It may be seen as a ‘soft option’ by many, but media studies and its related fields are by no means easy degrees. Along with the industry being notoriously difficult to get into, you may now be worrying about what you will do after you graduate. Luckily, that is where we come in. A fair amount of Team AppUK are themselves media graduates, and so we have plenty of experience in what to do once you have completed your course. We know that your degree has enabled you to develop excellent communication and analytical skills, you have great cultural awareness, and are up to date with all the latest technologies and theories. These skills are some of the top for employability, making you stand out to future employers. Media Studies degrees have high employability rates, with over 78% of students in full time employment after graduating, whilst a little over 6% of graduates go into further study.
Here, we will talk you through the top job opportunities available to media graduates, and how further study could boost your employability even further.
Social Media Marketing
The amount of job vacancies with ‘Social Media’ in the title has jumped by over 1500% (and climbing!) since 2010, meaning that social media is one of the fastest growing jobs markets out there. With a high number of dedicated agencies, who provide social media marketing services to other companies, alongside the growth of in-house social media teams, there are plenty of options for those who want to go in to social media marketing. Social media roles are ideal for new graduates, as many of you will have grown up with social media and so have a solid understanding of how the various different platforms work. This is an area in which young, fresh graduates have an advantage over older, more professionally experienced colleagues.
Using social media in a professional sense is not the same as using it personally however, so you may feel that you need a little more training before you enter the work place. Many universities now have both MA and MSc courses in social media available, covering areas such as understanding social media, analysing social media statistics, social research, and business intelligence. Offering both practical and theoretical practice and experience, a Master’s in social media would give any new graduate the edge over their contemporaries.
Find out more about Master’s courses in Social Media here.
If you are interested in Social Media Marketing, but would prefer a job that covers a slightly broader base of activities, Digital Marketing could be for you. Digital Marketing Assistants and Executives traditionally look after all online marketing activities for a company, including social media, SEO, email marketing, and website management. Digital marketing roles combine creativity with technical knowledge and know-how. Again, there are many agencies who will look after the online marketing activities for external companies, whilst other businesses will have their own in house teams. In general, in house digital marketing roles will have a far broader scope of activities. Within an agency, the job may be more specialised.
A digital marketing postgrad qualification will enable you to learn the basics of theory behind digital marketing activities. You can complete a qualification in Digital Marketing through The Chartered Institute of Marketing (the top professional body in the UK). You can find details of these courses here. Alternatively, universities also offer both MA and MSc courses in Digital Marketing. Within these you will receive full support from industry professionals and leaders, and could even carry out placements within professional settings.
Find out more about Master’s in Digital Marketing here.
Public Relations (PR)
PR covers all aspects of advertising a company that are not marketing. It is a hard role to explain, and an even harder industry to get in to, but the rewards from a PR job can be great. In its essence, a PR role involves raising brand awareness through indirect activities such as news stories, events, and social media, amongst others. It is a creative and challenging industry, but there is a reason it is so popular with job seekers! PR works across many different markets, and again you would have the choice between working in an agency for a range of different clients, or working in house focusing on one brand and identity.
Universities across the UK offer great quality PR Master’s courses, both MA and MSc. Many of these also include placements within PR agencies, allowing students to gain real professional experience and build a network of useful contacts before they have even entered the industry as a professional. These aspects make graduates look favourable to future employers, and enable you to stand out from the crowd in what is a very competitive market. Courses include modules on areas such as media relations, brand strategy, crisis management, and even digital media.
Find out more about Master’s degrees in Public Relations here.
Media Planners work with clients to identify which media platforms would best promote their products. Platforms range from social media, to television, to billboards at the side of the road, and those in media planning apply both critical thinking and creative ideas to decide which would be best for their clients at building brand awareness and driving sales. Media planning is a slightly more analytical, and less creative, role than those we have previously discussed, and so may suit some graduates more. Media planners tend to be agency based, rather than in house, so have to opportunity to work with a range of clients, sometimes within a range of industries.
As of yet, there are no specific media planning qualifications or postgraduate degrees. However, more general marketing master’s courses will often have elements of media planning within their structure and content, and many courses will allow students to choose elective modules so that they can focus on their individual interests.
Find out more about MA and MSc courses in Marketing here.
Another area in which your Media Studies degree will come in useful is in producing for TV, film, and/or radio. A bit of research on the top producers in the industry reveals that many of them started off with an undergraduate degree in media and communication studies. The roles require good communication skills, and a strong knowledge of the media and culture, both of which your degree will have provided you with and allowed you to develop. The industry is competitive, and experience is extremely beneficial. If you feel you have time, you could complete an internship whilst studying for your undergraduate degree. Even getting involved in your university’s TV channel or radio station would help.
Fortunately, many master’s courses in media production also offer placements, and encourage you to get professional, hands-on experience of the industry. Many universities in the UK have links to some of the top media companies, and courses are taught by industry experts and professionals themselves. Therefore, completing a master’s degree provides you with both an excellent theoretical understanding, and practical skills.
Find out more about TV/Video/Radio Production courses here.
ApplicationUK’s easy-to-use online application portal provides a simple solution to postgraduate application stress. With its smart digital self-assessment tool, personalised application plan, and application tracking system, you can be rest assured that your application will go through smoothly. Our experienced counsellors are also here to provide expert advice, reassurance, and continuous support.
Cover photo credit: http://combiboilersleeds.com/keywords/media-1.html