Publicists and journalists often work hand in hand. It may seem ironic then that one job industry is slowly decreasing in pay while the other gained an edge.

(Photo Courtesy of Rachel Green)

(Photo Courtesy of Rachel Green)

According to Pew Research Center, the pay rate continues to widen between the two. In 2004, for every $1 earned for a PR specialist, that was $0.71 for a reporter. In 2013, the reporter ratio decreased to $0.65. Having a business background to start and maintain a business doesn’t hurt for a PR rep either.

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Rachel Green, the CEO of a Chicago public relations firm called A Brand Called U, wanted to complete her mother’s dream of Green earning a college degree. She earned an undergraduate degree in business management from Robert Morris University and is currently working on a master’s degree in business management/marketing.

“I come from a family of entrepreneurs so it was definitely my ultimate goal to own my own business,” said Green. “I never had a problem with being the worker bee. I think that’s the best place to start or pursue a field in management or own your own business. It’s always best that you know all of the roles within an organization.”

But there are plenty of entrepreneurs who never earned a bachelor’s degree in business, according to Business Insider. Green also started out skeptical. But even with teenage children and a full-time job, she continued on.

“I really learned a lot from my undergraduate degree,” Green said. “It taught me how to handle time management, how to deal with other personalities, other nationalities. [You even learn the] terminology and the things that you may think you know in business or as a consumer looking from the other side.”

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Along with networking, speech classes, internships and art history classes are at the top of her list for recommended courses.

“My classmates have gone on to do some amazing things. Being able to say that I’m an alumna from that university is a great addition to my overall career.”

But there is one thing Green feels is absolutely necessary to be successful in public relations and business that cannot be taught.

“In PR, it’s all about the connections, making those relationships. You have to learn the politics of things. If you are a cold-hearted person and cut everybody off, news travels. You have to be a people person.”

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Shamontiel L. Vaughn is a professional journalist who has work featured in AXS, Yahoo!, Chicago Defender and Chicago Tribune. She’s been an Examiner since 2009 and currently writes about 10 categories on