The journey of a graduate in Communication Science. Do we need a degree?

Two years ago, on 14th October 2016, I graduated in Communication, Technology and Digital Cultures at La Sapienza University in Rome. I still don’t know if I got this goal thanks to myself, my friends, the smell of onion that I smelt every day at Caserma Sani or the (in)efficiency of ATAC. The reality is that all the exams and the fear I shared with amazing people in front of the Coffee Machine in Via Salaria gave me the strength to become a brave man, to take a flight and work internationally, first in Germany and now in the UK. My Bachelors is “Fast Food Science” according to Maria Stella Gelmini, the ex-Italian Minister for the Education, but it crowned my dreams and those of my parents with laurel. I don’t regret this choice, but if I could go back, this is what I would do.

Why Communication Science?

I was 19 years old when I finished High School, and Communication, Technology and Digital Cultures looked like the perfect Bachelors for me because I wanted to work in the Journalism, PR & Social Media field. Everybody thought I should have studied Law or Medicine as I completed my diploma with a high score of 96%. Nobody realised I wanted to work in the Digital Media field. If I could, I would have studied a lot of subjects: from Italian Literature to Psychology as well as Medicine and IT. In the end, my heart won and I studied what interested me most in that period of my life. After graduation, I moved to Berlin because I was tired of Rome and I needed new input. At first it was really hard to change my habits like the long walks around Piazza di Spagna, the stunning Sunsets at Pincio and the Tiramisu at Pompi. During this time, I realised that University helped me learn to see past the end of my nose and become a “man who thinks,” but it didn’t give me all the practical skills I needed to work in the media industry. It was only because of workshops and other qualifications that I found a way to cover all aspects and end up working in Germany as a PR and Social Media Manager.

How to find a job with a graduation in Communication Science?

Ad Maiora: knowledge is more important than a perfect score. The quality of this certificate is proportional to the smell of sweat you inhale on the tram to go to the lectures. Like the bad public transport system in Rome, the University system is also really slow. In both Germany and England, a lot of students get practical skills when they are 19 years old thanks to apprenticeships and internships. In Italy, just few students are able to do that. The others wait for Masters as if they didn’t have enough time while they were playing “Ice Cream” during IT lessons. Of course, everything depends on your ambitions and the type of work you want to get, but in my experience abroad so far, Graphic Designers and Social Media Managers are generally not graduates. A lot of digital marketing agencies are really mechanical. If you are a student in Communication Science, do not wait for the Masters to get some work experience. If you want to become a Journalist or a Social Media Manager, create a blog and cooperate with your colleagues in order to build the future you want. Platforms like Sprout Social, Hootsuite and Buffer will help you to work as a Social Media Manager. If you want to be a designer, learn to use Photoshop and Lightroom and if you want to work in marketing, work on different projects with your colleagues in order to understand how to promote a brand. If you want to become a researcher, then university is the right place for you!

Needless to say that a lot of companies will ask if you speak English and another foreign language. Don’t feel that you are wasting your time, because with perseverance and motivation, even a graduation in Communication Science can change your life for the better.

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