Updated On - June 21st 2019
This is the digital age. In India alone, internet users are expected to reach a massive 672 million by the end of 2019. This number is significant for new age career seekers. The job market is in constant search for innovation and defined expertise to meet the demands of this evergrowing information consumer group. And as much as a traditional bachelor's degree is a useful item, there is nothing like a professional course in the field to doubly guarantee a future after studies.
Beyond the conventional print and electronic media, there is a growing demand in every internet company for writers and content creators with hands-on knowledge of multimedia handling. For any internet company today, a 360-degree content creator is a huge asset. For these specialised jobs, the plain vanilla bachelor's degree, perhaps with honours, say in English, political science, geography or sociology is not preferred by the industry.
That is where a professional and skill-based course like journalism opens up doors to all media entities in print, television, radio, event management corporates, advertising agencies, public relation offices, not to forget the currently fastest growing sector comprising non-media internet companies. Most traditional offline companies now have an online presence and so need people to manage their websites, but they too prefer skilled resources who understand digital media or journalism to an English graduate.
"A traditional bachelor's degree doesn't directly facilitate a job except for a few exceptional students because such courses are not at all geared to the job needs of the markets," said Pervin Malhotra, career counsellor. "The students will, at best, get entry-level jobs that don't require too many skills. This creates a lot of dissonance and social unrest. It is better, therefore, to pursue a course that is skill-based, for example mass media and journalism or IT."
But there always is the option of entering the media with a degree in a humanities subject, such as English literature, isn't there? This has indeed been the traditional route, but as Anil Aneja, associate professor in Delhi University's department of English, explains, there is a difference. "English (H) does open up options for other succeeding course such as MA in English, MBA or a competitive exam, but journalism is a specific course typically for those who are decided and want to make a career in journalism. It is like law, which teaches specific skills."
In fact, a digital media or journalism course has the highest job potential in terms of the number of jobs available in different sectors of media and internet. Even non-news websites like Zomato, Flipkart and Myntra attract people who are equipped with journalistic skills to manage their content requirements. So quite clearly, a course in journalism gives a student that extra edge.
Agnitra Ghosh, assistant professor of journalism at Kamala Nehru College, said that the Delhi University's curriculum is comprehensive and offers both theory and skill-based aspects of the discipline. Bennett University, on the other hand, provides not only the basic studies, but also specialisations in 10 media disciplines, namely print, TV, web journalism, mobile, advertising, public relation, event management. It also ensures a full complement of skills.
This can put aspirants in a dilemma. How does one zero in on where to study? In the case of Bennett University, its credentials speak for themselves. It draws its strength as the first media school owned by a media house and, therefore, knowledgeable about what future journalists should be equipped for. Apart from the state-of-the art facilities at its labs, it also has the best in house expertise from The Times of India, Times Now and Times Internet, all of which helps it create a truly multi-media journalist.
One of the critical factors in making the right choice is being acquainted with the academic rigour involved and the skill set one acquires in these three-year courses. At Bennett University, according to Sunil Saxena, the head of Times School of Media, student there spend 60% of their time in the state-of-theart TV and radio studios developed in collaboration with Times Now and Radio Mirchi.
"The three-year undergraduate programme in Journalism and Mass Communication at the Times School of Media course is very rigorous, with the students starting at 8.30 am and working till 5.30 pm," Saxena said. "The entire afternoon is spent in the lab or in the field, creating information bulletins, preparing newspaper reports, mobile reports or developing ad campaigns. The course aims to help the students acquire the relevant skills for a newsroom, advertising agency, digital site or e-commerce platform and even a public relations office."
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