This article aims at giving you facts on Mass Communication degree and the careers you can venture in.
Every student seeks admission into the university for the sole aim of earning a living and achieving success and satisfaction in life. This aim guides many decisions like the choice of school, course etc. In secondary school, students are asked to choose between science, commercial or arts subjects based on their chosen career. In the higher institution, there are a plethora of courses to choose from in these subject areas. The science folks would go for courses like Medicine, Engineering, Computer science, Biochemistry, Mathematics Pharmacy etc. The commercial students would most likely take courses in Economics, Business Management, Accounting, Business Administration etc. while the art student would tow the line of Theatre arts, Mass communication, English Studies etc. In this article, however, we would be discussing Mass Communication and what you can do with this broad course.
Mass Communication is simply the transmission of information from a source to a heterogeneous audience through various forms of media technologies with an expectation of feedback. In the mass communication field, you deal with radio, television, advertising, public relations, social media, journalism etc.
Mass communication is different from other forms of communication, such as interpersonal communication and organizational communication, because it focuses on particular sources transmitting information to numerous receivers at the same time. The study of mass communication is majorly concerned with how the content of mass communication persuades or otherwise affects the behaviour, the attitude, opinion, or emotion of the people receiving the information.
Let us discuss the major areas in the Mass Communication field briefly:
In mass communication, it is also known as marketing. It is marketing a product or service in a persuasive manner that motivates the audience to buy the product or use the service. Advertisers use television, radio and recently social media to advertise their products. Mass communication exposes students on how to study the attitudes of consumers in order for the product to reach the target audience.
This is the production and distribution of news reports on events for presentation through the media. It also involves analyzing the dissemination of information to the public through media outlets such as newspapers, news channel, radio station, television station, and more recently, e-readers and smartphones. Current affairs programmes, editorials, newscasting are forms of journalism.
3. Public relations
This is similar to marketing. It is the process of providing information to the public in order to reinforce and shape a particular view of a product or organization to the public. It is the practice of deliberately managing the release and spread of information between an individual or an organization and the public. Almost all organizations have public relations officers.
4. Social Media
We all have social media accounts on one or more platforms. It is part of mass communication because messages or information can be passed to a large audience at the same time through these platforms. Social media are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation of information, ideas and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks. Social media is a new media tool compared to others like radio and television, mobile devices and home computers are used here to interact through the use of words, images, sounds, and video. Some popular social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, google+, Whatsapp etc. Now, companies need social media managers to help boost their image and stay in touch with their customers.
Next to the radio, this is most likely the third most powerful and popular mass media tool. We listen to the news, watch movies and documentaries on the television. In a TV house, you can television presenters, cameramen, producers, editors etc
This is the second oldest mass media tool after newspapers. It is also the most widely used medium because of its easy accessibility and mobility. In fact we can listen to the radio on our phones. In the radio, you have producers, editors, presenters, engineers etc.
7. Film Industry
The film industry plays a key role in the field of mass media since they use pictures and sounds to send messages to a large audience through stories. In the film industry, you have editors, engineers, writers, producers, directors, photographers etc.
Photography is another major and emerging area in mass communication. Photographers and their pictures are of great use in the audiovisual areas like television, newspapers, social media etc.
This is the oldest form of mass media, even though it is gradually adapting to new technologies. Many of the newspaper outlets now have online websites. We have editors, graphic designers, writers, reporters in this area of mass communication.
Having listed these, there are countless things that you can do as a mass communication graduate. Let us give you the career opportunities in this course:
1. Social Media Manager
The work environment is evolving and it is important that corporations maintain cordial and close relationships with their customers and one potent tool to achieve this is through social media since about 4 billion persons are active on social media around the globe. Hence, companies hire separately, social media managers, who would respond to messages, promote goods and services and respond to complaints or comments from the consumers.
2. Research analyst
While in the university, you are taught how to write and do research, hence as a mass media graduate, you can work as a research analyst where you would research, analyze, interpret, and present data related to markets, operations, economics, customers, and other information related to the field they work in.
For those interested in education, a graduate of mass communication can pursue a teaching career in the university in the areas of organizational communication, media studies etc.
4. Media Presenter
This is one of the most interesting jobs in this field. While in school, you are taught first hand how to present and produce broadcast programmes. Some universities have radio and television facilities for students to learn and practice or send them for internships in various media corporations to get first-hand knowledge. As a mass communication graduate, you can work as a radio or television presenter, youtube has also provided a platform for people to present their own program based on their style. They are called vloggers. A media graduate has an upper hand here because he/she has been taught the principles of the media as a whole work.
The film industry, radio and television stations need producers for the different programmes that are run on air. This course also exposes you to the techniques of producing programmes and shows for television, radio and film. Under the line, you can also work as a director, cinematographer, editor,
6. Media Consultant
You can serve as a media consultant or public relations executive that is hired by business organizations or political campaigns or candidates to obtain positive press coverage. As a media consultant, you would draft press releases to highlight positive achievements of a business, organization, or individual and sometimes serve as spokesperson.
7. Customer service representative
While studying, you would be exposed to the concept of communication and all that it entails and what communication channel and form to use when interacting at a particular time, which fits in properly for a Customer service representative role. As a Customer service representative, you serve as a liaison officer with customers on behalf of an organization. They provide information about products and services, take orders, respond to customer complaints, and process returns. As earlier noted, social media is a great tool for this service.
8. Content Marketing Specialist
One major thing that stands out in this course is that you are taught to write. Content Marketing specialists provide organizations with persuasive and interesting contents which can be posted on social media, blogs in order to woo readers to the organization’s platform. The internet is changing the system of doing everything and customers and getting wiser and intentional about what they read or consume, if corporations can pay attention to their needs by providing quality contents, it would go a long way.
You can serve in a media house as a journalist, reporter, technical writer, newspaper editor, critic, news director, proofreader etc.
Mass communication graduate can also thrive in the publishing industry as a booking agent, literary agent, editor, writer/contributor, and even an author.
10. Content Writer
As a content writer, you can serve as a freelancer for companies or blogs or simply have a blog or website where you post great contents and are rewarded for your write-ups through the traffic of people that visit your website. Make sure you have something different to talk about and you present it in a unique style. That would sell fast.
11. Public Relations Officer
As a PR officer, as they are fondly called, you would monitor publicity and conduct research to find out the concerns and expectations of your organisation’s customers.
These and many more are some of the opportunities present in the mass communication field. There is virtually no sector they are not relevant including tech companies, government, schools etc. As far as writing, speaking, social media and public relations remain, mass communication would continue to be relevant.