means take it. If there is any means you could direct your efforts toward a school offering what you are most interested in, you may well be happier in the long run. In temperament and challenges the differences between creative marketing and the principles of economics are usually far apart, meaning you should do some soul searching....people person?....numbers person? Frankly if you want to go after the marketing bent I'd bet since you've gotten one scholarship you may certainly qualify for one in the filed where your passion seems to be drawing your. If you want to learn more about how people determine what they are most passionate about find a used copy of a book called What Color is Your Parachute. I've used it for a career change, great too for someone starting out. Lots of good exercises and articles to help readers focus.

Good luck.

.....I'm retired from marketing now, so there is room for one new marketing pro in the field somewhere. Could be you!! :) :)

Rod’s Answer

Updated United Kingdom

That is a tough question and I suppose the answer is "it all depends". I have been CEO of a marketing and communications business in the UK and have worked with people with many different skills and backgrounds. One way to answer your question is to ask if you are a "numbers" or "words" person. PR is about people and stories and economics is about data and analysis. Both words and numbers people have opportunities in marketing.

Can you tell us more about what is attracting you to PR and marketing?

Rod recommends the following next steps:

  • I suggest you do some research about PR and marketing jobs on the internet. See what experience and education you need. Confirm that the jobs sound like something that would interest you. If so you will probable see that you start with a range of different degrees.

Jennifer’s Answer


Don't overthink it! I've been in marketing for 19 years and am now an executive at ESPN. My degree is in PR, and I took economics classes...all of it helped in some way to stretch my thinking and see the world through different perspectives. I find that the best marketers are business minded (and consumer focused, of course). Economics will teach you cause and effects, and how to systematically work through situations/problems/questions. Recommend also taking classes that help you know how to connect with people...writing, communication, psychology, etc. Seek out internships related to what you want to do...experience is more relevant than education for getting a job. Out of the hundreds of marketers I've worked with over the years, almost none of them have a degree in marketing.

And, what's the worst that can happen? :) Seems like the downsides are minimal compared to the upside of taking advantage of this education opportunity. Switch your major after the first year if it's not working for you. You'll get a good foundation of knowledge that will bring you life-long value.