Someone asked one of the LinkedIn groups I’m in what courses an aspiring public relations practitioner should take in college. There was some good advice about writing and so on; others suggested related disciplines like marketing, or specific skills.

I came at it slightly out of left field with this:

Data-based story-telling is becoming an increasingly significant part of our practice… as is recognizing the flaws, inconsistencies and logical gaps in the data-based stories told by others. You don’t have to hold a math PhD, but I’d bet good money that in another 10 years, some fluency in statistical inference will be table stakes for communicators hoping for a strategic role.

There were a few other non-obvious answers: public administration and business, for example. That’s smart: building a foundation for understanding an organization’s strategic objectives means you can better position your communications work to support them.

What other courses would you suggest a fledgling communicator consider?