Following my graduate blues post I thought I’d give you an update. The first thought I had was to go down the path of ‘I’ll stay in Newcastle and do an MA in Journalism’. Seemed like a good idea. Luckily though, I did a bit of research, which involved asking those I know in journalism what they thought. In all honesty, after explaining my intentions, I got a resounding NO! Apparently master’s in journalism aren’t practical and aren’t necessary for what I want to do. They may be for you, but for me it seemed silly to invest in all that money and time.
What was suggested, however, was doing some NCTJ accredited exams as these are what many job adverts asks for. And alas, it’s true. I’ve seen, now I’ve been looking, loads of vacancies which require you to be NCTJ accredited. Especially reporter jobs.
I looked into these courses and have chosen the fast track option as opposed to a year long course. They get you doing a number of exams in things like:
- News Gathering
- News and Feature Writing
- Media Law
- Public Affairs
You can search for a course that would suit you here. I’ve had my interviews and sat the exam for one in Brighton and one in London – and got two offers! Hooray.
So that is one option, but obviously getting a full time paid job is more preferable than paying to do a diploma, so I shall be applying for jobs closer to the time.
Apparently vacancies for jobs and journalism internships need you to start immediately so I can’t apply just yet. The best site I’ve found for jobs is journalism.co.uk. Sign up to get email alerts is the easiest way to find out who’s recruiting. Annoyingly I’ve found some really great paid internships that I just can’t apply for because they are all to start immediately, and I need to finish my degree. I will also be trying to sort out as much work experience as possible for after I graduate, applying to those advertised on the web but also utilising contacts of family and friends.
What I’ve learnt from this process is… I’d really advise asking the people who will be employing you how much the value the training or course you’re planning to do, no matter what you want to get into. They’re the only people who matter when it comes down to getting a job so you might as well find out what they think!
And for budding journalist, NCTJ courses sound intense, practical and hopefully fun. You can read more about the exam and interviews on my personal blog here.