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Journalism Careers and Journalism Schools: Journalism Degree Online, Courses, Training, Education

Journalism careers offer many rewarding opportunities in the media, broadcast, writing, and internet news industries. A journalism degree can lead to a variety of positions as a reporter, correspondent, editor, or producer. Completing a journalism education is the first step towards a career that can grow into a lifelong position within the vast world of communications and media. Today, journalists of all ages and backgrounds can find work in fields that didn't exist just a few decades ago; the internet has opened up many promising careers in the fields of broadcasting, writing, and communications.

Why Choose a Journalism Career?

Journalism careers are ideal for individuals who have a keen interest in researching, gathering, and disseminating news, as well as those who have strong writing and presentation skills. A journalism career offers plenty of flexibility for those interested in pursuing a more business-oriented career in the future; many journalism degree majors move ahead into fields such as public relations, marketing, freelance news reporting, or developing their own PR firm and consulting business. Working for a newspaper as a reporter or correspondent is the ideal match for many people who pursue journalism careers, but today's growing communications industry offers plenty of opportunities in writing and reporting online as well.

Key skills needed for a successful journalism career include:

  • Critical thinking

  • Articulation

  • Detailed reporting abilities

  • Fact-checking and editing

  • Organizing thoughts and ideas easily

  • Strong communication skills

  • Being able to interact with different types of people

  • Public speaking

  • Understanding new cultures, laws, and ethics

  • Interviewing skills

  • Storytelling and descriptive skills

  • Adhering to national and global reporting standards

What to Expect at Journalism Schools

Journalism schools can provide extensive journalism training that is applied in a variety of communications fields including writing, presentations, broadcasting, and even entertainment. Many journalism schools offer specializations within each journalism degree major, which can help students gain intimate knowledge about a particular field or area. Journalism schools offer a comprehensive curriculum with classes and journalism courses such as:

  • Political Science
  • English and Creative Writing
  • News Editing
  • Law and Ethics
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Vocal Coaching and Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Foreign Language

Journalism schools also offer an internship program where students can gain hands-on experience working with a local newspaper or publication. In addition to the comprehensive journalism courses and workload, an internship allows them an opportunity to build a portfolio and gain the necessary references they need to succeed in this competitive industry.

Benefits of a Journalism Degree

A journalism degree is a very flexible liberal arts degree, and can open up many opportunities for careers in different industries. Opportunities to travel, relocate to other countries, and work with a diverse range of people are just a few rewards of a journalism career. Journalism courses can be tailored for a specific field of study, and gaining advice from a counselor early in a student's journalism career is recommended. Graduates of journalism schools can explore career paths as:

  • Media relations specialists
  • Public relations representatives
  • Corporate communicators
  • Website writers and reporters
  • Public broadcasting agents
  • News organization representatives
  • Broadcast journalists
  • Program directors
  • Reporters
  • News analysts
  • Staff writers

Pursuing a Journalism Degree Online

Pursuing a journalism degree online offers many benefits for working professionals, or those that require a more flexible schedule. Finding the right journalism training program can be challenging, students who enjoy independent learning and comfortable using technology can enjoy many benefits of journalism degree online. Online courses of study allow students to work with other professionals from around the globe, and professors can provide lectures and study materials over the internet. Specializations of a journalism degree may also be easier to complete in an online format; those interested in pursuing specific areas such as technology, business, criminal justice, and media law can find a variety of online formats that suit them best.

Should I Attend Journalism Graduate School?

Journalism graduate school offers journalism degree majors to focus on the industries of news organizations and gain the skills needed for leadership in media management. Professionals who attend journalism graduate school have a better chance of gaining management and supervisor positions in their respective fields; journalism graduate school is also valuable for those interested in media research or even teaching positions. Doctorate level degrees are available after journalism graduate school for those who wish to contribute to academic journals and continue teaching.

Where are the Nation's Top Journalism Schools?

The nation's top three journalism schools, according to USNews.com, include:

1.     Bradley University for both undergraduate and master's degree programs

2.     University of La Verne, with one of the highest freshmen retention rates and competitive ACT and SAT score requirements

3.     University of California-Irvine, a highly selective university that offers a rigorous curriculum and courses

Other notable top journalism schools in the country include:

  • Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City

  • University of Maryland in College Park, MD

  • Wood Tobe-Coburn School in New York

  • Ellis College of New York Institute of Technology

  • Indiana University-Bloomington

  • University of Missouri

  • University of Florida

  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Employment Prospects for Journalism Careers

After completing a journalism training program and journalism degree, graduates have a chance to pursue rewarding careers as media specialists, reporters, writers and editors within the industry. News analysts, correspondents, and reporters are in a competitive career field and job openings at newspapers and publications are expected to grow slower than average. Those who specialize in specific fields and subjects can do well in the long-term, but competition is fierce throughout the industry. Median annual earnings for reporters and news analysts were $36,980 in May 2004, and earnings vary widely depending on position, skills, and training.


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