Mass communication is the process of creating, sending, receiving, and analyzing messages to a large audience, using verbal and written media. Its main focus is not just the why and how a message is passed, but the medium through which it passes. These media are various and include the internet, social media, digital media, print, radio, and television.
Mass communication involves so many disciplines and incorporates vital elements of related fields like strategic communications, health communications, political communications, marketing, and journalism. This diversity of mass communication allows for creativity and flexibility in selecting one’s career. With a mass communication background, one can pursue employment in related fields like marketing, journalism, entertainment, healthcare, communications consulting, broadcasting, advertising, foreign entities, government, and non-profit organizations.
How Long Does a Degree in Mass Communication Take?
Mass communication is very complex and involves a variety of branches. Basically, it takes 2 to 4 years to acquire a degree in mass communication. However, for a broader option, it is better to major in a particular field like advertising, journalism, film production, public relations, and so on. This might take a longer period of time. But then, you will become a professional in that niche.
Why Study Mass Communication?
Still contemplating on studying this great course? Here are some reasons to guide your decisions:
- Mass communication offers many career options upon graduation: Armed with your certificate in mass communication, you can choose to work in a number of fields as mentioned above. With the world relying so much on the media, you have tremendous opportunities to make a good career in this field. A degree in mass communication acquired from a solid institution can open so many doors because it can be applied in almost every mass media opportunity.You will gain competencies that can be applied anywhere: The skills you acquired in mass communications can be applied in any work settings. Skills like problem-solving, communication, writing, and speaking can help you to scale through any related field in mass communication.You don’t need any prior experience or qualifications to study mass communications: Students from any academic background like science or art have great opportunities to excel in this course. If you are scared of not doing well as a result of your high school background, fear no more, you have what it takes to do well in mass communication.Your understanding of the world will be expanded: Media and mass communication prepare you to understand the most complex issues of the world in areas like political, cultural, and business fields. You will also have the ability to affect millions, either by standing in front of a large crowd speaking or sitting behind a machine writing. Mass communication will help you achieve that.You can pursue a career in traditional communication fields: Such fields as journalism, advertising, public relations, or even broader fields like finance, healthcare, information technology, government parastatals are fields where you can pitch your tent as a mass communication graduate.You will learn to use effective communication tools and strategies: Using effective communication tools like video conferencing, cell phones, emails, and so on will help you to promote messages, products, and programs. With good strategies like content creation, social networking, advertisement, among others, targeted at the right audience, you will be able to reach a larger audience quickly and position yourself for a more competitive advantage.Mass communication is a medium for landing more paying jobs: There are abounding opportunities in ad agencies, print media, broadcasting media, visual media, and of late, the internet. You can work as an independent filmmaker, a copywriter, broadcaster, comedian, and other fields. As long as you are hardworking, there are numerous options open to you. The industry is a bright one.You will learn the techniques of how messages are delivered: There are different techniques of delivering messages to the masses. For example, in print media, newspapers, magazines, journals, and others are different ways to pass messages across. You will learn the nitty-gritty of these techniques and can work as an editor, reporter, or even a proofreader. You can also choose to pitch your career online and work as a social media manager, content creator, copywriter, and so on.If you are someone who cannot stand math, then you can choose mass communication: It does not mean that learning the basics of algebra is bad, but then, if you have a thing with math, going for mass communication won’t be a wrong choice. Similarly, if you are someone who loves talking and wants to be heard, mass communication can avail you of the opportunity to reach out to anyone in the world…and doing it professionally too.Mass communication helps you to connect to the masses: Your emotions would be put into action. You are already living with people and should have a good knowledge and understanding of what is happening around so as to employ your emotions effectively to affect your audience. You should be able to communicate well whether in an organized setting or to people on the street. If you employ positive emotions, you are likely to lead people without bias and bring them to one platform, irrespective of class, race, sex, and so on.
