Mass Communication is concerned with disseminating information among the masses through the means of print, electronic and digital media. A considerable number of people deem Mass Communication to be similar to Journalism. Hence, it’s important to do away with the common misconception and to have a deeper understanding of both the fields. Mass communication is a broader field of work. It allows one to communicate effectively to the masses regardless of the medium which is used. The idea is to put the message across and thereby, impacting the masses. The message could be news, opinion or entertainment. Mass Communication is an amalgamation of advertising, public relations, photography, filmmaking, journalism, content writing, etc. The field offers a wide range of electives.
Types of Courses and Degrees
The field of Journalism is quite distinguished. It consists of collecting data and writing about news and recent developments across the globe. Journalism is functional through print and electronic media. Different areas of work like reporting, editing, photography, cable casting could be seen in journalism. Journalism also involves investigating, analyzing and reporting local as well as world events and current affairs. It could also be said that journalism has emerged from the field of mass communication making it an extensive field of work. The Internet has been deemed as the fastest evolving and a significant part of mass communication. The Internet has also made the communication through journalism easier.
As discussed above, mass communication is further segmented into advertising, public relations, visual communication, filmmaking, content writing, and media management. Whereas, journalism is focused upon the collection of data which is transformed into the news for the consumption of the content by the masses. The news could be in any form. The profession revolves around covering local-national news and international-contemporary issues. Editing also plays a major part. Hence, there is hardly any contradiction between the two fields of study. They are not homogenous but are inter-related.
The field of mass communication and journalism has the following common courses:
- B.A. in Communication
- Interactive Arts and Technology
- Cultural Studies
- Writing for Film and TV
- B.A. in Journalism
- New Media Studies
- BA Social Science – Communications
- Bachelor of Science in Communication
- Bachelor in Communication Studies
- Multimedia and Mass Communication
- Advertising and Marketing Communication
- Broadcasting: Radio and Contemporary Media
- Liberal Arts
The concept of pursuing Liberal Arts is the newest concept there is. It is usually a four-year program that comes with an amalgamation of electives such as Sociology, English, International Relations, Economics, Psychology, Legal Studies, etc.
The courses which are offered in Mass Communication abroad are also found to be highly customized. One can find a long list of courses which are related to the two fields of study.
Mass Communication and Journalism courses are at three levels:
The graduate programs are interdisciplinary in nature. However, it enables the student to specialize in a particular field based on his interest and which aligns with the course. The specialization involved independent research and academia. This is usually achieved during the nearing end of the course of study. The duration of the courses mentioned may vary depending upon the university. But the usual duration of the programs is three or four years.
Top Universities to pursue Mass Communication Studies
Some of the top universities/colleges abroad to pursue Mass Communication or Journalism from are mentioned below:
- University of Amsterdam
- University of Southern California
- London School of Economics and Political Science
- University of Texas
- Stanford University
- The University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
- University of Wisconsin-Madison
- University of California, LA
- Columbia University
- University of Pennsylvania
- Cornell University
- Yale University
- New York University
- Michigan State University
- Northwestern University
- Ohio State University
- Cardiff University
- Goldsmiths University of London
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- National University of Singapore
- University of California, Santa Barbara
- The Chinese University of Hong Kong
- King’s College of London
- University of Michigan
- University of Illinois
The above-mentioned institutions are some of the top universities in the world for their qualitative Mass Communication and Journalism programs with exceptional research and teaching methods. The university may or may not conduct a separate examination in order to qualify for securing an admission. This is as per their admission guidelines mentioned on their official websites. However, essays are mandatory while applying abroad to any of these institutions. Some of the common examinations that the universities conduct are GRE and IELTS / TOEFL. One is expected to have a good amount of score in these examinations while applying to any of the mentioned universities. Firstly, because these top-notch universities, according to their rankings, have set the bar very high for a student to get in. Second of all, one can get into any of these universities on a scholarship or financial aid by the institute itself if one has a good score in the entrance examinations.
These universities have placements with the top media conglomerates across the world. The media companies that recruit at the campuses are believed to offer a promising career based on the job that one applies for.
There is a wide range of fields of work that one can get into even after pursuing the Bachelor’s degree. There are a plethora of job opportunities in the field of Mass Communication. But ultimately, the choice of career is based on individual interests.
Journalism if pursued with the correct and adequate amount of zeal and passion, can offer a promising career. Following are the career prospects in journalism:
- TV News Reporter
- Newspaper Reporter-News Editor
- Content Developer
- Digital Media Journalist
- News Presenter
- News Presenter
- Camera Manager
- Creative Designer
- Set Manager
Journalism is believed to offer lucrative jobs when pursued at the correct time with the required zeal and passion.
There is a plethora of career opportunities in the field of Mass Communication. Some of the promising ones are mentioned below:
- Advertisement and Branding
- Media Planning
- Media Buying
- Film Making
- Video Editing
- Public Relations
- Radio Jockey, Video Jockey
- Content Writing and Development
- Event Management
- Wedding Planning
- Creative Direction
Mass Communication is an upcoming field of work and it is getting quite popular each day. Advertising and PR are the most sought career options. They can offer a promising career if approached with an ability to sustain and the perseverance required to thrive in the industry. Here, one’s skillset plays an important role while looking for job opportunities. In the previous stages when one starts out right after graduation, advertising may offer you a low paying job but eventually, one can expect a rising monetary compensation if enough efforts are put in for sustenance. Advertising also acts as a field offering a wider platform for people with creative minds or the ones who intend to make their careers out of their creativity. Designing forms a highly important aspect of advertising. No ad agency can sustain without graphic designers. Below mentioned are some of the career options which can also be included under the segment of Mass Communication:
- Visual Effects Artist
- Storyboard Artist
Initially, PR could be approached by working for NGOs or the government sector. The PR industry all over the world has an ample amount of working opportunities. Nowadays, social media has opened up a plethora of job opportunities.
Digital Media Marketing is the most required skill today according to a Forbes’ report. Most of the ad and PR agencies have a special team dedicated entirely to digital media marketing. It is also believed to have good paying jobs. The field has immense scope in terms of development, growth stability and welfare. There are special courses designed if one is keen to pursue Digital Media Marketing and acquire the relevant skills. Digital Media Marketing jobs are further segmented into:
- Social Media Marketer
- SEO Expert
These jobs are lucrative in nature. They deal with the growth of one’s business on the internet and aiming for it to be the most searched business in the search engines. Hence, there are diverse fields of work in advertising, public relations, media planning and buying, digital media production, communication research, public policy, etc.
The choice of elective is made based upon an individual’s aptitude. Both the fields can offer lucrative working platforms if sought with the required expertise and informed decisions. Mass communication is an exciting and wide field does not always bring you a fat paycheck. Hence, one is recommended to pursue a number of internships during the course of study. This would help one to arrive at a field of specialization. Internships have been believed to broaden your horizons. Hence, they are the pre-requisite for having gainful experience in a particular field of work. The field of mass communication has no place for complacency. The field is highly time-oriented and evolving each month, a year or a decade and one is expecting to be in touch with the latest happenings in the field of media. I.e. what people are settling for, what do they aspire for, what are they expecting from the media as a community.