Why media and the arts are ‘useless’-A A +A
By Nef Luczon
Monday, November 4, 2013
A not-so-recent online article published by western magazines (one of them was Forbes) revealed astonishing and heart-breaking information as a matter-of-fact: collegiate degrees with majors related to media (journalism) and related arts (literature, theatre, film, etc) are somehow deemed “useless,” or have lesser “value,” based on a survey conducted on premises of employability in major industries.
As someone who graduated within this discipline and a Filipino belonging to a country of which its society looks highly on education, it’s a fact that is quite worth re-echoing because it’s somehow plausible. Degree courses belonging to Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) are basically “hobbies,” or rather as “passion” being converted to formal education. But in reality, they aren’t what major companies are looking.
Employers, would rather want people who can contribute greatly to the business of money-making, even the big media organizations in the country would prefer a business-major graduate to become station managers and administration executives rather than mass communication majors, if there are mass comm major executives, they will be in charge in programming but not necessarily the overall management.
Even in local employments, they would rather choose people under marketing or “business related courses,” and this comes from personal experience as well, even if you know the nature of the job and can do the tasks, but the fact you are not a business or management major, you simply can’t get the job, even if in reality, you work superior than those “business” majors.
The articles saying degrees belonging to media and the arts as “useless” are factual, but it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole truth of it.
I remember when I was about to graduate in high school when my brother, who was a registered nurse, wanted me to take nursing as well because during those time, it was a box office in the international workforce market. But my mother thought otherwise, who wanted me to take engineering courses instead, just like my other siblings did, and so they argued about it for a time, and so I took mass communication for all I care.
In fact, it wasn’t mass communication I really wanted, but rather a major in film, but because my family could not afford me to send to a film school outside Mindanao, so I was happily settled where I first met my first wife: Journalism. Years passed, I also made (small-time) films anyway, with the help of self-learning with unorthodox methodologies.
True, my situation right now was not a simple walk in the park, and it does not erase the fact that the major I graduated was “useless” – because it “useless” if we put it in the context of the world that is dominated by corporate hypocrisy, politics and greed in the guise of a bureaucratic and organized business system. I’m not saying that the media and the arts don’t have these evil elements, but what I’m trying
to say that B.A. courses are actually the reason why major industries still have human faces and values in this time where for someone to belong to a society, we need to have a “formal education.”
But I’m still grateful we live in a country that compromises, although it has a negative impression as far as the meaning is concerned, but it also have its advantages where some employers didn’t mind what degree you have finished as long as you can perform well to the tasks given, in fact, some didn’t mind you will graduate at all. But the long and short of all this, is you simply have to be multi-skilled so you become productive.
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Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on November 05, 2013.