'What Jobs Could I Do with a Social Science Degree? Where Can I Do a Public Health PhD?'
Caroline Haydon chaydon@blueyondercouk, The Independent (London, England)
THE CAREERS ADVISER
I'm taking a combined social science studies honours degree. The focus is on media studies and I'm not sure what jobs I could do with this degree. I chose it because I enjoy it and am good at the subject, but now need guidance about career opportunities or maybe the experience I should try to get.
You were right to study what you enjoy, as students do better in subjects they are passionate about. Now, though, you need to do some research in this very competitive area into precisely which aspect of it interests you. It's worth looking up Skillset (www. skillset.org/careers) the sector skills council for the audio visual industries, dealing with broadcast, film, video, interactive media and photo imaging. They offer storyboard guides to jobs in these areas plus job profiles, case studies and media glossaries, so it's a good place to start. Skillset also offers free email and helpline advisory services and a one-to-one careers advice for a fee including advice for recent graduates on action plans and developing an effective CV. Once you have identified a role you want to aim for, things may become clearer. You do absolutely need to find work experience - one of the problems with the media jobs is that it can be difficult to get paid work, and you may have to offer to work unpaid at least in the first instance. Graduates still have to start at the bottom of the ladder. Make sure the work is beneficial to you as well as the company and don't stay if you feel exploited. You will have to be very determined and persistent. Take advice from your course tutors and your university careers service about local opportunities. Don't forget university magazines or radio stations - work for these outlets shows motivation and will kickstart your portfolio. Students graduating from your course have gone on to do work in the public sector and teaching, too. …