How media and communication graduates find jobs
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With rising college student debt, questions about the return on investment for a degree in media and communication and perceived instability in the industry, students want to know how they will find jobs before loans are due. This small qualitative study explored successful job search strategies, behaviors, and characteristics of media and communication students who found full-time jobs in their field of study within three months of graduation and before 50 percent of their fellow graduates. The researcher interviewed in depth 11 "super graduates" with undergraduate four-year degrees earned from one urban, public, east coast media and communication college. Findings reveal that all participants leaned heavily on strong networks, mentors, and social capital to pave the way to their first job out of school. In addition, the study finds that participants, had proactive characteristics, focused early on their major, developed industry desired skills, had at least one internship, gained experience interviewing, and were involved in campus organizations. The study supports literature on the positive influence of mentors, social capital, and networking during college years to successfully launch a career, as well as the usefulness of LinkedIn. Implications include the need to educate media and communication students as early as possible about how to develop mentor relationships, networking skills, find internships, and the value of campus activities and career-related experiences.
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