Young future PR-professionals: Perceptions of the future occupational field and assessment of current PR education. A survey of tertiary level students in Austria, Germany and Switzerland
Over the last few decades, communication students have become increasingly interested in the occupational field of public relations. This trend has been possible to observe for some time in the vast majority of Western countries. For the educational sector as well as for the occupational field itself it is most important to know more about the perceptions of PR as a profession among young students. Thus, this study investigates on students’ perceptions of PR as a profession and their career expectations in three different countries. The study was conducted in summer 2008 as an online survey of Austrian, German and Swiss communication/media/PR students. With 1235 respondents (79% women) it is the biggest study of its kind worldwide. The students’ responses in this study do not differ seriously between the three countries. Where there are differences, however, they are by all means interesting. In general, the Austrian and German students show greater similarities to each other while at the same time, the Swiss students show partially significant differences to their counterparts in both other countries. Also, Swiss students seem to be better prepared for what they realistically can expect from the occupational field than their Austrian and German fellow students.