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It’s a notoriously difficult industry to crack and with the growth of online media, the jobs are becoming few and far between. However, there is still a wide variety of jobs available in the media, even if the role of the traditional journalist is in decline. There are three main career paths into the media, none of which is valued above the other.
The first route is university. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to get a media studies degree. Politics, history and languages are well respected degrees which a potential employer will value just as much as a media studies qualification. It’s advisable to gain as much experience as possible, while at university, to set you apart from your peers when you start to apply for a graduate scheme.
There are several apprenticeship schemes, especially in the area of TV production, aimed at those who don’t want to undertake university education. You’ll often be paid for these but wages can be low. However, you should view this as your training and consider the fact that you won’t have any debts upon completion of your qualification.
The third, and most ad hoc route, is through work experience and your own tenacity. This involves work experience at a local paper, taking on unpaid work to get your foot in the door and generally begging people to give you experience. Though this might seem a little tenuous, a surprising amount of people have actually made it into the industry this way and gone on to have highly successful careers.
Often, you might even combine these, for example getting some work experience at a local paper while you’re studying. However, don’t be perturbed, if you have the ambition and the talent to back it up, it’s still perfectly possible to make it in the media, even in today’s competitive landscape.