Career Options in Media: Graduate
Lights. Camera. Action! Serious job hunting action! If you’ve graduated and have decided the media is the sector choice for you, you’d best get cracking building up your portfolio and experience as you apply for graduate opportunities.
Graduate opportunities in media
- Graduate schemes
Hopefully, amongst all of the university frivolities and study you managed to squeeze in some relevant media career experience before now. If not, there will still be the opportunity to apply for internships, particularly if your chosen media path is within television, radio, online or publishing. It’ll be tough to get experience (don’t be surprised if you receive a heap of rejections on for your applications before you get lucky), and you might have to put as much effort into that as applying for graduate roles themselves. But the truth is that you will struggle if you don’t have anything in your CV which displays a genuine interest in a media career.
As for graduate roles themselves, there are both conventional and more unconventional ways of getting into the different areas of the media. Traditionally, there hasn’t been a fixed route, as such. Securing a job in something like publishing, film, photography or television meant getting as much hands-on experience as you can, making contacts, and falling into roles from there. And, truth be told, a lot of that is still the way it works now. The only difference being that an increasing number of positions require you to have a degree.
There are some graduate schemes available for those who want to work for big names in broadcasting, publishing, journalism and digital media that offer a more structured route into a media career.
Whatever your preference, the same goes for any of these routes: the world of spin, show business and creativity is a very tough industry to get into, so you’ll need to work extremely hard and demonstrate perseverance if this your sector of choice.
Will my degree do?
Some areas of media that will welcome graduates from almost any degree background. In fact, if you want to go into something like journalism or publishing it could even be an advantage. An in-depth knowledge of a certain subject can provide an excellent platform for writing about current affairs or give you an appreciation and understanding of an author’s material in publishing, for example. Some argue that a journalism degree is essential to get into the field. If you can get the right experience, it’s not always the case. Creativity is something you’re born with; there’s nothing to say a maths graduate can’t be an incredibly comedy script writer! The proof is in the portfolio pudding.
However, there are some more technical roles that may require postgraduate education to gain the right skills.
Is postgraduate study necessary?
This can be a bit of a grey area; it really depends on what you want to do within the media sector.
If you haven’t studied journalism as an undergraduate course but think this is the career for you, a postgraduate course in journalism could help you to acquire the skills and experience you’ll need to get started quicker. It’s not impossible to become a journalist without this qualification, but some newspapers and magazines do look for graduates of NCTJ approved journalism courses. Those interested in broadcast journalism.
Postgraduate study could be worth the investment for those interested in things like radio production or video game production.
Things like publishing don’t necessarily call for a specific postgraduate qualification; as with things like film and television directing and production.
If you do choose postgraduate study, it’s probably best to go for something more vocational and relevant to the career you want to get into.