People across the globe rely on journalists and new analysts to report on what’s happening in the world and to explain what it all means to the average person. An online journalism degree is available to help prepare students who want to enter this exciting yet demanding field. Journalists spend a lot of time researching news items, interviewing subjects, and writing stories that can appear in print or online, and because of the nature of their work, they often put in long, irregular hours. But for those who enjoy investigating leads and writing for an audience, an online journalism degree can be the gateway into an exciting, constantly changing field.
Employment Outlook in Journalism
Job opportunities in journalism are expected to decrease somewhat by 2018 due to a number of factors. First, print journalism is losing popularity among consumers of news writing in favor of online outlets. Because of this, traditional newspapers and news magazines are on the decline and will be hiring fewer reporters, correspondents, and analysts. Second, recent decades have seen a significant amount of consolidation among print and broadcast companies, and these alliances have reduced the overall need for employees.
Third, the field of journalism can be greatly influenced by the ups and downs in the economy. Since news sources of all types rely on advertising revenue to stay in business, when the economy declines and companies subsequently cut their advertising budgets in response, fewer journalists can be employed. Despite this, however, there will always be a need for news, and the best opportunities for positions will be with smaller print publications rather than those in major metropolitan areas and with online news outlets.
There is a wide range of salaries earned in the field of journalism. The median yearly income for those employed in the field in May of 2008 was just under $35,000 with the highest salaries earned reaching $77,500 and the lowest barely over $20,000. Broadcast journalists make more than those who work in the print industry. The median wage for employees in this area of the field in May of 2008 was just over $51,000 with those who made the most earning over $88,500 and those who made the least bringing in $32,000.
Educational Requirements in Journalism
Although experience is the best teacher in this particular field, most employers look for applicants with a bachelor’s degree in journalism or a related field like Communications or English. In addition to developing a student’s writing skills, a strong bachelor’s program will also include some study in the areas that reporters will like be covering, like economics, sociology, political science, history, and business. In this way, journalism degree programs usually have a liberal arts focus.
Because the field is becoming more and more rooted in the use of technology, successful journalists also need to have computer and software application skills. Also, since news outlets must send correspondents around the world to cover the news there as it unfolds, journalists who have learned another language have a significant advantage over those who haven’t. While master’s degrees and Ph.D.’s in journalism are less common than they are in some other fields, there are such programs available.
But most journalists supplement their bachelor’s degree with experience to help their job prospects
Internships at newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations and law services are excellent ways for college students to start getting the experience that employers love to see even before graduating.
Graduates usually get entry-level positions at smaller news agencies and are considered for positions at the major outlets only after having years of experience. Online journalism degree programs, many of which are accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism, are available today to prepare students interested in this career field for the experiences that will earn them the necessary experience required for advancement over time.