Croatian Employers' Perception of the Knowledge, Skills and Competencies of PR Students or Graduates
The main research question was to what extent are employers satisfied with students’ education in public relations (PR), which they rated with average grade. The professional knowledge formally taught at universities is not a crucial factor for getting a job in public relations in Croatia. Employers as more important factors rate personal and social competences (74%), student's personality (56%) and experience in PR (55%) whereas professional knowledge is on the fourth place (37%). Employers claim most important qualities for students are good writing and reading skills, verbal and presentation skills and teamwork skills (social intelligence and interpersonal skills). In employers’ opinion graduate PR students are more capable to work in profession than undergraduates. University curricula are not in line with the needs of the labour market, given that 18% of employers said that they teach students insufficiently and 97% that PR students require further training at work. Cooperation between universities and employers in Croatia is insufficient as only 25% of companies/organisations and 30% of the participants cooperate with PR universities personally. Employers comment on students’ insufficient competences, knowledge, proactivity, motivation, as well as their excessive expectations from work, which translates into an issue in retaining them at the job.
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