There is a lot of doom and gloom surrounding media and journalism careers. Media graduates are very used to hearing and reading about how hard it will be to develop a career in the field. Certainly, there is no denying the drastic decline in print newspaper circulations and the challenge this presents for the future of journalism. However, there are still a variety of reasons for you to feel optimistic about your prospects as a new graduate.
We live in a time when the digital sector is constantly growing and online publishing is soaring. Specialist roles, which didn’t exist a few years ago, have become mainstays in content creation, such as blogging, search engine optimisation and social media expertise. Comparison charts show how digital employment is substantially subsidising the jobs lost in print media and continuing to grow. Around 120 000 are employed in online publishing roles in the UK, with a further 138 000 in digital media production.
Although the state of print media can be sad and worrying, the ever-increasing opportunities in digital mediums mean you may end up working in an exciting field which doesn’t yet exist.
When you first started studying you may have had a set idea of how you would use your degree, such as becoming a newspaper journalist. This is still a possibility; 23 percent of 2015 media graduates who were in employment 6 months after graduation, were working as media professionals. However, it is worth considering broader options, as there are many other avenues to a fulfilling career. A further 16 percent of working 2015 media graduates were marketing, public relations and sales professionals.
The creative communication focus of your degree will help you when applying for marketing and public relations entry level positions. An area also worth considering is content writing and copywriting, where you can use your story-telling skills for commercial purposes. You could angle for an editorial assistant role in the hugely successful UK book and journal publishing industry, which grew by 4.4 billion in 2015. Securing your first graduate position is never easy, but there are many doors to try.
Study in this field produces many general skills which will help you in whatever career you choose to pursue. These include attributes such as creative thinking, independent ideation, research skills, excellent communication and impeccable time management. All of these qualities rank highly with potential employers.
If you have experience in digital media, this will bode well in any workplace, as businesses being digitally involved is becoming almost universal.
You will change and grow over your lifetime, and so will your career. It is now normal for people to switch careers at all stages of their life. Accepting this can help relieve some of the heavy weight of the decisions you currently face.
Entering a new workplace is not a prison sentence. As a recent graduate you should not feel hesitant to jump at any relevant professional experience. Even if it is not where you want to be in the long run, you can use a ‘starter job’ as a bridge towards the career you dream of. For, as the philosopher and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “big jobs usually go to the men [and now thankfully women] who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.”
Although the creative industries is a buoyant sector, it is usual that new graduates will take some time to establish themselves, as career entry is not clearly structured. You are not a failure for not finding your feet straight away.
None of this negates how tough it is for new graduates to break into their professional careers. However, the point of this blog post is to remind you that it is not all doom and gloom. You can find some other great articles on this blog with general advice on how to maximise your chances.
Elise Britten writes graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency. Check out their website to see which internships and graduate jobs are currently available. Or, if you’re looking to hire an intern, have a look at their innovative Video CVs.
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