- * Media consumption is changing - graduates need skills and attitudes to adapt to these changes.
- * CSU has re-developed its leading communication and creative industry courses to create graduates for this changing media world.
- * The courses combine critical thinking and collaborative project management with an appreciation of and experience in using digital tools, including social media.
Working with industry partners, Charles Sturt University (CSU) redeveloped its suite of communication and creative industry courses to rigorously prepare professionals for the 21st century.
“Gone are the days that journalists are just employed to write a story for their medium they are working on. You need to know how produce content everywhere,” says Mr Chris Ledlin, Head of Content Strategy and Commercialisation at Nine Entertainment Company.
“Sure, they need to write for broadcast news, but they also need to know how to write content for an online and social environment. If they can also use a video camera and do some basic video editing, they will be very highly regarded when applying for a position with Nine.
“Media consumption is changing, consumers are looking for content in short bite-sized pieces, and we need the professionals who can produce these as well.”
Mr Ledlin, who has previously worked for Southern Cross Austereo and Twitter, also believes applicants who can show they understand the power of social media for storytelling and generating leads will be prepared for the new media world.
With this changing workplace in mind, CSU has incorporated changing industry needs into redevelopment of its flagship courses servicing the communication and creative industries:
- Bachelor of Communication (with specialisations), offered online and at CSU in Bathurst;
- Bachelor of Creative Industries (with specialisations), offered online and at CSU in Wagga Wagga and Port Macquarie (some specialisations); and,
- Bachelor of Theatre Media, offered at CSU in Bathurst.
The Acting Head of the CSU School of Communication and Creative Industries, Dr Sharon Schoenmaker, believes the new courses are focused on preparing students for contemporary communication practice by combining theoretical studies with extensive opportunities for professional practice during the courses.
“Contemporary communication professionals will need strategic communication skills, a curiosity and willingness to explore new practices, and show they can work collaboratively with others,” Dr Schoenmaker said.
“Students, as emerging professionals, need to be able to think critically to solve problems and resolve issues, be resilient in a changing work environment, and have skills in project management. These are embedded in our new courses.
“These skills will be complemented by the knowledge our students gain in using a range of communication technologies and understanding the use of digital tools to enhance their practice.
“Students prepare to enter their various careers by undertaking projects for clients, engaging with industry through study tours, work placements and guest lectures. Students develop their practical skills by working in Charles Sturt University’s television production studios, a radio station, theatres, rehearsal rooms and workshops, design labs and creative hubs on Wagga and Bathurst campuses.”
Dr Schoenmaker also contends flexibility is an important distinction of the new courses over other communication degrees.
“While many of our students will come to us straight from school and look to immerse themselves in the on-campus experience, others will look for a more flexible course delivery that better suits their current employment and lifestyle,” Dr Schoenmaker said.
“In response to these needs, the new courses are offered completely online, which reflects Charles Sturt University’s place as a leading online education provider, nationally and internationally.
“In addition, the news courses have inbuilt flexibility where students can complete a diploma, associate degree or the full bachelor degree, meeting the needs of individual students and employers.”
Mr Ledlin believes the new online course structure also encourages ‘learning for life’.
“We want professionals willing to continue learning, even after they have that first degree,” he said.
“You may find you need skills in PowerPoint, Photoshop and video editing programs. You have to be willing to either get these skills, or be willing to find that people who can help you get them.”
Early applications through the NSW Universities Admission Centre for all CSU courses for 2019, including new courses, are due on 28 September 2018.