Overview: What Is a College Program in Journalism?

An education in journalism will prepare students to work in both print and broadcast media.  One of the most fundamental things a journalism student will learn is how to effectively communicate, a skill that is highly valued by nearly all professions, not just in the media.  Students will study journalism in its many forms, along with the theories and ethics associated with the profession.

Journalism Classes and Learned Skills

Classes in journalism will prepare the student to communicate effectively.  By also taking classes that involve the ethics, theory, and laws surrounding journalism, students can learn just what it takes to be a professional.  Some of the classes a journalism student might take include:

  • Reporting
  • Writing for Mass Media
  • Writing for Print Journalism
  • Mass Media Ethics
  • Mass Media Law
  • Copy Editing
  • Broadcast News
  • Photography

Available Learning Formats for Journalism Programs

Journalism degrees are now available via distance learning, online college programs or traditional on-campus programs.  Both types of learning are beneficial in different ways, including differences in price and convenience, so students should weigh their options carefully.

Levels of Education Available for Journalism

Journalism is one area of study that is widely available at nearly all levels of education.  Certificates, associate's degrees, bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and doctoral degrees in journalism are available for students, though which degree they pursue depends on their educational aspirations and career goals.

Outlook for Careers in Journalism

There are many different careers a person could pursue with an education in journalism, just as there are many forms of media for them to work in.  Newspapers, magazines, radio programs, television stations, and online news websites all need the help of journalists to in their success.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, the number of jobs for news analysts, reporters, and correspondents is expected to “decline moderately” through at least 2018.  In July of 2009, journalism majors' average starting salary was just over $35,000, while reporters and correspondents overall earned an annual average of around $44,000 as of May 2008.  Editing jobs are expected to increase at about the same rate as the average pace for all occupations, though competition is expected to be high in this field.  In May of 2008 salaried editors were making $49,990 on average according to the BLS.

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