Journalism Degree Still Worth It

By on August 18, 2011

This post was written by Josie Yang, a member of Acceptional’s High School Journalism Program. This post details why a journalism degree remains a viable option for aspiring journalists.

“What’s the point of journalism school, anyway?” Many an anxious scholar and skeptical parent obsess over this question, and not without good reason. With the Internet becoming a go-to source for quick news updates, reading a newspaper may seem obsolete—and the same goes for the journalism industry. Despite these discouraging remarks, journalism school remains a viable option for students because of the various ways to obtain an education in journalism, as well as the wide range of careers available to journalism students.

Journalism experts will sometimes say that experience, and not education, is more helpful in starting one’s career. Therefore, some may be deterred from majoring in journalism for fear of wasting their college years. However, having a formal education in journalism, undergraduate or graduate, still equips students with skills that will help them find better jobs faster. An undergraduate program gives students a unique advantage as they learn writing and reporting techniques vital to becoming a part of the journalism industry. Moreover, these skills can be applied in different settings, whether one is working at a magazine, newspaper, or web publication. Choosing journalism as an undergraduate major is ideal for students who are fairly sure that they will go into a journalism-related career and want to spend time learning about the different aspects of journalism in detail. Later on, they can opt to go to graduate school or find internships and start working earlier on. For those people who choose not to study journalism as undergraduates, graduate school is still an option. Scholars can study fields such as business or politics and then use that knowledge when they attend journalism graduate school so that they will not only learn how to write, but also learn what they are writing about. Both methods of education in journalism provide experience and connections that will help launch budding journalists’ careers.

Even with the different course options to study journalism, there is the question of what one can do with that education. Some people believe the stereotype that journalism means either becoming a TV news anchorperson or a newspaper reporter; these jobs, they think, are becoming more obsolete with the rise of the Internet as a source of news. In reality, there are a myriad of job opportunities that come with an education in journalism. Web services and publications are becoming increasingly popular, and many of them (including our very own Acceptional) provide internships and positions for journalists. Students who study print journalism can find themselves working in book publishing or other writing fields, while broadcast journalism students might branch out into other film and media related careers. The skills taught in journalism school—which include writing, interviewing, and researching—can be applied to many careers that span beyond simply reporting news. Some universities even intentionally offer journalism as a part of their communications schools to give scholars a chance to study such subjects as public relations. As society revolves more and more around different forms of communication, the job opportunities available to journalism students won’t decrease, but rather increase.

The biggest fear of a student is to hear that there is no way to build a career out of his or her major. Thankfully, this fear is unnecessary for journalism students. Their area of study is growing to encompass more fields and careers, and the students themselves are all too ready to grow themselves.

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If you’re interested in Journalism, check out Acceptional’s part-time, virtual internships for aspiring journalists. The internship focuses on digital journalism and let’s you participate whenever you have the time.

4 Comments

  1. Jason Whitmen

    August 18, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I just stopped by your blog and thought I would say hello. I like your site design. Looking forward to reading more down the road.

  2. Radhika Bora

    August 19, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    This article makes several interesting and valid points about getting a journalism undergraduate degree. First that doing your undergraduate degree in journalism would prepare you for a variety of careers from magazine journalism to TV reporting: I hadn’t considered this point but real-life experience probably wouldn’t offer such diverse education. And second that journalism as a field continues to expand, especially in today’s media-driven world (there are now opportunities to report for innumerable web sites, blogs, online magazines and newspapers, etc. etc.)

  3. Samantha Reilly

    August 27, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    It seems that no one should spend his or her life doing something that doesn’t interest him or her. What is great about a career in journalism, along with the many great points mentioned in this post, is the large span of topics you could be reporting about every day.

  4. Grace Song

    September 25, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    I think this article is really helpful and encouraging to those students that want to major in journalism. I personally want to major in this area and I have heard the same things mentioned in this article. I agree that a journalism degree is still worth it because of the experience that you can get from it. I know Northwestern University offers a program for their juniors in Medill that’s called journalism residency. Where the students get to stay abroad and work in professional settings alongside veteran journalists.

    So for all you out there that aren’t sure about journalism, give it a try! its SO worth it

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