With few employment opportunities, media studies graduates say their degree is not paying off.

Media studies graduate Mthobisi Nhlabathi says it has been two year after his honours and he is still searching for a job in his field.

He is not the only one who is struggling to find a job. A media studies graduate who spoke to Vuvuzela on condition of anonymity says a lot of jobs want one or two years experience, your own transport and require you to know a foreign language.

Nhlabathi says, “While doing my honours a media company said I was over qualified without experience. They couldn’t employ me because I would demand lots of money and they would have to train me from scratch.

“I emailed the dean of humanities, Tawana Kupe, early this year asking him to help me find a job as he was likely to have connections.”

Kupe responded by saying he could not help him as he did not have a PHD.

“The media department doesn’t care at all; when you are in your third year they come and sway you into doing honours. They just want to fill their department with numbers,” says Nhlabathi.

Media studies head Sarah Chiumbu says, “It’s not our duty to find students jobs.” She says it is ideal for the department to have a close relationship with the industry for them to know what we do.

“It should be borne in mind that we are a small department, with 5 people and we have a lot on our plate.”

She further says media studies is “a field not a discipline, our students are able to work without experience in research, policy and legal departments”.

4th year media studies student Jones Matlakala, who is building his own research company, says, “Qualification is not an automatic entrance to a professional job, we still have to hassle and exercise patience.

“We have to focus on building a career and not on the money, I know it’s challenging because some industries are paying a lot.”