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How do I know that I am suited to a career in Media?
Two important factors to be taken into account are your ‘interest’ and your ‘aptitude’. Both are complimentary and one cannot be considered in isolation to the other. The next question in your mind would be- ‘interest’ and ‘aptitude’ in what? The answer is communication skills. If you have a flair for expressing yourself either vocally or through the written medium, have a naturally curious disposition about what is happening around you and a creative bent of mind, Media is the career for you.

What educational qualification is required to go for a course in Mass Communication?
The courses conducted by the various Mass Communications Institutes in India do not come under the ambit of any of the controlling authorities like AICTE, who lay down the rules and regulations for the entry, curriculum and quality control of the technical institutions placed under them. It is a kind of anomaly when one compares to the other technical courses like medical, engineering and management which are set under strict guidelines promulgated by AICTE etc. Hence, the rules with regard to eligibility and regulations for the conduct of the Mass Com Institutes in India is vague and locally decided for; unless one wishes to study in the Universities and controlled autonomous Institutes like IIMC, for whom there are laid down procedures. The Universities and IIMC accept an aggregate of 50% (including all subjects) in graduation for a post-Garaduate Mass Com Degree. The other well known Mass Com Institutes like MICA, ACJ, Manorama School, IIJNM, XIC and TSJ also seek an an aggregate of 50% as the eligibility . There are other upcoming Institutes also who accept below the 50% reqirement.

What educational qualification is required to go for a course in Mass Communication?
In the absence of any national policy laid down by any controlling authority, the trend over the years has been seen to allow any graduate, in any subject, to be qualified enough to pursue a Mass Com degree as long as the candidate meets the minimum eligibiity criteria. However, candidtes are advised to read the other FAQs before deciding upon a career in Mss Com.

Which are the top ten Media Institutes of India?
According to a survey done by Outlook magazine (dated June 11, 2007), the top ten media institutes (in order of their rank) include Mudra Institute of Communication (Ahmedabad), Asian College of Journalism (Chennai), AJ Kidwai Mass Comm Research Centre, Jamia (New Delhi), Indian Institute of Mass Communication (New Delhi), Xavier Institute of Communication(Mumbai), Film and Television Institute of India(Pune), Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication(Pune), Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media(Bangalore), Manorama Institute of Communication(Kottayam) and Times School of Journalism (New Delhi).

What kind of tests do candidates have to face to get into a reputed Media institute?
Most institutes test the candidate’s skills in English Language Application, General Knowledge and Current Event Awareness, Media Appeciation, Creative Writing, and a certain media-specialisation field awareness as chosen by the candidate. The pattern (basically subjective/objective question style) varies from institute to institute. And most institutes bring a slight change in their pattern every year too so that the paper seems a bit creative, is not repetitive, and is a greater challenge. Some of the reputed institutes like MICA, have accepted the well known MBA entry exam CAT as the basis for their selection. Some other institutes also accept the scores of the MBA entry exam MAT.

What are the different branches in Media? What is the aptitude required in each branch?
The four main divisions are Print, Electronic/Broadcast, New Media and Advertising Public Relations.

  • PRINT: It is presumed to be the oldest form of journalism. It includes writing for newspapers and magazines under various topics like politics, business, sports, entertainment, health, education, books and movies. Aptitude required is strong writing skills. Candidate should definitely have a strong vocabulary and a sense of correct grammar.

  • ELECTRONIC/BROADCAST: Includes reporting news through Television and Radio. With the growth of numerous satellite channels and radio stations, it has numerous scopes for the youngsters who are vibrant and confident. Aptitude required is the grit to face the camera, strong verbal skills with the perfect diction and pronunciation and an interest for the technical know-how about what goes on behind the camera.

  • NEW MEDIA: It is a comparatively new genre of journalism. It includes covering news over the internet. It requires the same skills that are required in the print media. In addition to that, one needs to have a creative bent of mind to be able to design news websites.

  • ADVERTISING & PUBLIC RELATIONS: This is so as to speak not a primary division of media. It requires creative skills both in writing and designing. You need to be able to think, write, and visualise in a witty manner.

Besides these four main divisions, there is PRODUCTION too which is emerging as a major medium, i.e., the production of film-based documentaries, promotional videos and features.

Can I skip from one branch to another later? (if later on my interests divert)?
This again depend entirely on your aptitude though it would not be a wise idea to toy with a field you have not specialised in. However, if you are confident, there is no one to stop you.

What will be my career like/ what are the prospects of Mass Com as a Career?
Numerous exciting jobs in newspaper organizations, magazines, television channels and radio awaits. You could either become a reporter, sub-editor, news reader, anchor, producer, film-maker initially and later venture to become the editor or start your own media house. You could even move on to reputed publishing houses as most of them prefer candidates with a background in media for higher posts.

How does a career in Mass Com compare with others?
Honestly, a career in media will earn you fame but you have to struggle initially to earn a decent package(but who dosen’t stuggle). Most media houses pay less in comparison, to start with, but that is well compensated with the greater contentment of fulfilling creativity. After all, what gives greater satisfaction than the happiness of recognition! To be seen and heard is the desire of any human being and a career in the Media hurls you headlong into it. As one grows, proves oneself in media, it has enough awaiting for you in the forms of creativity, job satisfaction, name, fame and monetary returns comparable to the best in any industry.

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