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Is media studies degree rubbish?

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    Is media studies degree rubbish?

    I was watching the bbc radio 5live discussion for jobless people on bbc news and many the people in the room had this degree.

    A tweet was read out saying "if they had more USEFUL degrees like maths or science, then they wouldn't be there"

    Another tweet said something along the lines of Media studies degree =

    ( this being a media degree dispenser)

    Do you agree? With the above?
    Do we need to breed out another set of doctors and mathematicians in order to compete against the asian powerhouses and get people into jobs?

    Are we promoting rubbish degrees and making people believe they will get a job from it in the end?

    Do you persoanlly think a media degree study is bad? Feel free to neg if you disagree, I just want to see an open based discussion, not one based on fishing comments, I want real opinions bitches!

    Like this answer for example

    (Original post by Politricks)
    I'm not going to lie to you, it really is.
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    it makes me quite sad that nowadays a degree must be 'useful' - Universities are supposed to be institutions for learning, rather than job-training grounds. We're getting to the point where, unless you do Law, Medecine, Maths or a Science, you're going to be asked 'why' you're bothering going to university. That just seems wrong...

    Media studies, unfortunately, has quite a bad reputation (which is a shame, because I know several MS academics who know their stuff and are doing interesting research). I don't know whether it would be considered useful if you actually wanted to go into a media-related field? But even that is a competative field...

    People should go to University because they want to learn. Degrees do, potentially, need a bit more rigour in them, and students need to come out with transferrable skills such as independent working, research ability, good writing, and some common sense. But the idea that a University is there to train you specifically for a job just seems wrong, to me. But then I am doing a PhD, so perhaps I have a different view of Universities and the role of academia in society.
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    (Original post by flying plum)
    it makes me quite sad that nowadays a degree must be 'useful' - Universities are supposed to be institutions for learning, rather than job-training grounds. We're getting to the point where, unless you do Law, Medecine, Maths or a Science, you're going to be asked 'why' you're bothering going to university. That just seems wrong...

    Media studies, unfortunately, has quite a bad reputation (which is a shame, because I know several MS academics who know their stuff and are doing interesting research). I don't know whether it would be considered useful if you actually wanted to go into a media-related field? But even that is a competative field...

    People should go to University because they want to learn. Degrees do, potentially, need a bit more rigour in them, and students need to come out with transferrable skills such as independent working, research ability, good writing, and some common sense. But the idea that a University is there to train you specifically for a job just seems wrong, to me. But then I am doing a PhD, so perhaps I have a different view of Universities and the role of academia in society.
    you can learn for almost no money without going to a university. if you want a job go to a university.
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    frankly, yes
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    I have a Film and Media Studies degree, and I can understand the animosity towards the subject. The courses are over subscribed, and are often taken up by individuals not with a passion for an aspect within media (such as film), but with a lack of passion for any subject. During workshops in my degree, we often had discussions and a lot of the students had no knowledge of film or it's history, or any interest in media production. If i'm honest, the vast majority were female, the male students often had a borderline geek level of interest in film.

    It's testament to this opinion that a course starting in the first year had maybe 300+ students, yet only a third of them finished the course.

    I haven't found that my degree has hindered my employability though, but I did graduate in 2006, and it's wasn't exactly difficult to find a job in London. I think the current environment may require a much more pragmatic approach to higher education. I'm very much for this change, as I believe the value of a degree severely declined late 90's onwards, and in turn harmed the apprenticeship/training market.

    I don't believe that we are currently promoting rubbish degrees, and with the new fee structure and the economic climate, hopefully young people are thinking seriously about their future, rather than deciding on a 3 year piss up (media degree).
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    (Original post by Jed123)
    you can learn for almost no money without going to a university. if you want a job go to a university.
    To say that you can learn exactly the same at home, alone, with a bunch of books is to completely miss the point of a learning environment. You don't have access to the resources, but more importantly, you don't have the chance to discuss your ideas with others, and with those more knowledgable than yourself who can guide your thinking and help you expand your ideas in ways you may never be able to achieve yourself.

    Universities are not 'job training' institutions, they are institutions of knowledge.
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    (Original post by flying plum)
    To say that you can learn exactly the same at home, alone, with a bunch of books is to completely miss the point of a learning environment. You don't have access to the resources, but more importantly, you don't have the chance to discuss your ideas with others, and with those more knowledgable than yourself who can guide your thinking and help you expand your ideas in ways you may never be able to achieve yourself.

    Universities are not 'job training' institutions, they are institutions of knowledge.
    yes it is and of course you are partly right but would you pay £9000 a year just to be able to talk to other people? you can just run a book club at home run it on a particular subject and get the books from the library or amazon. university is a job training institution
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    (Original post by non)
    yes it is and of course you are partly right but would you pay £9000 a year just to be able to talk to other people? you can just run a book club at home run it on a particular subject and get the books from the library or amazon. university is a job training institution
    the cost of university is entirely another debate....and i think the conversation we're having (about what university is for) is something which has been missing from the debate about tuition fees, and part of the reason we're in the position we're in now in the first place...
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    (Original post by flying plum)
    the cost of university is entirely another debate....and i think the conversation we're having (about what university is for) is something which has been missing from the debate about tuition fees, and part of the reason we're in the position we're in now in the first place...
    the tuition fees are high but they aren't really a problem if you get a job afterwards beacuse of the loan system and like i've said before university is for job training if you want to learn just start a book club with your friends. I brought fees into the debate because you said you just wanted to use university to learn and socialise which can be done for free outside of university with less stress and less money.
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    (Original post by non)
    the tuition fees are high but they aren't really a problem if you get a job afterwards beacuse of the loan system and like i've said before university is for job training if you want to learn just start a book club with your friends. I brought fees into the debate because you said you just wanted to use university to learn and socialise which can be done for free outside of university with less stress and less money.
    Yes, but if university is for job training, then what degrees should a university offer? Presumably ones which have an obvious vocational element? But then what happens to academia? Or is knowledge which has no obvious practical application no longer to be valued (I think i know the answer to this from 90% of society at the moment...). This attitude is creeping into all areas of academia, and I'm not sure it's healthy, or good for society. Everything is becoming about money and outputs and I just disagree with that ethos. I think intellectual knowledge is important for society and culture.

    And I'm sorry, but I disagree that a book club with friends provides anything like the experience you get from a University education. At least, it's nothing like mine was...and if yours is, then I can understand why you think tuition fees are a waste of money.
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    (Original post by flying plum)
    Yes, but if university is for job training, then what degrees should a university offer? Presumably ones which have an obvious vocational element? But then what happens to academia? Or is knowledge which has no obvious practical application no longer to be valued (I think i know the answer to this from 90% of society at the moment...). This attitude is creeping into all areas of academia, and I'm not sure it's healthy, or good for society. Everything is becoming about money and outputs and I just disagree with that ethos. I think intellectual knowledge is important for society and culture.

    And I'm sorry, but I disagree that a book club with friends provides anything like the experience you get from a University education. At least, it's nothing like mine was...and if yours is, then I can understand why you think tuition fees are a waste of money.
    Universities pick offer a range of degrees because some people pick subjects they enjoy so they can teach it. Some people pick subjects because they find it easy (so some people find media studies easy and enjoyable) and some people pick a subject for the job prospects. However, many people are not knowledgeable for example getting into the media industry does not require a media or film degree - that is not known by a lot of people. Knowledge that does not help (I count knowledge from a degree practical) is not helpful and should only be learnt for the entertainment and the feeling of learning and knowing lots about the world. The only reason you should go to university is for a chance at a job afterwards unless you already have one and you just want to learn for the reason stated before. When you said about money becoming part of society, that is capitalism and of course a book club is different but it is a lot cheaper and a lot less stressful. If you want to learn in this current climate do not go to university but it is rare for someone just to want to learn and not to care about job prospects. Job prospects include wanting to teach the subject.
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    An English teacher of mine had a degree in Eng. Lit and Media Studies and she seemed to have found a job fairly easily. It's definitely not the most employable degree compared to stuff like history or straight Eng. Lit. (just examples from the arts), but I guess depends what you want to do and your honours.
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    (Original post by AtomSmasher)
    An English teacher of mine had a degree in Eng. Lit and Media Studies and she seemed to have found a job fairly easily. It's definitely not the most employable degree compared to stuff like history or straight Eng. Lit. (just examples from the arts), but I guess depends what you want to do and your honours.
    picking an example of one person isn't particulary useful but of course it isn't as employable as the degrees you have mentioned and arguably it is harder to find a job now.
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    (Original post by non)
    picking an example of one person isn't particulary useful but of course it isn't as employable as the degrees you have mentioned and arguably it is harder to find a job now.

    (Original post by flying plum)
    To say that you can learn exactly the same at home, alone, with a bunch of books is to completely miss the point of a learning environment. You don't have access to the resources, but more importantly, you don't have the chance to discuss your ideas with others, and with those more knowledgable than yourself who can guide your thinking and help you expand your ideas in ways you may never be able to achieve yourself.

    Universities are not 'job training' institutions, they are institutions of knowledge.
    You guys seem to be arguing the same point. A degree is both a way of furthering your knowledge and increasing employability, it's not as absolute as you both are stating. However, if you do an academic, creative or other such course for the love of the subject, i.e Philosophy or Fine Art, don't expect to graduate with the job prospects as a Computer Programming or Multimedia graduate, and for the love of god don't whinge about your choice.

