Long gone are the days when tanks were the mightiest of all. The world is now open to hearts with stories to tell. Be it Winston Churchill or Adolf Hitler, words were their weapon to win wars. Technology expulsion has made communication the most powerful tool mankind has ever used. It can topple governments, win wars and change the world.
This evolution has led to the growth of mass communication as an academic field. Being an ideal choice for those who wish to express, it is today’s most popular academic fields for creative individuals. Whether it’s journalism, films, advertising or public relations, Mass communication prepares you for almost all mass media careers. Here, I’m going to talk about a few career options one can take up after completing your graduation in Mass communication.
Career in Mass communication: Journalism
Let’s start with the guys who fill our mornings with NEWS.
Journalism is undoubtedly the most popular career choice after mass communication. It is also one of the most reputed professions in the world. Journalists are so powerful that they can even topple a government with their pen. Their job involves finding news and disseminating it among the masses.
Formal education is not a mandatory requirement to make journalism your profession. But academic background will favor you while trying to find a job in a reputed organization. If you’re taking this route, almost all major art colleges in the country offer mass communication and journalism courses. Diploma courses offered by reputed media schools and news organizations like the Asian school of journalism and Malayala Manorama are also recommended after Mass communication.
But at the end of the day, it’s your skills that matter more than anything else. You should have a nose for news, the sensibility to differentiate between what is news and what isn’t, and the presentation skills to disseminate the news to the masses through the media of your choice. During the mass communication course, your focus should be on gaining industry experience, building contacts and improving your technical and writing skills if you’re to become a successful journalist.
If you think you’ve got it, apply to a media organization. But don’t do this expecting to start writing editorials or running news hour shows as soon as you get in. It’s a long road ahead. You’ve to start from the bottom, as junior reporters and climb your way through the hierarchy of a newsroom.
Trust me, it’s no bed of roses. You start from nowhere. Sometimes, you will struggle a lot before finally getting your break. Long work hours! Physical wear and tear! compromises! corporate interests! Getting pushed down! Risk! Everything is part of the game. So, take it up only if your real passion lies there.
Career in Mass communication: Film industry
It’s the most glamorous industry in India. Those who make it big will live like a king.
The industry offers plenty of opportunities. From the popular faces on the screen to the faces behind the camera, lakhs of people work in the industry. Some of the most loved professions in the film industry include actor, director, cinematographer, editor, still photographer, sound engineers, music director, art director, etc.
Again, it’s not your education but your talent. Even that doesn’t guarantee anything. It’s hard to make a name in the industry. So many tries, so many fails. In India, most people who make it are either lucky or have a Godfather in the industry. But if you’re enchanted by the art form, not popularity or money, you can try making your own space.
So, what to do? Though Mass communication courses will give you a brief introduction to films, it won’t make you the master. Joining a film school and focussing on your profession of interest is highly recommended. FTII Pune and SRFTI Kolkata are the best film schools in India. They conduct national level entrance tests every year for admissions. But that’s a hard nut to crack. The love for art and a good knowledge of films is very important to be successful in the industry.
Career in Mass communication: Advertising
There is money, there is glamour, there is fame, there is art. It’s all there in the advertising industry. Advertising is about presenting a product to the audience in a way that triggers them to buy it. It has become one of the most in-demand career options in the last few decades in India. It can be in the form of print, video or pictures. It’s all about selling.
If you think you’re creative enough and is capable of selling a product, advertising can be your opportunity. It pays you well and can open so many doors. Again, talent matters. Formal education can only help in nurturing this talent. Artistic as well as marketing skills are the key to becoming a successful advertiser.
As a subject, advertising comes under mass communication. Though the course introduces you to the field, only real industry experience can make you it’s master. Identifying your medium is the first step towards building an advertising career. Some prefer Ad films, it can an be image or a logo for the other. Once you know it, the journey towards mastering your tool starts. Be it designing softwares, editing suites or cameras, you need to be a master to use it in a way you want. As the field is also about marketing, you can even go for a business degree to add to your resume.
