Think that just because you’ve studied a media and communications degree, you’ll be stuck in one industry? Here are five careers you can have with a media degree in five different industries.
Lee, Radio Producer
Salary: $70,000 (Age 26)
First job: I interned at Bauer Media when I was studying at uni. Over the course of 6 months I worked across a few different magazine titles including ‘Take 5’ and ‘TV Week’. Interning at a magazine wasn’t particularly glamorous at all, but if I wasn’t doing it then someone else would have been. For me, it was about making the most of it and using it as a profile building exercise. Any caption that I was able to write that ended up in the magazine would be scanned and uploaded to my digital portfolio.
Current job: I’m now an associate radio producer for a major Australian broadcaster. As an Associate Producer I work to pull all of the content together for the show. I’ll come in each morning and spend the first hour reading through the papers, pulling together the best stories, and thinking of relevant people to interview live to air off the back of those stories. At 9am we will have a team meeting where we [the producers] each run through the day’s show. After everything is formatted, we will begin the job of scheduling guests and building the story pieces. This means you might be researching, tracking down someone that you want a story comment from, or hunting for new leads on a story. Sometimes I’ll already have some guests confirmed or in mind.
Best thing about my job: I’d say the best part of working in radio is knowing that you are able to share important information that can help a community. For example, when the bush fires were on our broadcasts were affecting and informing the whole community about the state of the fires. Or, when there was a shooting in Hornsby earlier this year, a man on the scene who was actually shot with shrapnel called in to break the news with our listeners as it was all unfolding. It’s an amazing media to work in, everything is in real time, and this immediacy means that you are often the first media breaking news to people.
Worst thing about my job: Everything on radio is live and of course, that can be very stressful. But I don’t know if I’d say that’s actually the worst part of the job, it’s just the most stressful and challenging part.
Kelly, Trade Marketing
Salary: $85,000 (Age 28)
First Job: My first job in Sydney was in business-to-business public relations specialising in events and exhibitions. I hadn’t studied PR (obviously) and I didn’t really know what it was, but the job advert said that copywriting would be a huge component of the role, so I decided to give it a go. While I loved the vibrancy of PR and threw myself into learning everything that I could, after a year of earning $42,800 the ‘shine’ of PR was starting to rub off. The reality is that I was working till 8pm most nights, and even then, I was pushed for time.
Current job: Trade marketing is when you are trying to help the business sell their ‘brand’ to other businesses. What does this mean? A radio station has ads on it, that’s one way they make money – and so someone at the radio station is selling those ad spots to clients like Coca Cola etc. This person who is selling the ad space needs to compete with the sales people from competing radio stations as well as other mediums, eg. Why should coke choose to advertise on radio as opposed to on a billboard? Trade marketing is building case studies and creating strategies to sell your brand and product.
Best thing about my job: I really enjoy building relationships with people and that’s what trade marketing is all about. People buy from people. So a good trade marketer is extremely good at establishing and maintaining relationships, with clients, retailers, wholesalers, distributors – everyone!
Worst thing about my job: Working with difficult people… I had someone in my team that wanted to work in isolation and she didn’t work closely with the teams of people that were taking our presentations out to clients (agencies). The reality is that the sales team are the ones taking your presentations and strategies to market and that you need to have a good relationship with them.
Daniel, Sports Broadcaster
Salary: Daniel didn’t disclose his salary. When looking online, it is highly varied.
First Job: It wasn’t a direct line into media for me. I actually did a commerce degree first, taking a supporting major in journalism before I undertook post-graduate media studies. But my first media job was as radio analyst for various sports stations, commentating mostly the English Premier League because I was just football obsessed.
Current job: I’ve taken up sideline commentary for the Hyundai A-League and Socceroos’ matches, hosting duties for the Westfield FFA Cup and am FOX SPORTS News’ Football Correspondent. It depends on their specific title, but generally a sports broadcaster’s job is to either a) describe the action taking place in a sports game or to b) give their opinion on a particular sports topic or event. So you could be doing anything from being an anchor, analyst or commentator to a side line reporter, talk show host or play-by-play announcer.
Best thing about my job: Interviewing footballing legends like Del Piero, Roy Hodgson and Tim Cahill. I was completely awestruck when I interview Liverpool’s 2005 UEFA Champions League winning manager Benitez. I’m a Liverpool fan so, I really love him. I’ll never forget meeting him in a Liverpool hotel, I opened the door and I had to take a couple of seconds to gather myself. It was a really special moment.
Worst thing about my job: I honestly can’t think of anything significant. No job is perfect but I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.
Ella, Media Sales
Salary: $139,650 (Age 29)
First job: I started by doing sales for a production house. We produce the television shows that aired on Channel 9 or Channel 10 etc. The show I was working on was ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’ so I would go out and sell spots on that show to food brands. For example, someone on the show might be talking about the importance of using good quality olive oil and then we pan to a shot of an olive oil. The brand that is featured there has paid for that spot.
Current job: I work as the Group Sales Manager for a TV network. As a group sales manager, a lot of my role is organisational and involves overseeing my team and making sure that we are reaching our team budget.
Best thing about my job: I’m really passionate about the media industry and I think with media sales there is a huge opportunity to be creative and strategic in the same job.
Worst thing about my job: It can feel a bit frustrating when you don’t meet targets. The ‘highs and lows’ of sales is real!
Heather, Professor in Media
Salary: $140,000 (Age 37)
First job: Before I started my PhD, I worked for a few not-for-profit technology organisations, including the Association for Progressive Communications. That organisation aimed to help people get access to the internet where there is none or it is unaffordable. We also helped grassroots groups use the technology to develop their communities and further their rights, and work to make sure that government policies related to information and communication serve the best interests of the general population, especially people living in the global South.
Current job: I am a researcher and lecturer with an interest in media, culture and technology. I’m particularly interested in digital politics, thinking about how the Internet and digital platforms catalyse new forms of authority, power and politics. I teach courses in media ethics and I’ve been published multiple times in media journals. I’ve also just finished my first book about the way history is written on the Internet.
Best thing about my job: I’m truly passionate about the topics that I teach and research in, so I love being in a constant state of learning. I find it especially rewarding to hear my students ideas on these topics because they grew up with digital media so they often have a very different perspective to my own.
Worst thing about my job: I really do love teaching!