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Tips for a Study Path in Mass Communication
In order to be a good mass communicator, you need the following:
Be original and unique: To be the best version of yourself, you must be able to accept criticism and take feedback, no matter how painful it is. This will help you to work on the areas you are yet to become perfect.Be creative: Creativity is employed here in order to bring out the best in you. Think outside the box and make use of the resources available to you, no matter how limited they are.Keep learning: There is always something new to learn in the industry, even on the street. Talk to people around and learn from anyone, no matter how high or low the person is placed in society. The beauty of learning is that it increases your knowledge and experience.Adapt fast: The only constant thing is change. Everything in the world keeps evolving and you need to be adaptive in order to meet up. Know the latest trends in the industry and try your best to practice what you learned.
Skills in Mass Communication
Creativity is compulsory for you in any field you chose. With creative skills, you can present your work in a more unique way, taking advantage of the competitive market to sell your skills. With time, you’d become one of the pillars of the industry.
Communication skills are also necessary as it will help you to pass your messages effortlessly. Areas of interest like entertainment, broadcasting, public speaking, consulting, all need strong communication skills. You might also be involved in interviewing the audience via telephone, news interview, personality interview, prepared question, a man in the street, casual interview, and so on. The interview is one of the principal aspects of news and must be carried out in impeccable English.
Speaking skills are also very necessary as a mass media professional. Most media jobs involve speaking or interacting with an audience. Outspokenness and eloquence will help to hone your speaking skills. If you are an introvert, you can as well work on your public image, so as to make proper use of your communication and speaking skills. You can take up some challenges that involve speaking to a crowd. This will help you to become more courageous and confident and more prepared for your career. Don’t be shy while talking to people. One thing you need to understand is that making mistakes is part of the learning process. Make mistakes, learn from them, and fly.
You should develop writing and editing skills as they would help you in reaching out to a wider audience. As a writer, you can research topics of interest and present information for print media, websites, social media, and other platforms. You should have good eyes for pointing out errors, so as to present an error-free written work. This is what editing is all about.
You should be good at motivating people because most of your activities are going to be in front of an audience. Let people learn from your experience. Motivate them to take up challenging tasks and increase their horizon. Your comportment matters a lot if you want to gather huge followership.
Careers in Mass Communications
With the knowledge of the audience’s behavior and content creation, mass communication professionals are the best in delivering messages effectively targeted to the right audience.
Here’s a list of potential careers in media and mass communication open to graduates in the field.
News media director: These manage a team of journalists and news stories’ production. They understand the behavior of their readership and audience, as well as create editorial calendars that address interesting stories while overseeing the production of intriguing content around global issues.Journalists: Journalists are faced with numerous duties like finding, investigating, and writing about an interesting event or issue. Multimedia technologies are also used to create engaging stories that arouse the interests of their readers, as well as educating them.Public relations directors: They oversee the development and execution of strategic communication initiatives which enable the enhancement of the company’s public reputation. They also try to develop a positive relationship with customers, competitors, investors, as well as the press.Marketing director and specialists: Marketing directors help in creating multimedia advertising and other assets in areas like brand reputation, customer satisfaction as well as making profits through the sales of the company’s products and services. Also, they use such marketing techniques as search engine optimization (SEO) and customer relationship management software. Marketing specialists work under marketing directors to carry out marketing and advertising campaigns. They also write relevant and compelling content, create videos and graphics, conduct regular research to understand how effective their marketing strategies are.Web content specialists: Web content specialists include social media specialists, search engine optimization (SEO) specialists, and so on.Web producers: Web producers create engaging and educative content for online audiences. They manage websites or social media accounts while churning out compelling content that targets a particular audience. Both web content specialists and producers use SEO and traffic analytic software to understand their readers’ engagements and also generate contents that would gear traffic towards their website and also remain relevant to the audience.Professors: Professors work in universities by conducting relevant researches in the field of mass communication. They also teach mass communication courses to undergraduate and graduate students, mentor students, and so on.
Because mass communication is a multidisciplinary subject, there are different fields you can get into. Try to keep yourself updated with the happenings in the field. Hone your skills in order to take advantage of abounding opportunities in the industry.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé