The world of media is a beautifully tough one. There are long days (and nights), your job leans towards being ‘always on’, but when you see your work come to life and people enjoying it, it truly is the best feeling in the world!
So, if you are thinking of a career in media but are a bit put off by the rumour mill that swirls around the profession, here are a few myths that have surrounded the sector.
Myth #1: There’s no point doing a course in media - it’s just a Mickey Mouse degree!
This statement could not be further from the truth. According to Qualifax, there are currently 470 media courses across Ireland, and with over 230,000 higher education students in Ireland, 19% of them are currently studying within the Arts and Humanities sector.
A media degree has a lot of what a ‘standard’ course would have. You’re in college Monday to Friday. There’s group work, theoretical study, exams - all the nice stuff! However, on top of that, most media programmes often emphasise the practical elements. Mixed in with your essay on Marxist communication theory, you could be editing a radio show, conducting an interview, shooting for an editorial, making your directorial debut, or developing a crisis communication strategy for a global company. There isn’t much downtime when you’re studying, but the rewards definitely outweigh the struggles.
Myth #2: Studying media means you can only work in TV and Radio.
Wrong again, world! According to the Irish Times Top 1000 Companies report, there are currently over 5000 people working in the media sector in Ireland’s largest companies. This list doesn’t even include freelancers, filmmakers, photographers, journalists, PR managers and more. Now, if you are familiar with our little island, there is not enough airtime for all of these people to work in TV and radio. A media degree can help start your career in so many sectors. To test this theory, we did a quick LinkedIn search to see what jobs our media graduates have ended up in since they finished at Griffith College and we had to stop counting at 270 - and this search was just on the media sector. A media career can also lend itself to a wide range of other careers, whether it be in business, enterprise, legal, you name it, a media programme will give you crucial tools to make your mark in whatever career you choose. With a media degree under your belt, the world is your oyster.
Myth #3: It will take years to make my mark in the industry
When I finished college, I was expecting to make tea and coffee for the guts of three years before I got to have any impact within a company, let alone the media industry as a whole. Luckily for me, and for most media graduates out there, along with making a few trips to the office kitchen for the morning and afternoon slumps, I was given a chance to shine. For me, I started out in Public Relations, writing press releases for regional publications, attending photo calls and taking part in campaign brainstorming sessions. Slowly but surely, doing odds jobs, which at the time seemed ‘small’ to me, built up my CV and gave me exposure to a variety of sectors in the media industry. Once you are passionate, can demonstrate the skills you have learned, and are willing to go the extra mile, most companies are quite happy for you to take part in their upcoming campaigns.
There is so much passion amongst the people who work in media, whether they are in front of a camera, editing images in a dark room or researching for the next big podcast. People who decide on media as a career don’t really choose it on a whim; they choose it because they love to be creative, and when you let that creativity show in the workplace, your employer has no choice but to take notice. So, you could be making tea on a Tuesday morning, but by Thursday you could be shadowing a senior editor.
The life of a media worker does have its challenges, but you will never be bored. No two days are the same, and you are constantly being asked to dig deep and create work that inspires. If you have a passion for creativity, being on the cusp of the new and exciting, don’t let outdated myths on the industry stop you. Show the world what you’re made of!