Cultural cohorts fit for action

July 19, 1996

Cultural, communication and media studies courses do prepare students for jobs, a study into the employment of media and related graduates claims.

The preliminary survey, conducted by the Standing Committee on Cultural, Communication and Media Studies, is the first to separate figures for media and cultural studies students from broader categories.

It found that for the years 1992 to 1994, the percentage of such students finding work within six months was 1 to 5 points higher than the average.

In 1992, it was 53 per cent compared with 50 per cent for all; 59 to 54 per cent in 1993; and 57 to 56 per cent in 1994.

A high proportion of graduates go into communications and media industries - per cent into publishing, media and performing arts, and 15 per cent into advertising and marketing. Many also find work in other fields, such as buying, selling and retailing (17 per cent) and administration (13 per cent).

But unemployment for cultural, communication and media studies graduates was also slightly higher than graduates as a whole, and fewer go on to further tertiary study than graduates from other fields.

The survey examined the employment of 2,091 students from 29 universities who graduated between 1992 and 1995.

Chair of the standing committee, Peter Golding of Loughborough University, says the study was a response to media debate in the past year about the purpose and value of higher education courses in media and related studies.

He says much of the discussion has been ill-informed and vindictive and had claimed that students are not properly prepared for employment, but the survey's results indicate students can compete successfully for employment across a range of sectors.

"Cultural, communication and media studies is not only a success in terms of attractiveness to students, but in terms of creating employable students," he says.

The employment outlook for graduates is mixed. While there are more jobs, many are routine chris thomond "It says a bit about a person if you do something like that at a high level - you've got to have commitment and be able to handle pressure."

Instead of obtaining a placement last year, she led a group of Japanese students on a tour of Europe.

Ms Brown also believes that extra-curricular activities give her an edge over other graduates and says students who were college presidents always get great jobs, even if their degree is not outstanding.

after being inspired by her A-level theatre studies night-class teacher and stage managing fringe shows for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The three years were Even if Ms Swann is accepted into the MA course, she will have to continue working part-time, even if that means the time and cost of commuting to London.

Nevertheless, she is determined to follow her heart. "I've got to the point in my life where I want to do what I want to do, and I'm going to make it work somehow."

She describes law at Durham as "quite traditional" and says lecturers made little reference to employment prospects at the end of the course.

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