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Media Careers

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When we think of ''media careers,'' most likely we think of careers in radio, television, or journalism. However, media crews themselves are so all-encompassing that there are lots of different niches within the media industry, so that you can get media jobs in a variety of areas.

First, let's talk about traditional media careers. These careers we might think of include being on television or on the radio as a personality, commentator, political analyst, anchorperson, reporter, and so on.

However, there's a lot more that goes on with media careers behind the scenes -- and in fact, this is where jobs are most plentiful. In fact, jobs "in front of the camera" for what are called "talent" are relatively hard to get into and generally take a lot of experience before you can actually move into one of these jobs. So, for example, if you work for a television station, you may work in an internship as one of your first media jobs, then upon college graduation move into an entry-level position, such as if you obtain a position as a researcher, assistant, and so on.

More plentiful are those media jobs and media careers that occur behind the camera or out of the public eye. For example, producers produce television shows, equipment operators like camera people or the "crew" manage things in the studio, various directors may run aspects of different shows as they are put on, and more.

Media jobs can also include jobs in print media, such as with journalism. The Internet has made it possible for just about anyone to start a media career, in fact, simply by becoming a blogger or commentator in his or her particular niche, such as within the political arena. It's true, of course, that this type of work usually can't be done full time, and you'll generally have another type of career in addition to participating in media jobs in this capacity -- at least until it supports you full-time if you become popular.

What type of education do you need to have a media career?

A formal media career will usually require that you go to college and specialize in one of the particular media venues, such as journalism or communications. After graduation, it can be difficult to find a job right away in your chosen career, and many people who work in media jobs start out part-time or even in internships. This particular job sector is very competitive, so it may be quite some time before you actually get to pursue a "media career" per se. Nonetheless, you can work on developing the talents and skills you'll actually use once you do get into your chosen career. For example, if your dream job is to work in the news and you want to ultimately be a reporter and an anchorperson, you can begin by learning the tasks of the trade at college, by developing an on-air persona, and so on. It will also help you once it does come time to pursue positions if you have demo tapes or have developed material so that people can actually "see" you on-air, doing the job you ultimately want to be doing.

What to do before you segue into a full-time career

There are lots of ways you can pursue media jobs even if you can't land a full-time job right away. As stated previously, pursuing an internship is a good way to get your foot in the door so that you gain some experience and can move up in the industry. With the proper qualifications, you can also simply begin by working in other capacities, and then segue into your chosen career as opportunities become available.

What can you expect to make in media careers?

That really depends, because it's such a broad ranging industry. Nonetheless, once actually in a media career, it's often a pretty secure (and can be lucrative) career as long as you don't mind what can be irregular hours and very long days; like any industry, it has its ups and downs, so you may experience times when you will be laid off, or times when there's plenty of work to go around.

Job outlook

The job outlook is very, very competitive for most media careers, even those that occur behind the camera. Therefore, be prepared and take any job that can get your "foot in the door" to your ultimate career, the one thing you want to really be doing. That way, when opportunity knocks, you'll be ready to answer.
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