    University is whatever you make of it, if you go for self indulgent academic knowledge without the foresight to plan for a possible career path, then wallow in your new found intelligence and enjoy living with your mum for the foreseeable. The real winners will have found a way of applying their learning to contemporary society/economy and will do just fine.
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    (Original post by Archamedes)
    You guys seem to be arguing the same point. A degree is both a way of furthering your knowledge and increasing employability, it's not as absolute as you both are stating. However, if you do an academic, creative or other such course for the love of the subject, i.e Philosophy or Fine Art, don't expect to graduate with the job prospects as a Computer Programming or Multimedia graduate, and for the love of god don't whinge about your choice.

    University is whatever you make of it, if you go for self indulgent academic knowledge without the foresight to plan for a possible career path, then wallow in your new found intelligence and enjoy living with your mum for the foreseeable. The real winners will have found a way of applying their learning to contemporary society/economy and will do just fine.
    I don't disagree with what you've just said re-employability. My point was that the move recently has been that the only 'worthwhile' degrees are ones which directly lead to employment. I take issue with that. Furthermore, I know plenty of people who did non-vocational degrees, who are all happily employed now, in things which are loosely connected to their degrees (history of art and a philosopher in advertising, english lit in PR, history as a journalist and so on). Their degrees taught them the skills they needed for these jobs...they just weren't vocationally trained, because they didn't really need to be. They could learn a whole heap of lovely things, then go out into the world, and find a job... perhaps not as simple as just joining a grad scheme, but still.
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    (Original post by non)
    you can learn for almost no money without going to a university. if you want a job go to a university.
    for subjects such as chemistry, physics, biology, engineering and medicine gaining practical experience is vital to studying the subject. i dont see how you can study these subjects for free at home without missing out vital experience that requires, quite often, extremely expensive equipment.
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    (Original post by flying plum)
    I don't disagree with what you've just said re-employability. My point was that the move recently has been that the only 'worthwhile' degrees are ones which directly lead to employment. I take issue with that. Furthermore, I know plenty of people who did non-vocational degrees, who are all happily employed now, in things which are loosely connected to their degrees (history of art and a philosopher in advertising, english lit in PR, history as a journalist and so on). Their degrees taught them the skills they needed for these jobs...they just weren't vocationally trained, because they didn't really need to be. They could learn a whole heap of lovely things, then go out into the world, and find a job... perhaps not as simple as just joining a grad scheme, but still.
    You're right, and that has been the case in post-modern higher education, people are following careers that are only just about connected to their area of study. Myself included. I think you may have it slightly wrong on how higher education is today though. It's not "the only worthwhile", it's more a recognition of demand for more directly related subjects, so students are graduating with degrees that carry a higher value to businesses. This is a good thing. Education must adapt to the needs of the economy, we're not talking about a complete shift over to "degrees must only be 100% vocational", it's just simple supply and demand. You can still do Eng. Lang. and get into journalism, or Pure Math and get into Banking etc..

    There is a problem in higher education and it's being addressed. Too many young people have enjoyed an easy ride to a 2:2 in a whimsical, over subscribed subject, and that's why there's a higher than usual unemployment rate in this demographic. That, and the pretense of self importance ingrained in this demographic (because of having a degree), meaning they won't take employment 'below their station'.
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    Ive applied to Media Communications and Cultures degrees, and have received all offers.
    As said above, I ended up choosing this area since it has always been of interest to me, and I would love to learn more about the journalism side of things e.g. filming documentaries/providing news from around the world in the form of new media/TV. I lack a passion for any subject due to me not having one particular talent - even at 18!

    My main rule when sorting my uni stuff out was to make sure I didn't choose media as a degree as the way I saw it, I would be screwed in terms of employment prospects afterwards - but of course its what I applied for.

    However, after thorough research about the degree I did find that a lot of employment aspects lean on 1) Where you graduated from 2) Work experience

    I made sure I applied to respected courses - Newcastle, Lancaster, Loughborough, Leister, Leeds (Only bothered about the first two)
    I am also taking a gap year to make sure it is what I really want - especially considering the fees rise last year, and the degree being considered soft

    Anyway, the way I see it is the more research you put in will result in the more motivation you have when you do the degree, and hopefully results in the higher grade you get - this accounts for all degrees in my eyes, regardless of 'softness' or 'academic-ness'
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    Have you been to Lancaster University?? It's literally in the middle of nowhere, on the side of the motorway. I admire you for choosing universities based on their reputation, but you need to factor in how much you will enjoy being there.

    I would highly advise anyone to do a 4 year sandwich course with a year out on placement, the new fees system is built to encourage this, and it will increase your employability ten fold. It also gives you 2 years of studying your subject, and discovering what you enjoy about it and what career you would like to persue, then get some experience in that area. No one expects an 18 year old to know what they want be. Also, take advantage of the system and try to get experience overseas, you won't regret it.

    Communications and Cultures is far more specialised than a bog standard 'media studies' degree, you'll be fine.
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    Yes.

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