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How do I get a graduate job in media and publishing?

If you're interested in working in TV, radio, newspapers, theatre, book publishing, online publishing or magazines, read on to find out more about graduate schemes in this creative area.

The key to breaking into this industry is experience, persistence and networking.

Publishing, media and the performing arts are among the most competitive industries to break into. These areas are popular with graduates year after year. As a result jobs in the media can be poorly-paid but still attract huge numbers of keen, passionate applicants. If you are successful though, there can be a high level of job satisfaction, and recognition on an international scale.

The opportunity for creativity and individuality is one of the most attractive features of a job in the media. It's also a rare chance to develop skills acquired through your degree or extracurricular activities such as creative writing or acting. Of course, it does depend what area you go into.

How can I get a job with a publishing or media company?

Jobs in the media offer exciting possibilities, but it is important to realise that this sector is very competitive and be prepared. Work experience is vital as it demonstrates a hands-on interest and shows that you have what it takes to do the job.

In some cases the right accredited degree is also essential, although many postgraduate accreditations are also available. If you do decide that a career in one of these industries is for you, then determination is important. There may well be setbacks, and you will need to persevere in order to be successful.

What are the different job sectors in publishing and the media?

From publishing to the performing arts, the work varies enormously in this wide-ranging sector.

One key area is publishing, preparing and selling content to the public in three distinct areas: books, magazines and online publishing. This industry is particularly attractive to graduates and offers immense job satisfaction, particularly when you see the finished product. The explosive growth of technology and the internet means that the lines are increasingly blurred: traditional publishing houses may now publish e-book editions and magazines often link to a companion website.

Journalism includes traditional print newspapers as well as other media such as television, radio and, increasingly, digital and online.

Of course, television and radio are also important components of the sector: in fact, these areas are what many people think of first when you mention the media. Broadcast television is one of the largest parts of the media sector. In either television or radio you could work in broadcasting (transmitting programmes) or as a programme maker (supplying content). The film industry is also high-profile but surprisingly small and extremely competitive to get into.

Professionals working in interactive media produce and work on a range of different products: this area overlaps significantly with other parts of the media, especially publishing and television. It can include computer games, interactive television, web and internet development and off-line multimedia such as CD and DVD publishing.

The performing arts is another part of the media industry. This is one of the most competitive areas to get into, but those in the industry say that the struggle is worth it when you see your name in lights, not to mention the job satisfaction of achieving success in a field that you're passionate about.

Photography and video production are another competitive creative career option. You'll need dedication, experience and a strong portfolio of work to break in, but it can be a great way to earn a living from your talent.

Finally the music industry is also a significant part of the media sector. From composing and recording music to producing and promoting it, this industry offers a range of different career options. While it is glamorous and ultra-competitive, there's more to it than celebrities and music videos. Behind the scenes, the work can be highly technical or commercial.