3 answers

I am interested in journalism, are there a lot of opportunities for this major?

Asked Wichita, Kansas

3 answers

Paul’s Answer

Updated Des Moines, Washington

Hi Adriana:

There are a great diversity of careers and opportunities for individuals who major in journalism. I have had the privilege of advising several students who pursued this degree, and are doing very well.

There potentially two employment areas you can review when looking at this major. One is employment related to the major itself, and the other is employment that is closely associated or useful with the journalism degree.

The employment options related to the major include such area as broadcast journalism, editorial writer, magazine or newspaper writer, copy editor and proofreader, and web content editor. There are many opportunities in the printed paper and magazine industry, and the the online publishing industry still continues to grow. I have also seen individuals become online bloggers and freelance writers and contractors with a journalism degree. So there are many opportunities if you look for them.

There are also options closely associated with a journalism degree. In other wards the skills you obtain in a journalism major will be interchangeable with another career. This includes business oriented careers like advertising and public relations, or marketing researcher. Journalism majors are also employed in social media markets like Facebook and Twitter and multi-media design. I have also seen them obtain training as technical writers and work for large software companies like Microsoft and corporations like Apple. The world is a rapidly changing environment and the need for accurate communications skills will continue to grow in the future. I would review all the various options you have in the field and determine which one fits your greatest interests.

Paul recommends the following next steps:

  • Assess your skills and interests
  • Which colleges have the programs and courses that may benefit you and help you to achieve your academic and career goals?
  • Request information from those college which have journalism programs that interest you.
  • Explore and research the different careers in journalism.

Dana’s Answer

First the bad news – it has definitely gotten more difficult to get a job in traditional journalism. I was able to get internships at newspapers and magazines fairly easily while I was in college, but found that few of them were hiring full time employees after I graduated. Many news outlets that have not successfully shifted to a digital model are decreasing the size of their staff.

The good news is that there are a lot of companies doing very cool things in the digital media space. Buzzfeed News, Vice, and even the New York Times are great examples of outlets doing impressive investigative reporting for a digital audience. When considering which skills you should build out as you go through school, look for programs that will give you exposure to a variety of media types. Find a class, internship, or hobby that gives you hands on practice managing a website. If you are interested in photography or video, give your work a life online. Practice interviewing people and try different ways to tell their stories using audio, video, photography, and writing. All of these things will help you report stories online in a compelling way.

The last thing I will say about majoring in journalism is that it is a great major to help you think critically and get hands on with a wide range of skills, which will help you no matter what career you end up pursuing. Personally, I found that I enjoyed managing a news website during an internship so much that I ended up getting a non-journalism job managing the website for a tech company. I don't regret majoring in journalism at all even though it wasn't ultimately what I ended up doing.

Milton’s Answer

Updated New York, New York

Journalism is a very competitive field. You have to be an excellent writer, be able to communicate efficiently and articulate your thoughts all while the newsroom is in chaos. I studied journalism, at the moment I am working as an Assistant Producer/Video Editor for a 12 part documentary series. I landed that job because I studied broadcast journalism, which basically has the same elements as multimedia journalism. In this world that we live now, writing is not only vital, but compelling video, photographs, infographs, anything that will make your story stand out from the rest. I personally love videography and video editing so for me it makes sense to pursue a job as a video journalist. But keep practicing writing, read voraciously, watch the news, and be extra aware of your surroundings because one thing you will find out is that there is a story everywhere, you just have to learn how to look and be creative.