Careers in Business Journalism: Job Options and Requirements

Oct 02, 2019

Business journalism programs are generally offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, though a bachelor's degree is sufficient for an entry-level job. 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 career in business journalism can mean working as a journalist, a news analyst, or an editor. Journalists interview people and write articles for magazines, newspapers, web publications or television, while editors review articles to ensure any technical errors are corrected before the material is published. Broadcast news analysts relay information on television and offer analysis of topics for their audience.

Essential Information

Business journalists primarily cover finance and economics topics. Individuals who work in this field may have a variety of titles, such as news analyst, reporter or journalist. Although both undergraduate and graduate programs in journalism are available, candidates can find jobs with just a bachelor's degree. Master's degree programs may allow them to further specialize in business journalism. Internships are common in journalism programs.

Career Journalist (Reporter and Correspondent) Broadcast News Analyst Editor
Education Requirements A bachelor's degree in journalism or communications A bachelor's degree in journalism or communications A bachelor's degree in journalism, communications or English
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* -12% decline (for reporters and correspondents) 1% decline -3% decline
Median Annual Salary (May 2018)* $41,260 (for reporters and correspondents) $65,530 $59,480

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Business journalist study news trends and events, investigate leads, analyze documents and conduct interviews with key individuals in the economic, business and finance industries. They prepare newspaper stories, reports and statistics. These individuals may also be required to shoot video or take photographs, as well as edit their material.

Common titles for careers in business journalism include broadcast news analyst, reporter, columnist, journalist and editor. These careers can be found at newspapers, business magazines, news programs, radio stations, websites, blogs or other publications.

Journalists

Journalists, also known as reporters and correspondents, conduct interviews and write articles for television, magazines, online publications, and newspapers. They may read their reports during live radio or television broadcasts. There was expected to be a decline of 12% among reporters and correspondents during the 2018-2028 decade. The median salary for these professionals was $41,260 in May of 2018.

Broadcast News Analysts

Although broadcast news analysts may deliver news and weather reports on the air, they primarily provide an in-depth analysis of various topics for their listeners and viewers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that broadcast news analysts would experience a 1% increase in employment, and that overall employment for correspondents, news analysts and reporters would decline by 10% from 2018-2028 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also noted that reporters and news analysts would have tougher competition for jobs at larger newspapers or other media outlets; however, websites, online newspapers and other new media are providing a growing number of opportunities. Median annual salaries for broadcast news analysts were approximately $66,880 in May of 2018.

Editors

Editors read material to evaluate spelling, punctuation and grammar, and they verify the correctness of information. They review copy for readability, develop story ideas and plan the content of publications. According to the BLS, a 3% decline was expected in employment opportunities for editors from 2018-2028. In May of 2018, editors earned median annual salaries of $59,480.

Requirements

According to the BLS, most employers prefer applicants with a bachelor's degree in mass communications or journalism. There are a variety of related programs available at this level, such as the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Business Writing and B.A. in Business Journalism. Coursework in finance, political science, business, economics, English, radio and television broadcasting can also serve as preparation.

The BLS adds that employers also look for applicants with experience in the field, which can be gained during college through internships, assistantships, fellowships or other journalism opportunities, such as freelance writing for the school newspaper. For many positions, experience in technology may also be necessary for researching and publishing.

Continuing Education

Master's degree programs, such as the Master of Arts in Business Journalism or Master of Mass Communication in Business Journalism, offer further, specialized training in the field. Earning a master's degree can prepare students for career advancement, including editorial positions in business journalism or careers in business research.

Studies in finance, business, economics, political science, English and broadcasting are all assets to those who are interested in a career in business journalism. Most employers prefer applicants with a degree in journalism or mass communication. Career advancement may require completion of a relevant master's degree.

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