Are you thinking of doing a media course because you want to work in the media? Watch

TV man
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If so, here are the facts:

1. There are no reliable published statistics on the employment rate of graduates from media course into media jobs.

None. Zilch. They do not exist. So if any institution tells you "most of our graduates get jobs in the industry" or "our graduates go into a variety of jobs in TV and Film" or "this is one of the best courses if you want a job in the media" then ask them exactly how they happen to know. Not guesswork, not "oh everyone knows that", get solid hard statistics! This is your £27.000; do not waste it on a course that cannot deliver what it promises.


2. When a University points at their Unistats data which indicates that x% of their graduates are in work 6 months after graduating BE VERY WARY!


Firstly those statistics do not differentiate between jobs in the graduate's chosen profession (eg a Runner job in Film) and jobs in any other field (eg dishing out the fries at McDonalds). Hence if you want to know if you are likely to be in a media job within 6 months of graduating, Unistats tells you nothing at all. Zilch. Nada.

Secondly, while the employment rate of graduates within 6 months of graduating is kinda interesting, it does not tell you anything at all about whether you are likely to be able to make a viable career in that industry. What about after a year? Or in five years? Or just after you have had a baby? Or when you are 45? A job is for life, not just for...well you know the rest. If you want a long term career in a particular industry, be very careful to look at the chances of that happening if you go into the media


3. The employment rate in Film, TV and journalism is very, very low.

Here's an example - a job for a short term Runner position was recently advertised on a Facebook page. Within three days there were 150 applications. Just for that one job. That should tell you something about how many people are working in the industry.



And here are some other observations:

1.The employment rate for media graduates in the industry declines steadily every month and year after they graduate.

What do I mean by that? Well it goes like this. When you graduate as a group from your Uni course, there is a chance that many of you will get unpaid work experience. There's a fair amount of that on offer so it might well keep lots of you busy. Then, after six months or so, you are all looking for a paid job. But there are fewer paid jobs than there are unpaid work experience positions - at that point some of you are too poor and/or fed up to continue so you drop out and find a job in another industry The employment rate of your group is starting to fall. Then after six months, even more of you decide you need to eat to live, so you also drop out. And on it goes.

As someone who has worked in TV for some years now, I can tell you that for every ten people that graduate full of hope in any given year, I would say that five of them are very likely not still working in the media a year later. After five years, i would guess that that is down to one person left in the industry. And in twenty years that may be down to one in twenty. There are not enough jobs around at any level to sustain everyone that graduates, not by a long shot.


2. If you are a woman and you want to work in TV, be prepared for the very strong possibility that you will not get work after you have had a baby.

The two things do not go together at all well - most women find it almost impossible to combine a TV career and motherhood



3. You are very likely not to be working in the industry after the age of 50.

It may seem a long time off, given that you are only 18 now but believe me, you need to think about your life as a whole if you are making commitments now. Nothing is certain (except death and taxes) but TV unemployment is a good bet if you happen to get old.



But don't let this make you miserable, just make sure you go into University Open days and UCAS applications with a very realistic head on, with eyes wide open and your bull**** detectors set for "very sensitive". Those Universities want your money. While they want you to succeed, they want your money more. Take everything they say with a large block of salt - whatever course you do and at whatever institution.

The chances are that you will not get a long term career in the industry of your choice. Fact.
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fallen_acorns
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would strongly second the part about employment rates..

I have graduated and work in a different field (did not study media) but through my old contacts, every now and again they get me back to be involved in a project or commissioned piece of work (usually for charities/business needing promotional film material)

Recently I was recruiting a few people for a short film being made for a charity..

Bare in mind all these positions are very low paid..

Composer - 350 applicants in a week
Make-up artist - 75 applicants in a week
Runner - 60 applicants in a week
Cast - 2 lead positions each got more then 50 applications
Assistant editor - 120 applications
Etc. etc.

Its crazy how many people are willing to work for so little at the moment..


- Anyway, my thoughts are just that people should be very careful of media courses.. honestly, every time I am casting, even for these small projects, when I see 'X graduate' I kind of switch off... its nothing special at all, we will get 50 of them for every position..

What stands out is the person who can say they have worked on X and Y and they have made Z film and helped produce this and that etc... - when I am looking at potential crew, I want to see that they have taken the initatve to go out and get involved in films, tv, etc. not just done it because it was an assignment on their course..
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KBradders
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Got to agree with this. I learnt more in 1 week at ITV than I have learnt at university that has supposedly got a good name in the media industry. I'm now desperately wanting to leave university because it is simply a waste of money and time. I am so depressed paying £9,000 a year for such crap, would have much rather gone and done an apprenticeship.

As a matter of fact, I learnt more doing a BTEC Level 3 in Creative Media Production at college than at university in the same timeframe.
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latenovember
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Agree agree agree. Pursue a respectable degree from a respectable university, intern in the industry if you feel inclined to (it can be fun depending on company size) - they wouldn't hire you for really great positions with a 'relevant' degree anyway. All media/tv people do is intern short-term and unpaid and be socialised to feel thankful for it, whereas say economics/law/history/language/even geography RG students find paid internships easily. You're at the bottom of the industry pile, even when at uni they make you believe your skills make you a pro.

All cool and important guest speakers you'll have when studying media didn't study media themselves - a quick LinkedIn search will tell (and disillusion) you. They can praise your course all they want and then go on to never hire anyone from your sphere because your outside the box thinking skills will be close to zero.

LinkedIn is a useful tool to get guidance on what/where (not) to study or intern - look up graduates of [media course of your choice] and what they ended up doing as opposed to interns/assistants/executives of [dream agency/company of yours] and how they went about getting to where they are.

Don't make your 20-something self hate you and regret things lol good luck!
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