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Careers for a Journalism Major: Information for Graduates

Journalism is usually offered as an undergraduate or graduate degree program. Continue reading for an overview of the programs, as well as career and salary info for some career options for graduates.

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A journalism major can pursue a number of different careers after completing a bachelor's degree. Some of the careers covered below include information about roles in the broadcast journalism industry, writing and editing, and announcing.

Essential Information

Many career options in print and electronic media are available to journalism majors. There is still a need for journalists to cover stories for newspapers as well as for the Internet, radio and television. Students can earn a bachelor's or master's degree in journalism; a bachelor's is sufficient for several entry-level positions in the field.

Career Titles Reporter Editor Announcer News Analyst
Required Education Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* -8% -5% 7% -13%
Median Salary (2015)* $36,360 $56,010 $36,200 $65,530

Source:*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Job options in the journalism field include reporter, editor, anchor, producer and public relations specialist, to name a few. An undergraduate journalism degree is the minimum requirement for each of these positions.

Reporter

Reporters, or correspondents, inform the public about news and events happening at the local, national, and international level. They can work for newspapers, magazines, websites, television, and radio. Journalism graduates are often hired by news outlets as reporters or staff writers. These jobs involve researching and interviewing people and writing stories on a deadline. Hours may extend beyond the normal workday, since reporters need to be in the right place at the right time.

Editor

Editors are employed by daily and weekly newspapers, magazines, journals, book publishers and in-house publications put out by businesses. Editors assign and review story ideas and edit the work of other writers. In book publishing, editors work with authors, helping them to adhere to the original idea of the project.

Announcer

Announcers, or anchors, present music, news, and sports and may provide commentary or interview guests about these topics or other important events. Journalism graduates may become hired in entry-level positions at small-market TV and radio stations as anchors.

Broadcast News Analyst

Many broadcast news analysts come from fields outside of journalism - for example, politics or medicine - but they are hired on a contract basis to provide analyses of the subjects being discussed.

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Broadcast Journalism Career

Budding journalists interested in radio and television may find satisfaction working in broadcasting. Journalism graduates may become hired in entry-level positions at TV and radio stations as assistant producers, reporters, news writers, correspondents or anchors. Other options include jobs as weathercasters, sportscasters, assistant news directors and video editors; a graduate can sometimes also get a foot in the door through the sales and marketing departments.

Outlook for Broadcast Journalism Careers

Graduates who have completed internships during or after college often have an advantage over other journalism majors when it comes to landing a job in broadcast journalism. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) reports that employment opportunities in broadcasting for reporters, correspondents and news analysts as a group were expected to decrease by 9 percent between 2014-2024; announcer jobs, including those in radio broadcasting, were expected to experience growth at 7 percent during the same period.

Newspaper Journalism Career

Journalism graduates are often hired by newspapers as reporters or staff writers. These jobs involve researching and interviewing people and writing stories on a deadline. Hours may extend beyond the normal workday, since reporters need to be in the right place at the right time. Typically, these writers are assigned to projects by an editor, though they may also propose story ideas of their own.

Outlook for Newspaper Careers

With the advent of the Internet, print newspapers are in decline. However, restructuring of the media world is allowing some writers formerly on staff at large newspapers to switch to freelancing or to write for online journals. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that writing jobs overall, including newspaper jobs, were expected to grow at a rate of approximately 2 percent from 2014-2024, which is a slower rate of growth than other occupations.

Many careers in the field of journalism require at least an undergraduate degree in journalism for entry-level positions. Earning a master's degree may be beneficial for future advancement in the field.

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