Associate Degree in Journalism: Program Information

High school graduates with hopes of working in the media industry can apply to an associate's degree program in journalism to prepare for entry-level work. Learn about common courses in the program as well as career outcomes.

Essential Information

An Associate of Arts in Journalism prepares students for a variety of opportunities in journalism, media and communications. Students gain knowledge of the media market and learn communication skills as well as journalistic approaches. Students gain proficiency in technical writing, reporting and research. Some programs may require internships.

Requirements to enroll in a 2-year associate's degree program include a high school diploma and passing ACT or entrance testing scores.

Associate of Arts in Journalism

Journalism studies may include general education courses in communications, English, health, humanities, math and science. Students also gain practical experience in media and publications, photography, writing, desktop publishing and editing. The program also provides a solid understanding of media communications as well as its effect on politics and society. Common courses in journalism include:

  • Graphic design
  • Digital production
  • Creative, business and technical writing
  • Editing
  • Ethics and media law
  • News reporting

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Individuals who have earned an Associate of Arts in Journalism may qualify to work in several areas of communications and broadcasting, such as editing, writing and investigative reporting. Graduates may work for television companies, newspapers, magazines or other publishing companies. Career choices in the journalism field might include:

  • Copywriter
  • Correspondent
  • Journalist
  • Publicist
  • Writer

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the number of employed reporters and correspondents was expected to decrease 8% from 2014-2024. The merging and downsizing of many news organizations is one reason for this decline. Reporters and correspondents earned a median of $36,360 per year as of 2015, according to the BLS.

Continuing Education Information for Graduates

Graduates can start working in entry-level positions immediately or pursue further education through a bachelor's degree program in journalism. Students gain a thorough understanding of writing and reporting in the media, audio and video production and media responsibilities. Bachelor's students also investigate media outlets, such as newspaper reporting, online journalism and broadcasting. Students may complete an internship as part of their graduation requirements.

An Associate of Arts in Journalism gives students the necessary background in writing, editing and reporting to work various jobs in the field, though the projected job growth for reporters and correspondents is negative. Graduates also have the option of pursuing a bachelor's degree in journalism or a related field.

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