Medical and engineering are passé. Today's youth are looking for new and exciting careers. One such field that is rising these days is media and mass communication. Although, journalism has always been around but with a sudden spurt in the number of news channels and newspapers, the demand for mass communication experts has increased manifold. A lot of students are looking to pursue courses in mass communication and acquire skill sets that will help them make a career in this field. Apart from journalism, advertising, modeling, acting, jockeying etc also fall under the same category and are gaining popularity. The education scenario is also bright as many good institutes are offering full-time and part-time courses in media, films and mass communication. The courses can be pursued both at degree and diploma level.
Mass communication clearly implies that it involves communicating to the masses through different modes. According to the target audience and the message to be broadcast, the media is selected. The information that has to transferred could be news or entertainment or both. Print, Television and radio are the most popular mediums through which one can communicate with the masses. Apart from these three, Internet is a fast upcoming medium gaining popularity in recent years, though it mainly caters to the young and educated audience.
The top institutes in mass communication are spread over various cities in India. Of the most renowned, Mudra Institute of Communications in Ahmedabad, Gujarat is a good option. It offers PG Diploma in Management in Communications (PGDMC), PG Program in Communication Management and Entrepreneurship (PGPCME), PG Certificate Program in Integrated Marketing Management (PGCPIMM), Career Development Program in Design Communications Management (CDP-DCM) and PG Certificate in Advertising Management (PGCAM). It is a renowned institute and conducts admission tests for intakes.
The Indian Institute of Mass Communication based in New Delhi is another good institute. Established, over thirty years ago, the IIMC has gained recognition from UNESCO as a center of excellence in the field of communication teaching, training and research. It provides a variety of courses including print journalism, photo journalism, radio journalism, television journalism, development communication, communication research, advertising and public relations.
The Asian College of Journalism based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, is a postgraduate college that provides students with journalism education adapted to the specific needs of India and other developing countries in Asia. The curriculum is based on the trend and thrust of convergence in the media, and the consequent demands for multiple skills made on the contemporary journalist.
St. Xavier Institute of Communications (XIC) based in Mumbai, Maharashtra, offers a variety of services in training and production. XIC was initiated in 1969 by The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India to develop scholarship and professionalism in the field of media. It is currently managed by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) of the Bombay Province.
The Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media (IIJNM) based in Bangalore, Karnataka, is a leading post-graduate school of journalism and media. The curriculum combines both theory and practice to prepare its graduates for positions in the media industry. The center started in January 2001.
Times School of Journalism, based in New Delhi, offers Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism including six weeks internship with the Times of India and The Economic Times. The eligibility criteria is graduation in any discipline with 50% marks. However, a PG degree and a background in Economics, Management, Finance, Law or Science and Technology preferred.
Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) also offers courses in mass communication. It provides basic knowledge to students on Journalism and Mass Communication by sharpening the basic skills needed to function effectively in a media organization.
For those interested in acting and modeling, Film and Television Institute of India – Pune is a good option. It is an old and renowned institute and has produced well-known actors working in the film and television industry today.
There are various branches of mass communication. In journalism, the main purpose is to inform, educate and enlighten the masses on current issues and various other social issues that are relevant to them. These days, reporters, news casters, video journalists, cameramen are in great demand. Advertising involves brand-building through effective and innovative communication. The market for advertising is also very competitive
Then, film-making is another interesting option. It involves study of skills used in acting, directing, producing, script writing, cinematography, sound recording, visual mixing and editing etc. These days, lots of youngsters are taking to film-making and are interested in assignments behind the camera as well. It requires a lot of creativity and thinking in a broader perspective. Next comes publishing & printing. A course in publishing involves study of scientific methods used in this industry. It also requires editorial understanding.
Public Relations as a stream is also part of mass communication. PR executives are also in demand as they are responsible for building the public image of an organization.
A report by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), says that India's print and broadcast industries are expected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 14% and 22%, respectively, until 2012. While print is estimated to become a Rs.28,100 crore industry by 2012, television will be a Rs.60,000 crore sector. Thus, there is no dearth of opportunities in all these fields but youngsters have to understand that it is not just glamor but also a lot of hard work that goes in these professions.