Salary and Career Info for a Masters Degree in Journalism

Sep 19, 2019

A master's degree in journalism typically allows journalism students to develop an area of reporting expertise and keep abreast of new technology, as well as open up new career opportunities and increase earning potential. Find out about different journalism specializations within master's programs and learn about the salary and career outlook for master's of journalism graduates.

A master's degree in journalism can lead to a career as a reporter, correspondent or broadcast news analyst. They may research and write news articles or relay the news on television. Opportunities are also available for reporting the news online.

Essential Information

A Master's of Journalism degree can involve study in a multitude of types of reporting, including Broadcast, Business, Science & Technology, and Digital Media journalism. Choosing one's specialization allows a student to find a niche within the journalistic community. An overview of the salary and career outlook for Reporters and Correspondents in general and a few of the specializations one can choose in a Master's of Journalism program follow.

Career Titles Reporter, Correspondent, or Broadcast News Analyst
Education Requirements Master's Degree in Journalism with appropriate specialization
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* -12% (for reporters and correspondents); 1% (for broadcast news analysts)
Median Salary (2018)* $41,260 (for reporters and correspondents); $66,880 (for broadcast news analysts)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Reporters and correspondents typically research and write for a variety of media outlets. Depending on a journalist's particular specialization, this could mean creating web content with pictures, videos, and copy, performing in-person, taped interviews, or writing long-form journalistic pieces for print publication. The sections below describe four distinct specializations and their applications in the professional journalism world.

Salary Information for Journalists

Journalism salaries depend on multiple variables, including location, experience, education, news media and specialization. Salaries at large metropolitan news organizations, for example, offer significantly higher salaries than small-town weekly publications. Typically, only experienced journalists are hired at big city dailies. Novice journalists can find opportunities in smaller towns and online news publications. A master's degree in journalism often leads to better opportunities with higher salary potential.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2018, reporters and correspondents earned a median salary of $41,260; the median salary for broadcast news analysts was $66,880. The highest-paying areas for reporters and correspondents include the District of Columbia, New York, California, Arizona and New Jersery.

Career Outlook for Journalists

Among journalists, reporters and correspondents can expect a moderate decline in employment, at 12 percent, from 2018-2028. An increase in the demand for online news and podcasts may offset some of the losses. Those with some experience in the field, such as through an internship, may have more opportunities, as will those willing to work in smaller markets.

Master's Degrees in Journalism Specializations

Master of Arts in Broadcast Journalism

Broadcast journalism graduate students typically take courses that enhance their skills in the nuts and bolts of good reporting as well as those that pertain specifically to radio or television broadcasting. Some courses for this degree are television news writing, television magazine production and audio production. Hands-on experience through campus-based radio and television stations is typically emphasized.

Master of Arts in Business Journalism

Graduate programs in business and economics journalism generally combine advanced journalism courses with MBA courses, which may be part of a dual journalism and business administration degree program. Courses typically include investigative reporting, press ethics, financial accounting and reporting, global economy and reporting internships.

Master of Arts in Science and Technology Journalism

The ability to report on science and technology news in a clear, accessible manner is in high demand. Graduate level programs in science and technology reporting combine coursework in journalism with specialized electives in biomedical reporting, science policy and other areas of scientific and technological specialization.

Master of Arts in Digital Media Journalism

With more and more opportunities available in online journalism, digital media skills are highly sought after. Online journalists blend text, photos, video and audio to tell news stories. New media journalists acquire journalistic and multimedia skills to appeal to readers in a digital environment by taking courses in digital storytelling, interactive journalism and online news production.

The BLS expects jobs for journalists in general to decline by 10% from 2018-2028. Applicants with a master's degree may have more job prospects and be eligible for higher paying jobs within this field. Experience and a willingness to work for smaller markets may help applicants find employment.

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