The Star Malaysia - Star2

Media courses for digital natives

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IN the words of Jack Ma, chairman of the Alibaba Group, at his graduation ceremony for an honorary doctorate, entreprene­urs have to be persistent and follow their dreams.

While we can’t all be as successful as Jack Ma, we do need to think about how best to future-proof our children’s careers.

The Internet has changed the way we socialise, learn and do business and we need to embrace this technology if we are to become successful entreprene­urs. For digital natives – anyone born after 1998, technology is an intrinsic part of life.

Every day, we use social media apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp, watch music videos on Youtube and buy goods or services over the Internet.

Then why is it useful to do a degree in mass communicat­ions when digital natives have grown up using technology?

While digital natives are tech savvy, they are media consumers, not media creators. To become successful media entreprene­urs, you need five characteri­stics from a degree in mass communicat­ions.

Creativity

There is no point in training for a career that will be carried out by robots soon. By thinking creatively, we create new opportunit­ies for ourselves and others. Media entreprene­urs know how to use media tools effectivel­y to manage the brand, advertise products or services and develop relationsh­ips with their target market.

The job market has changed everything – five years ago we never heard of social media executives, online marketing specialist­s or cloud regional marketing managers. These vacancies can now be found in Malaysia and other internatio­nal capitals of the world.

Job descriptio­ns include developing creative, innovative content to promote brand-focused messages, managing teams, having good communicat­ion and use of analytics to measure the impact of a company’s social media campaign. These require a bachelor’s or master’s degree in communicat­ions and proficienc­y in English.

In a fast-changing world, University of Hertfordsh­ire takes digital natives and enables them to launch their careers in the creative media industries. Strategic planning

Having a strategy in place to achieve your goals is intrinsic to your success.

Entreprene­urs often talk about being at the right place at the right time and it sounds as if this happens by chance, but the truth is, having a strategy in place means you will always make the most from the opportunit­ies available. A university education helps formalise your thinking by researchin­g your ideas and putting forward solutions to real life problems.

Persistenc­e

Entreprene­urs tend to be risk takers who work tirelessly towards their goals. The university can’t teach you to be persistent, although it can help you to organise, structure your time, meet your targets and give you the confidence to take the next step.

Applying theory to practice

Mass communicat­ions at the University of Hertfordsh­ire is an exciting mixture of theoretica­l and practical study. The academics working in this discipline are media practition­ers who draw upon their expertise in web design, journalism, public relations and advertisin­g to teach the next generation of entreprene­urs. It wants its graduates to be the next Joel Neoh, who built a tech empire in Asia.

A passion for your business idea

The university has noticed that mass communicat­ions students are different from other students. They are “can do” people who say yes. Its students go on to work in the UK and Malaysia in high-profile media companies or run their own businesses like Daniel Ibanez Lau – the driving force behind The Beat Creatives Sdn Bhd, one of the most exciting agencies specialisi­ng in video production. In his own words, “My time at the University of Hertfordsh­ire was one of the most productive learning experience­s of my life. I pushed myself to acquire new skills that I wouldn’t have had the opportunit­y or will to learn back in the comforts of Malaysia.”

■ For more details, contact the University of Hertfordsh­ire’s Regional Office in Kuala Lumpur at 03-2143 7560 or e-mail a.on@herts.ac.uk

 ??  ?? Mass communicat­ions at the University of Hertfordsh­ire is an exciting mixture of theoretica­l and practical study.
Mass communicat­ions at the University of Hertfordsh­ire is an exciting mixture of theoretica­l and practical study.

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