Is Journalism the Right Major for Me?
If you major in journalism, you'll develop skills you may use in careers such as reporting, editing or producing. Answer the questions below to see if you're on the right path in considering this major.
|Do you enjoy writing?||Yes or No|
|Are you creative?||Yes or No|
|Does technology interest you?||Yes or No|
|Are you a people person?||Yes or No|
|Do you handle criticism well?||Yes or No|
|Are you persistent?||Yes or No|
|Are you open-minded?||Yes or No|
|Do you work well on a deadline?||Yes or No|
|Do you pay attention to details?||Yes or No|
|Are you competitive?||Yes or No|
Why These Questions Are Important
Do you enjoy writing?
Strong writing skills are critical for all journalism disciplines, so your required coursework may include news writing, magazine writing, and feature writing, among other writing-intensive courses.
Are you creative?
Whether through video, print or multi-media reporting, journalists are storytellers. While the stories are factual, journalists must have the creativity to present them in interesting manners.
Does technology interest you?
As the press increasingly embraces multi-media news delivery, journalists need a firm grasp of developing technology. Expect courses in this major to include web design and other computer skills.
Are you a people person?
In your career, you will need to form relationships and build trust with sources from many walks of life. This requires empathy and excellent interpersonal communication skills. You'll also regularly collaborate with colleagues in the production or publication of your work.
Do you handle criticism well?
Journalists must be thick-skinned enough to handle criticism of their work. In school, this may come from your professors; in your professional career, it may come from editors, producers, or people who are unhappy with news coverage.
Are you persistent?
In your career, you need to be unflagging in both pursuing reluctant sources and convincing superiors of the validity of stories in which you believe. Persistence and perseverance, therefore, are very important qualities.
Are you open-minded?
If you major in journalism, you will learn essential skills in your classes and internships, but two of the most critical qualities you need in your career are those that you must instinctively value: objectivity and open-mindedness.
Do you work well on a deadline?
In the professional world, journalists are constantly working on deadlines. Expect the coursework of a journalism program to prepare students by being similarly deadline-oriented.
Do you pay attention to details?
A journalist's reputation and career relies on meticulously fact checking their stories or reports. Stories that aren't accurate can jeopardize a journalist's credibility, and in some cases, his or her career.
Are you competitive?
Reporting jobs are expected to drop as much as nine percent between 2014 and 2024, so after graduating from a journalism program, expect to face strong competition for jobs.
How Do I Proceed?
Journalism may be the right choice if you replied positively to most of these questions. You may also want to explore related majors, such as public relations, teaching or advertising.