With about 800 organisations registered with the government, communication jobs are expected to rise above the average level. However, there are few and far between aware of the demand for polished communication graduates.
Chim Linna, 25, works on communication issues for Open Institute, promoting gender equality. “Being a communication officer at an organisation is more than being a reporter because a communication officer, besides contacting sources and writing news, has to use a lot of creativity and design skills to set up workshops, seminars, press conferences,” Chim Linna said.
Nou Vannsan, 24, says her chosen field of communication will surpass business, accounting or medicine. But she expressed concern about the field’s own public relations.
“Many organisations still can’t see the importance of the communication field,” he says, adding that in a developed country, communication is necessary for an organisation to run smoothly.
Many define communication work differently, but Tieng Sopheak Vichea, the head of the media and communication department at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, said the government often hires press officers to respond to media inquiries and industries, and that many NGOs, trade unions and schools also seek qualified public relations officers.
Seng Bopha, a programme communication analyst at the UN Development Programme said: “I can see there is a demand for local communications or media professions. If you are able to see that studying communication does not fixedly mean being a reporter – of course reporting work is one of many related careers – you will understand what I mean.” She added: “Communications people help an institution to realise their planned objectives and reaching a broad target audience cost-effectively.”