After slaving away in college for three or four years most of us shiver at the thought of not finding a job in our respective fields. We spoke to Ruth (21), a recent DCU graduate about the real struggles of finding work as a newly qualified journalist in Ireland.
Did you think it would be as difficult as it is proving to be to find a job?
No, I didn’t think it would be as hard. Obviously I didn’t expect to walk into a full-time job, but I thought I might at least get an internship or even a graduate programme to begin with … but even those seem hard to come by. I’m working in retail at the moment and I hope to move back to Dublin next year as it is the best place for someone in my field to find work.
Did you feel ready to start work in the area you hold a degree in?
I think I was ready to start working in journalism because I felt I had acquired the relevant skills to succeed in my profession. My course covered all elements of journalism and it was possible to choose classes based on your preferences.
Do you feel you had enough experience and skills from your course to pursue a job in this field?
I felt I had learned most of what I needed to know, and though I gained practical journalism experience outside of college, I felt the course itself was lacking a little in practical experience. I had to complete just eight weeks of placement which is a relatively short space of time in the grand scheme of things. After all, the best way to learn is by doing. I would also have liked the chance to specialise in a particular area of journalism.
So, have you applied for internships or have you applied for all types of jobs in journalism?
I applied for every job that came up, from internships to full time contract positions. The majority of employers wanted applicants with a number of years’ experience, but how do you gain experience if they won’t hire you?
Do you feel pressure to get a job in order to stay skilled?
I definitely feel a small amount of pressure to get a job in my field, but I am only out of college a couple of weeks so I can afford a little more time to find the right position.