QuestioningTheQuestion Posted August 22, 2019 Share Posted August 22, 2019 (edited) Hello, I'm not sure how normal it is for new PhD students to feel sudden anxiety/uncertainty/self-doubt starting their first year (I suspect it is), but I thought I'd ask about my particular situation. I really am so excited and grateful for this opportunity, but looking ahead to job market prospects I can't help but have some questions (about research strategy). I received 3 program offers to distinct yet related programs (Communication Studies, Film/Media/Visual Studies, and American Studies). I have a Master's Degree in English, and ultimately chose to purse the Visual Media PhD based on the advice of a former advisor who knows me and my work quite well. It's definitely the best fit based on the number of people in the department I could work with (there are about 4 as opposed to 1-2 in the Comm program offer I decided not to take). It's also probably the right fit based on my strengths/interests which are more humanities based. I'm committed to my decision, but I can't help but wonder if it's possible to still pursue jobs in the Communication Studies field, considering there is greater program breadth/methods and training in straight-up Comm programs (in social sciences & humanities, rather than primarily just humanities/cultural studies, as I'm pursuing). I keep telling myself I'm not interested in teaching Organizational/Strategic/Health Communications (more quantitative sub-fields) anyways , and that perhaps I can still pursue jobs in Communications/Media Studies departments down the road, provided I tailor my interests appropriately to extend beyond just film to also look at digital studies, global media, etc. Would it help at all for me to take a Comm elective in quantitative methods, or would this be super random and out of place? Or, should I just go hard on the humanities focus on and not worry about the path not taken? Also, does anyone know if those trained in primarily the humanities tradition & cultural studies have a realistic chance of competing for a Communications job that seeks candidates with a focus on critical media studies and qualitative methods? I've seen a few postings that indicate interest in applicants from closely related fields (which I believe film/visual media studies is), but I'm just not sure. I'm basically wondering about the strengths and challenges of pursuing a more interdisciplinary degree program, and about how broad my interests can (or should) be to give me the most breadth possible later when going on the job market. Perhaps it is a strength that I could theoretically apply to Film/Media/English departments as well as Comm departments, but I'm not sure if I'm being naive or idealistic, or overextending myself to try to tailor my research in a way that could fit job prospects in both fields (Comm and Film/English). I'd also really like to talk to my department about this, but I'm not sure how welcome said questioning would be from a new student (I don't want to reveal how insecure I am on my first day lol). Any thoughts/advice/suggestions would be most appreciated! Edited August 22, 2019 by QuestioningTheQuestion Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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