Career advice for graduates on getting into the media

Media is one of the most popular industries for graduates. It is a sector that offers the opportunity to develop ideas and be creative. Watching an idea take shape and become reality through the creative life cycle can give a person a great sense of self-fulfilment and job satisfaction. Media is a very exciting, fast paced and exhilarating industry to work in, making it fiercely competitive.

Media salaries

Salaries are relatively modest at first (starting around the £13,000- £15,000 benchmark) due to popularity of careers in the industry. However, career progression is quite rapid with successful individuals expected to be earning from £25,000 to £30,000 after 5 years. After 5 years in the industry, individuals typically specialise within a particular field or genre.

Media jobs

For a graduate starting in media it helps to consider from the start, where you see your future in the industry. The media covers a diverse range of occupations, from journalism, broadcasting and new media, to entertainers in various performance art fields, as well as publishing and management related jobs. There are overlaps with some marketing areas, such as public relations and media sales.

Starting out in media

Starting in media at an entry-level position involves anything from planning/buying, sales to research within media agencies or consultancies. A media researcher would, for instance be involved in evaluating the exact target audience for a particular campaign and to collect and analyze data in order to help buyers, planners and sales staff. Media planners research potential target markets and liaise with creative departments to decide the most relevant and effective advertising campaign to carry out. They decide which is the most suitable media channel to use and how and where the campaign should appear. Media buyers buy media space in whatever medium the adverts are to appear. Their aim is to reach the highest number of people within the target audience at the lowest possible cost.

Media career advice

If you do decide that a career in this sector is for you then you’ll need plenty of determination to succeed. Due to the competitive nature of the industry you’ll have to remain optimistic if you want to achieve your ambitions or eventual career goals, often starting at the very bottom with a placement or entry level position. Today we are in the midst of a media explosion. Once upon a time there was simply a choice of TV and Radio channels, press options, posters and so on. Now, with interactive and digital media channels choices are increasing phenomenally.
There is no particular academic background required for a career in media. Employers usually request strong grades and a good degree in various areas such as Art, English, Marketing, Business, Media or Modern Languages.

There are many different routes into media entry, so think about where you see your future in media and plan your route carefully. Most people, whatever they have studied, have to start at the bottom, as a researcher, office runner or assistant. This will enable you to build experience and network.

The most important skills needed to succeed in media are communication skills. You need to have excellent written and verbal communication skills. It will also help greatly if you can show that you are motivated, enthusiastic and have good negotiation skills.

Due to the competitive nature of finding a job in the media, you will find it extremely helpful to seek career coaching from someone with the expertise to direct you along your career path. As the job skills training provider for graduates, Graduate Coach can help. Find out more about our Career Coaching Programme today.

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