This story first appeared on Zippia, The Career Expert.
Dr. Dhiman Chattopadhyay, assistant professor of communication, journalism and media, was among 12 faculty members from universities across the nation interviewed on the current communications job market. He shared trends, stand-out skill sets and where graduates can expect to find jobs.
In your opinion, what are the biggest trends we’ll see in the job market given the pandemic?
Several organizations (including media brands) will realize the lower overhead costs, and often greater efficiency, associated with the remote working or work-from-home model. As a result, I expect several work roles to become hybrid or even fully remote in the years ahead. People who don’t have to drive an hour to work may be able to devote more energy and time to their work. They will save on gas bills and time, while organizations save on overhead costs. Whether this will also translate to more productive labor is yet to be seen.
Another trend I foresee is an even bigger shift towards online jobs within the mass media industry. More jobs will open up in web content development, online writing and designing, blog management, strategic communications, and audio and video journalism on the web.
What skills stand out on resumes?
There are two aspects to this. On the one hand, more and more organizations will search for communication specialists who are good with technology and effective story-telling techniques. This will translate to potential employees who can tailor content for the web and social media; who have excellent video scripting, editing, and uploading skills; and who can create effective content for multiple target audiences over different web-based platforms. These are relatively newer skills. Students who take courses in, for example, social media data analysis, promotional publication design, strategic communication techniques, digital storytelling, and video production will have a shoe in the door.
As organizations resize and more entrepreneurial ventures and start-ups dot the media landscape, employers will expect newer employees to take on greater responsibility and even leadership roles and to communicate to and with a diverse, global audience. Media schools traditionally do not teach leadership or media management classes. Some, like Shippensburg, do. Students who take courses in subjects around media management, media diversity, or global strategic communication will be seen as more employable.
Having said that, traditional qualities such as news and feature writing skills, good grammar, good public relations and network building abilities, and being able to deliver perfect news releases will always be much valued skills on any resume.
Are there any particularly good places in the United States for graduates to find work opportunities in this field after they graduate?
There are larger media markets within the U.S. such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, or Houston. These centers will continue to have more opportunities for graduates. However, the competition will also be tougher at all these centers. The good news is that several smaller towns are seeing a growth in the media and communication sector. New PR firms are opening in cities across Pennsylvania – smaller TV channels, radio stations, and news websites that focus on community journalism will continue to employ fresh graduates. A degree in journalism and communication is a genuinely flexible degree.
Almost every organization needs people with good written and verbal communication skills. Some have full-fledged communication teams; others may need just web content managers, content writers, videographers, digital production experts, public relations managers, external communication personnel, or social media specialists. A degree in communication and journalism gives you just those skills. What you choose to focus on, what your strong areas are, will ultimately determine where you go and what job you take up.