Choosing the right media school based on key yardsticks is crucial for your future, writes Sunil Saxena
There is no credible report that gives you the number of media schools in India. However, Shiksha-.com, an education portal, carries details of 1,200 plus mass communication and media colleges. Together, they offer almost 4,000 courses. So, how do you decide the media school that is right for you?
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Here are nine yardsticks that you should use to find the right media school:
1. Faculty: Select a school whose faculty has worked in the industry. You need teachers who can teach you how to write a news report, make a rundown chart, create a mobile video story or make a television commercial. Those with no media experience can make you good academicians, but they cannot make you media-ready.
2. Infrastructure: Visit the school to find out if the school has enough computers. Discuss the software used to teach media skills. Today, you cannot work in any media organisation without having software proficiency.
3. Curriculum: Examine the curriculum minutely to check its sync with today’s media requirements. Check if it prepare you for New Media, Mobile Media, Social Media, Data Journalism. Avoid schools that are not updated with the changing and emerging technology.
4. Student Faculty Ratio: Media schools where the student-faculty ratio is more than 1:12, lack the strength to provide skill-based education.
5. Practical work: Find out if the school brings out a student newspaper. If yes, what is the frequency, and what are the kinds of articles that students write.
Check if the school encourages students to make mobile videos. Similarly, you must find out if the school teaches students to make TV news bulletins.
6. Nature of programme: Is the media school run by a university? If so, is the university recognised by UGC? If it is a non-university programme, be doubly careful. The postgraduate diplomas or certificates offered by non-recognised university may have no validity. When joining a private school, ensure that verify its antecedents.
7. Placements: No schools can guarantee jobs, so be suspicious of schools that do the same. Your skills will do the talking; hence the school can only organise a job interview for you.. Media is a merit-driven profession and media houses are always looking for candidates who have the right skills.
8. Visiting faculty: Today, media is being driven by fast-growing technology, and every media house is coping with the changes introduced by the same. However, some faculty may fail to teach the emerging media models. To meet this issue, many media schools hire adjunct faculty from the industry or invite visiting faculty on a daily basis. Make sure that you check the credentials of the visiting faculty properly.
9. Check with ex-students: Before taking a decision, you must try and meet a couple of current students or those who are alumni of the institute for the right answers. As the profession needs students who can work from day one, it is all the more important for finding the right media school.
(The author is the head, Times School of Media, Bennett University)