Monday, 12 November 2012

54. The most important blog post a journalism student will ever read

Some what sensationalist, eh? I'll grant you it is a little on the dramatic side - but actually if you are a journalism student and you only read one post on this blog: this is the one.

Because if you are a journalism student and you are not hooked up to spend some of the next few years doing work experience with the local newspaper/news agency/radio station/TV studio/news website - then what are you doing?

Twenty years ago there was the NCTJ - and that was about all. It did for almost everything you could possibly want to get your first foot on the journalism ladder.

Today there are endless courses in fashion journalism, music journalism, investigative journalism, financial journalism (scrub that, for the purposes of this post no one wants to go into financial journalism).

All fine courses I am sure. This certainly isn't an attack on the individual courses or colleges - but this is a warning.

Imagine this: A college runs a BA (Hons) degree Being Prime Minister. This course will teach you the workings of becoming the PM of the United Kingdom. Modules include: Decision making; Meeting the Queen; Dealing with the Whips; Handling a scandal (this is a six part module); Talking to the US President. etc etc etc.

All useful stuff to be sure. And 99 other people are also signed up to this useful and informative course - the question is: How many of them would ever have a hope in hell of becoming PM?

Why do you think it would be any different? Oh and that's not to miss out on those that aren't taking journalism degrees and enter the trade via a different route.

And so we come to the point. According to the Higher Education Career Services Unit Media Studies graduates have "a high employment rate with 71.8 per cent" but they also have some of the highest unemployment among humanities degrees too at 12.3 per cent.

But the really startling figure is that after six months 28.6 per cent of those surveyed worked in the retail, catering, waiting and bar staff category. Nothing wrong with that but was it really worth three years study? Or in the case of an MA a lot of cash?

On reflection you may well think not. If you are going to stand any chance do not wait until you're wearing a mortar board and running around campus doing Batman impressions. By then it could already be too late.

Remember there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of media and journalism graduates, post graduates and the like coming out of the system each year - and there aren't hundreds of jobs (let alone being choosy).

Good luck with the work experience.


  1. It is a really very helpful for my study, I have read some articles about this topic but cant get so much information. A very informative and amazing article.
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  2. Nice,
    Thanks for your grateful informations, I am working in, asian affairs magazine

    so it will be a better information’s for me. Try to post best informations like this always

  3. Thanks nice info, btw about that PM courses haha really gets me XD