What, according to you, is the most glamorous career of this time? Most of us do not even need a moment of second thought to conclude that no other job can be as glamorous and exceptional as those in the field of media. May it be jobs associated with the film industry, the TV, or even new media video streaming platforms which are flourishing these days, such a profession can promise much more than salary and stability.
A chance to be in the limelight is one major assurance put forth by this industry. But, how many job profiles associated with the media are you aware of? The VJ, the reporter, program producers and maybe the cameraperson? Well, there are innumerous people working on par with these people whom you know. Who handles the live and recorded sections of an ongoing program, by switching between them and blending them perfectly before the presentation? Who designs the beautifully crafted templates, credit lines and the text that scrolls through the screen? Who does the mixing of voices, the addition of effects, and fine-tuning of the entire program?
There is a big group of technicians who renders their service behind every video program that we watch. Right from the person who sets the floor, to the person who adds the credit line, these set of people is indeed the backbone of every media production process. How do you become one of these people – these creative geniuses who are often paid higher sums than the presenters and content creators? What are the courses available in India for those who are interested in these career options?
BSc Visual Communication V/S BSc Electronic Media
The two popular degree courses available for aspirants who are keen on the technical side of the media industry are BSc Visual Communication and BSc Electronic Media. Visual Communication course, dearly known as Viscom, is often considered as a preparatory course for those who wish to enter the film industry in India. Even though career options after this course is manifold, it has been labeled as ‘the film course’, probably due to the fact that many of our leading actors and filmmakers are Viscom graduates.
Electronic Media, also called E-media, is a slightly distinct variation of Viscom. Both the courses essentially deals with the technical side of media production, and the syllabus mostly overlaps at multiple points. Many states like Tamil Nadu have declared equivalency to both these courses as well. However, the courses nurture a slight difference in terms of syllabus and pedagogy. To begin with, let us inspect the objective and scope of both Viscom and E-media.
BSc Visual Communication
Viscom, as the course title imply, trains students in effective communication through visual images. Ideas and information shall be conveyed more efficiently when done in a visual format. We tend to remember images, videos, and illustrations more than mere text. Hence, the capacity to communicate in a visual format is crucial to media.
Students who aspire for the course are expected to have a keen interest in designing, ideation, conceptualization, illustration, and art. Since the course syllabus covers photography, graphic design and typography, this interest is key. Also, a strong understanding of basic mathematics and physics is necessary, considering the fact that the course also deals with the technical side of art including lighting, color schemes, etc.
BSc Electronic Media
Electronic media courses might seem similar to Viscom in many phases, but let us examine how they differ primarily. E-media degree equips the student to engage with different kinds of electronic devices that are used in various stages of media production. Students acquire technical excellence, and professional experience of operating cameras, recording studios, editing suites, and various software necessary for video production.
In short, students are trained to use electronic devices to create, manage and distribute content over media. E-media students also learn how to create and present content, but the technical part of production is given more importance in the syllabus.
What is the scope of Viscom and Electronic Media?
As we have already realised, Viscom and E-media are two courses branching out from the same root. Even though slight differences can be traced out in the curriculum, they can even be called ‘twin-courses’. Hence, it is obvious that the job profiles offered by the courses can also overlap. The media industry is the parent employer for anyone who pursues any of these courses. If one course is about communicating through visual format, the other is about managing that communication through electronic devices.
So, in order to have a brief understanding of the career choices available for both the courses, let us put them to a comparison.
|Visual Communication||Electronic Media|
Digital Media Manager
Technical Support Specialist
Electronic Data Interchanger
Visual communication vs Electronic media: Jobs and Salary
All these jobs that have been listed here are unique to the media industry as a whole, and these professionals are those without whom the entire industry would be brought to a shutdown. Right from designing the font template for a TV program, up to the final packaging and airing of it, graduates in Viscom and E-media are necessary. Setting aside the slight difference that Viscom is more about art and E-media is more about technical expertise, graduates in both disciplines quite often take up similar professions.
The salary quoted by graduates in both streams is not pretty distinct as well. The average salary received by a graduate of visual communication can be anywhere between 2 lakh and 20 lakh. Like any other skilled and creative job, the pay scale depends upon experience. A graduate in E-media also might receive a similar salary. Viscom graduates can expect more payment since they can drift into many creative professions including film directors and actors.
Course and Syllabus of Viscom and Electronic Media
When the skillsets required for both the courses are similar, and the job providers are also moreover the same, we can easily understand that the course stricture and curriculum might also resonate with each other. Both are three-year long undergraduate courses, and are effectively practical in nature. Theory classes, which include arts and aesthetics, physics, and mathematics will be accompanied by on-field sessions where students practice what they learn. They might even be asked to produce independent programs and films as part of the curriculum.
With these similarities in hand, let us now examine the course pattern and syllabus of Viscom and E-media, to understand the junctures where they overlap and differ.
|Visual Communication||Electronic Media|
Apart from these, both Viscom and E-media courses comprise of specific projects and productions that shall be undertaken individually and in groups. The courses also include an internship to ensure a proper professional experience for the aspirants.
Where to Study MSc/BSc Visual communication?
Just like any other practical course, it is important to choose an institute that excels in training, studio setting and equipment availability. Since Visual Communication equals the film industry in India, many prime institutions provide decent degree courses in it. Visual Communication is primarily an undergraduate degree course, unlike E-media which has a better scope for a master’s degree. Apart from BSc Viscom, many other courses like BFA in Viscom, Bachelor of Viscom, etc are also provided by several institutions. However, the following are the best colleges or institutions available for those who would like to secure a bachelor’s degree in Viscom:
- Loyola College, Chennai
- St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore
- Madras University, Chennai
- Amity University, Delhi
- SRM University, Chennai
- Times Business School, Ahmedabad
- PSG College for Arts and Science, Coimbatore
Since almost all of these colleges are private or unaided institutes, the course fee can go a bit high. Fee can range from 50,000 to 6 or 7 lakhs per annum, considering the equipment/project expenses and the high demand.
Where to study MSc/BSc Electronic media?
E-media courses, as mentioned earlier is chosen by those who would also like to keep up a chance of getting into academia. MSc E-media courses are provided by central universities like Pondicherry University. MSc curriculum for E-media is quite diverse so that the student can shift their interest towards research or lectureship if needed. BSc E-media courses are also provided by some of the leading institutes. Most of the time, both Viscom and E-media courses come under the same school or department. Following are the top-rated institutes to study E-media:
- Hindustan Arts and Science College, Chennai
- Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar
- Garden City College, Bangalore
- Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism, Bhopal
- PSG College for Arts and Science, Coimbatore
- Anna University, Chennai
Course fees in these institutes might range from 30,000 up to 5 Lakh per annum.
To me, masters of creative and technical skills necessary for the running of a media-operated world is no easy task. However, there are ways in which one can try to be a master. Viscom and E-media are two of those ways. It shall be kept in mind that sheer passion and an enthusiastic skill set are the keys to success in this field. If you are interested in digitalized art and aesthetics, then you can choose from these two courses. Then, you can feel the intense urge to learn more, unlike what is expected of an ordinary college experience. What gives more happiness than to be in love with what you learn?!