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Career Information for a Degree in Journalism

Degrees in journalism typically cover news reporting, broadcasting, or freelance writing. Find out about the requirements for these programs, and learn about career options, job growth, and salary info for journalism graduates.

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A degree in journalism can lead to a career as a reporter or correspondent, a broadcast news analyst, or an author or freelance writer. Reporters gather news through interviews and research and then relay that information to the public, while broadcast news analysts examine news and events and may offer commentary on current issues. Authors and freelance writers produce books or articles that are sold for publication.

Essential Information

Journalists strive to make news available to the public. These professionals may cover areas from politics to sports. To work in the field, a bachelor's degree is a common requirement. At the undergraduate level, students can focus on specific tracks, such as news-editorial or broadcasting.

Career Reporter/Correspondent Broadcast news analyst Author/Writer
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* -8% -13% 2%
Median Salary (2015)* $36,360 $65,530 $60,250

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Options

Journalism programs are generally offered at the bachelor's degree level. Upon completion of these programs, graduates may work in the field as reporters, correspondents, broadcast news analysts, authors or writers. Continue reading to learn more about these career options.

Reporters or Correspondents

Reporters gather news through a variety of means, from interviews to library research, and then deliver it to the public. Some reporters, also called correspondents, perform their duties while traveling domestically or internationally. These professionals may be employed by large metropolitan newspapers and magazines. Aspiring correspondents often need extensive reporting experience in which they prove their abilities and reliability.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected the employment of reporters and correspondents to decline by 8% between 2014 and 2024. The median annual wage for reporters and correspondents as of May 2015 was $36,360, according to the BLS.

Broadcast News Analyst

Television or radio news analysts examine news and events. These professionals may write their own scripts and commentaries, edit material and coordinate the filming of in-depth segments for live transmission or introduce recorded interviews. They may also select which information, stories and events to present.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS reported that job openings for broadcast news analysts were expected to decline by 13% between 2014 and 2024. As of May 2015, these professionals earned an annual median salary of $65,530.

Author or Writer

Graduates of journalism degree programs can use their writing, research and storytelling capabilities to work for different newspapers, magazines, journals and even websites as freelance writers. Freelance writers typically are either contracted for an assignment or choose to pursue a particular story, which they then market to potential publishers. Freelance writers enjoy a great deal of professional freedom, but often must spend as much or more time searching for buyers for their work as they do writing. Freelancers also need to be prepared for financial instability if they decide to pursue the occupation full-time, or be prepared to hold down other employment in order to finance their writing.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS anticipated employment of authors and writers to increase by 2% between 2014 and 2024. The BLS noted that in May 2015, the median salary for a writer or author was $60,250.

A degree in journalism provides an ideal foundation for those interested in pursuing a career as a reporter, news analyst, or writer. These career fields are highly competitive, with jobs for reporters and news analysts expected to decline from 2014-2024, and only a marginal job growth rate of 2% expected for authors for the same time period.

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