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Career Guide: Media & Communications

Creative people with strong verbal and communication skills: Media studies students at University of Limerick

Creative people with strong verbal and communication skills: Media studies students at University of Limerick

Tue, Jun 17, 2014, 00:00

This is usually thought of as an industry for creative people with strong verbal and communication skills. Typically, these students enjoy writing and research and probably perform well in Leaving Cert subjects such as English and history. But the industry also includes designers and web developers, who can earn good money in technical roles.

Where to study media and communications

Dublin City University is the clear leader, with a very popular journalism course and a communications course with a focus on public relations and current affairs, scriptwriting and performing, audio and video, and communication and presentation skills.

But the University of Limerick and NUI Maynooth are nipping at DCU’s heels.

NUI Maynooth offers a BA in Media Studies where students learn about radio and TV production alongside an analysis of the media, and a BA in Digital Media, which combines digital media with computer science.

The Dublin Institute of Technology also offers a journalism course, as does Griffith College Dublin, while NUI Galway students can study for a BA in Arts with Journalism.

The Institute of Art, Design, and Technology in Dún Laoghaire offers excellent media courses, including a renowned animation degree, film and television production, and photography.

Bear in mind that students with an interest in media or communications don’t necessarily have to take an undergraduate media or communications course: UCD has two award-winning student newspapers, a campus TV station, and a radio station, where many eminent journalists, including the current news editor of The Irish Times, cut their teeth. Postgraduate journalism courses may be an equally useful entry route to the profession.

Career opportunities

Newspapers are in crisis, still looking for a way to make money in a world where information is given away online. But the online sphere is creating opportunities for writers.

Meanwhile, there are many opportunities outside the traditional route of journalism, with the digital world creating unprecedented opportunities.

Digital marketing and communications is a major growth area with good employment prospects. Social media means that companies of all sizes need to have a good communications strategy.

Salary expectations

The average starting salary is €26,000 according to the 2012 Gradireland survey. But internships and freelancing are common in the early years, so it will take some time to reach this level.

Online PR Manager, three to five years’ experience €35,000-€50,000 (Digital Marketing Institute)

Copywriter, one to three years’ experience €28,000-€40,000 (Digital Marketing Institute)

Journalist starting: €20,000 – € 25,000 (prosperity.ie)

Mid-level to senior journalist €45,000+ (prosperity.ie)

CAO points 2013

Journalism DCU 435 Communication Studies DCU 425

Journalism and Visual Media Griffith College 230

Digital Media NUI Maynooth 350

Journalism and New Media University of Limerick 410