Career in Mass communication: Public relations
Be the mouthpiece of a company. That’s what public relations is all about. It’s about creating and maintaining a positive image for the company in front of the general public. It includes a long list of things like advertising, corporate social responsibility and crisis management. You must have seen the representatives of the company coming out in front of the public when releasing a product or addressing an issue, right? They are into public relations.
It is a well-paid profession with high demand in the business world. Every company wants to keep its face clean and welcoming. Only then, they can lead the business world. So, they hire experts in the field for their public relations team to do this job for them.
So, who can be successful in the field? You need to have management and communication skills. You should be able to predict the future and solve problems in the best interest of the organization you work for. To make it simple, you should be creative and business-minded at the same time.
Like the case of advertising, mass communication curriculum gives you a brief understanding of the field of public relations. But combing a communication degree with a business degree will be your best bet. After all, it’s about developing business.
Career in Mass communication: Photography
This needs no introduction. If you got real talent, photography is a great career option. Your passion will pay you a lot if you make it big. But just having a DSLR won’t make anyone a professional photographer. You need to learn your craft with all your heart.
Again, talent comes first. You need to be good at your trade. Otherwise, you are just wasting your time. If you have it, figure out what you like to click the most. There are different genres of photography. Be it wildlife, fashion, people or photojournalism, you need to know what’s your trade. You will learn a bit about photography during mass communication. But it’s recommended to take up a diploma course in photography and gain some experience working under a professional photographer in your field.
Career in Mass communication: Television and radio production
It’s there in the name. If you still haven’t understood what it means, switch on your TV or the radio. Whatever you see or hear comes under television and radio production. Most people who go for it are the ones who look for stable career paths or the ones who couldn’t make it to the film industry. These people produce shows, airs them and get paid. Unlike the film industry, they have a stable income as they work for a media organization.
Don’t think that both radio production and television production are the same as I mentioned it together. They are similar, but not the same. They use different mediums and the content is optimized for that particular medium.
The most popular job roles in television production are program producer, editor, cameraman, writer, anchors, etc. In radio production, you will find the program producers, recording technicians, radio jockeys, etc. Unlike films, there is no job title called a director unless it’s a soap opera produced by an outside agency. The program producer takes care of everything here. And yeah, it’s easier as fewer people are involved.
So, how to get in? Again, your mass communication course will give you a brief idea of what it is. You will have the opportunity to develop your communication and technical skills during your course. Then, you can directly apply to a television or radio channel under various job roles. For the program producer’s role, you might need some relevant experience in the field of content creation before taking it up on your own.
Career in Mass communication: Vlogging and blogging
A few years ago, this wasn’t even considered a profession. People used to do this for leisure, but making it a career was not even in their wildest dreams. Yeah, you need money to survive and who will pay an independent blogger or vlogger? But things have changed.
Today, vlogging/blogging is gaining popularity as a profession. Though stigmas are still around, a successful blogger/vlogger makes more money than most career options I mentioned earlier. Nowadays, you could come up with good content on your blog or vlog, market it, add revenue systems for advertisements and viewership, get paid. Sounds good?
And off course, you can be your own boss.
So, how to be a blogger/vlogger? Anyone can be a blogger/vlogger. You just need the right skills and resources. For a blogger, writing skills are important. Technical knowledge to use the tools is essential to become a vlogger. Nowadays, you will also need to know how to optimize your content to increase its reach. Mass communication courses will give you the opportunity to acquire these skills. You can also opt for short term courses in writing, video production and digital marketing according to the requirement.
Career in Mass communication: Academics
If the glamorous world of media is not your thing, you will have the opportunity to continue in the academic field after mass communication. You can either opt to be a teacher or continue as an academic researcher.
To teach in the field of mass communication, you will need a postgraduate degree. Clearing UGC NET or a Ph.D. is mandatory to teach in colleges. If research is your passion, apply for PhD programs in any reputed university in the country.
Mass communication opens up a vast field of opportunities. Journalism, films, advertising, public relations, television and radio production, photography, vlogging/ blogging, etc are the most popular industries where mass communication graduates work. The choice depends on an individual’s potential and career goals. Always remember that you make your own destiny. Make sure that you invest time and thought before making your life-changing decisions. I hope the illustrated analysis have powered up your insights and have widened your perspectives.