The Value of a Media Master's Degree
Industry and academic discourses indicate that in order to get a job in the media, relevant experience is extremely important. In order to get your foot in the door, it helps to have made connections and developed skills in this field, but this can be very challenging to do. Therefore, for people like me who want to build a career in this sector, acquiring a masters degree is not an immediate priority. Developing your academic knowledge of the media does not seem as important as having practical experience.
After completing my undergraduate degree, I faced a difficult decision. I found higher education incredibly rewarding, and I felt that by pursuing a masters I would continue my personal development considerably. I was excited to learn more about the issues that workers face in the creative industries, and the opportunity to continue learning about the media industries specifically was an exciting prospect. However, I faced the reality that upon completing my masters I may not be any more likely to find a job in the media and may have postponed my career by losing out on a year of experience. Nevertheless, I decided that regardless of career prospects, the opportunity to advance my knowledge, confidence, and academic skills was worthy enough reason to continue with my education.
Instead of continuing to study general communications, I chose to pursue a masters titled ‘Media Industries’. This programme examines the cultural and economic dimensions of media production in modern societies. I have had the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship in the cultural sector, how public opinion can be affected by the media, and the dynamics of the media industries and media production. I have developed a deeper knowledge of issues that this sector faces and how media work has changed and developed. The opportunity to undertake a dissertation related to advertising has allowed me to research this subject thoroughly, and I now feel that I have a much more developed understanding of this field. Overall, my ability to be critical and analytical has increased substantially.
Upon completing my degree, I feel that I have developed self confidence, media awareness, and skills that have made me a much better candidate for a communications-related job. Perhaps a year of work experience would have looked better on my CV, but I feel that I now have a unique perspective on what media work entails, which has strengthened me as a candidate.