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Study Communications and Media

Work in a Digital World: Robyn Quin Edith Cowan University

The rapid convergence of communications and computing technologies is already creating a demand for a new kind of graduate, with new and different skills and understandings. 

Central to the converged and digitalised workplace of the 21st century will  be the screen - the medium through which we receive education. information and entertainment, the means by which we communicate with clients and colleagues, the source of our profits and our pleasures. The graduates most in demand will be those who are both screen literate and screen  productive. In the same way that he division between computing and communications technologies has disappeared, so too will the traditional divisions  between he related professions. The new communications professional will not only need to be able to design a website or computer game, but to create a product which appeals to it's target market. The new communications professional will need skills in multimedia,  computing, advertising, public relations and mage production. The days of the single focus, limited career option undergraduate degrees are gone forever.

Gone too, are the days when a student could spend three or four years cloistered within a university and then expect to step  into a well paying position despite having no previous employment experience. These days, employers expect graduates to be  'industry ready', familiar with the requirements of the work-place, and fully-functioning professionals from  day one. 

Work Experience 

Such employer demand has encouraged universities to introduce work experience and work-based learning. Some universities even provide for students to undertake industry attachments in their home country. The discerning student will seek out a program that provides flexibility in the choice and pairing of majors, opportunities for credited work place learning and professional recognition by the major employer groups such as the Advertising Federation, the Public Relations Institute and the Computing Society. Perhaps regrettably, there are few students of today who can enjoy the luxury of full-time study without the need to supplement their income through either part-time or holiday  work. Sometimes the opportunity for paid work crops up unexpectedly and at inconvenient times, which can intrude upon a student's ability to maintain their usual commitment to classes and on-campus study.  

Independent Study 

The enterprising student will look for a course that provides for, and encourages, students to study independently and in their own space and time. Such courses emphasise flexible delivery, and are usually marked by comprehensive on-line support materials that enable a student to effectively meet their course commitments, even if they are somtimes unable to get onto campus. Before choosing a particular institution or course, students should check the level of flexible delivery on offer. The communications and IT sector is the fastest growing and fastest-changing industry sector world-wide. It is international in outlook and operation, it encompasses and converges areas once assumed to be very different, even in opposition such as education and entertainment, art and industry, work and leisure. It i  looking for a new kind of graduate.

Edith Cowan University


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