The world has witnessed a phenomenal and unprecedented explosion in communication technology and media. All boundaries have been transcended, and the entire global community seems to have been brought together into one unified whole. And it is here that mass-communication, as a stream of study, and as a career, becomes so important and enviable.
Mass Communication is not limited to journalism alone. To a great extent mass media is a modern reality which covers all aspects of human life. Moreover, a great change can be observed in the concept of people working in mass media. Careers in Mass Communication are not only high paying but also bring in a great deal of job satisfaction and expression of creativity.
Not long ago, people with good communication skills and a degree in literature were considered fit for journalism and other areas of mass communication. However, with technology playing greater role in our lives, all professions related to mass communication now require skilled professionals who work fast and efficiently send across the message to a whole range of audience. Even though with the proliferation of blogs, it is commonly claimed that ‘anyone’ can become a journalist, a closer inspection of reality proves that only those with professional training make the grade.
Unlike engineering or medical streams there are no preparation strategies or set formulae for making a career in mass communication. A graduate degree in the field is good to start with but a post graduate degree or diploma is almost essential to be considered for responsible positions in any organisation. Meanwhile, you need to start blogging or work as a freelance contributor to newspapers and a host of online publishing sites to develop your communication skills. Maturity, objectivity and a sensible train of thought are essential.
Answering this question requires a critical self-evaluation. You need to have creativity—a way with words and excellent communication skills as you will be required to explain and inform, about the most complex of issues, in the simplest of terms—to a large number of people. Moreover, you require great deal of patience, because in this field, it takes a lot of hard work, and quite some time, to make it to the top.
Courses in mass communication are expensive as tuition fees and charges and expenses for doing projects, internships, and field work are quite high. Most of the institutes offering under graduate courses charge anywhere from Rs 60,000 to Rs 2, 00,000 per year. It means you will have to pay nearly three lakhs for a course of three years duration. Similarly, a PG diploma course from Indian Institute of Mass Communication can cost in the range of Rs 40,000 to Rs 1,00,000 for one year. PG course in Mass Communication from MCRC at Jamia Millia Islamia can cost around one lakh for two years.
IIMC offers scholarship for candidates in each branch i.e. print media English and Hindi and Electronic Media which is almost half of the fees – for first two toppers. Several other memorial scholarships at the institute are based on merit. Other mass communication institutes too provide merit based freeships and scholarships. Education loans are available from nationalised banks such as Allahabad Bank and Punjab National Bank wherein a student can seek a loan up to Rs 7.5 lakhs at low interest rates.
A professional course in mass communication opens doors for a career in films & TV, publishing, public relations, journalism, editing, direction, filmmaking, scriptwriting, production, etc. In nutshell, Mass Communication widens up the horizon of career options for a person. Depending upon personal interest and inclination a mass communication professional can choose a job. Attractive and high paying jobs as journalist, actor, director, editor, screenwriter, RJ, producer, VJ are available to the talented and trained individuals.
Whereas candidates passing out from IIMC, MCRC Jamia, Symbiosis College and many other institutes receive attractive placement after their courses and handsome salaries, students from not-so-well- known institutes have to work hard to get placed. Starting salary for a mass communication professional could be between Rs 12,000 and 25,000. After 5 Years of work experience a professional can expect higher salary in the range of Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,00,000 per month.
Demand and supply plays a crucial role in careers of mass communication professionals. The global recession had cost many high profile journalists their jobs and the graduates of these turbulent times found it extremely hard to get placed. On the contrary, there is a dearth of trained professionals in mass media, new entertainment and news channels and with new launches in the pipeline the demand will only shoot up. Opening up of media sector for foreign investment is expected to create new jobs in the field.
Career opportunities in mass communication are expected to increase as not less than 70 news channels will come up in next five years. Thanks to mass media, news and entertainment job opportunities are aplenty for trained professionals in various roles - particularly in journalism and films. India being the largest producer of films in the world has ample opportunities. Technically qualified media professionals can work for TV channels, production houses or can make documentaries on their own.
News Corporation of Rupert Murdoch, Disney Entertainment, Warner Brothers, CNBC, Guardian Group, BBC, ABC and many others are included among the large media groups which offer attractive jobs in mass communication at different levels and positions. In fact jobs in these organisations are attractive in terms of compensation and offer challenging job profiles. Indian professionals have an edge to work in international media houses for they have excellent command over English language.
Like any career option, mass communication too has positive features as well as a flip side.
A career in mass communication requires commitment, dedication and sacrifice of personal time for the sake of staying on front or top, particularly in news industry. A journalist may have to work day in and day out to get breaking news. Similarly, media professionals who are in entertainment or film making need to work with passion which may come at the cost of their personal life.
However, in a nutshell, mass communication as a career provides job satisfaction, name and fame and a challenge to live with.
Following are the various job profiles offered to graduates in mass communication:
Besides pursuing a course from a mass communication institute, a candidate is required to possess certain skills or interests which help him get a job. Candidates who are interested to get into news media should have keen interest and sound knowledge of news and current affairs. Global perspective on various issues helps candidates in obtaining the position of reporter or journalist.
Similarly, those who are interested in electronic media are required to have practical knowledge on video editing. Most of the mass media training institutes offer internship programs with news channels or entertainment channels which help candidates get a job after completion of the course.