So, you’ve graduated with a degree in Media Studies, now what?
Good news, media graduates are the second most employable in the country with 75% of graduates in a job within 6 months of graduation! With an average starting salary of £18,212, that’s nearly as much as an architecture graduate and nearly £3,000 more than those working in media without a degree.
Most media graduates go on to work in cultural, creative and media industries, but there are plenty of other options. Within the media, there are a number of different areas you could work in including television, radio, film, digital media, computer games, journalism, PR and more.
It’s important to remember that all Media Studies degrees are different; some are more theory-based whereas others are more practical. Career options will depend on your abilities, so you need to think about what skills you have developed throughout your time at university.
You may already be aware of how competitive this sector can be, even at entry level. Almost two-thirds of graduate jobs do not specify a subject discipline, so it is your skills and experience that will place you above the competition.
As a Media Studies graduate you should have great communication skills. You may have developed these skills working on practical projects, or through writing essays for a specific audience. When thinking about your skill set, don’t just think academically; remember that you develop many skills through extra-curricular activities. You may have been part of the student newspaper, radio or television station; roles such as these equip you with the expertise that graduate employers are looking for.
So what jobs do media graduates do?
Most media graduates go on to work in retail or media; a few career possibilities are outlined below:
- Camera Operator
Working as a camera operator is one of the most sought-after jobs in the industry. As a camera operator, you will be expected to assemble and set up equipment, follow camera scripts and liaise with other technical staff. If you’re looking to gain work experience as a camera operator, try asking at local video production companies – many would be happy to accommodate you. In the long run, the perks of a job like this would be phenomenal. Unlimited access to unique London venues, the opportunity to meet interesting television personalities, great on-set catering … the list is endless.
Key skills: Good concentration, Adaptability, Ability to work well under pressure
- Digital Media Assistant
The increase in online news sites, social networks and digital technologies has opened up a huge number of opportunities for people with a combination of digital skills and great communication. If you’re interested in a career in the media but worried about the longevity of print media, this could be the job for you! Digital media includes roles in social media, web design and online publishing – and more roles are appearing as technologies and audience behaviour continue to change.
Key skills: Commercial awareness, Creativity, Adaptability
- Set Designer
Set designers are in charge of creating the sets which appear on television, in films and in the theatre. Good communication skills are essential to this role as you will be communicating with directors, producers and costume designers.
Key skills: Creativity, Adaptability, Good Communication
A runner is an entry-level position, and is great for getting your foot in the door and making contacts which will help with your career development. Runners act as general assistants, and typical duties include transporting scripts and equipment, looking after guests and, sometimes, just a little bit of … making tea.
Key skills: Initiative, Reliability, Good Communication
- Advertising Copywriter
As a media graduate, you can be recruited into a number of different roles within the advertising and marketing sector. One such role is copywriting. Copywriters work closely with other creative agency staff to come up with and refine the verbal elements of advertising campaigns. Copywriters work across a range of sectors including TV, radio and print.
Key skills: Self-motivation, Commercial Awareness, Teamwork
If there aren’t too many vacancies you’re interested in at the moment, gaining work experience will place you at a competitive advantage and can help you make valuable contacts. Local production companies are a great place to start looking for work experience, and their smaller size means that you may get more one-to-one help and advice.
Remember that the media industry has great career progression, so as your interests and skills develop you can always find a job to suit you.