Although the print industry might be dying and reporters like Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward are becoming rare, there are still excellent job opportunities available to those with a journalism degree if you can think outside the box. Here are some areas you can explore with a journalism degree, starting with the most obvious (print) and working towards the less obvious.
• Print Journalism: It remains true the 21st century and online journalism is on the rise, but it does not mean the death of newspapers and magazines. While journalism mediums are increasing, print journalism is still making its way into millions of homes. Hence you can start writing articles for local, city, county, regional, national or international publications. What you need to do to break into this field is expand your networks. Search for a variety of publications, send your resumes and clips, and do not give up. You can also search online on journalism job sites to find a place hiring journalists.
• Broadcast Journalism: If live reporting is something that interests you, broadcast journalism starts to look like the career you are looking for. Television opportunities are plenty but competitive. The categories in news and talk shows include local and national coverage, sports, entertainment, environment, and more. An anchor job is not the only thing one can do with an interest in broadcast journalism. You can also write for television shows, from dramas to comedies, with the writing abilities you have, so dig into your creative channel and start writing scripts.
• Radio Journalism: Have that smooth radio voice or the passion for writing for music shows? If so, then think about working for a radio station and start getting experience in this type of work. A job in radio journalism can open other journalism opportunities for you because the script writing done in this career will carry with you for other journalism opportunities in broadcast, media relations, and marketing.
• Online Journalism: The Internet has paved the way for a new kind of job: freelance writing. You can report for traditional newspapers and magazines on their online mediums or write for blogs and other websites. The advantages of online journalism is that you can do the work wherever you want. You are not tied down to sitting at a news desk in the same state as the company or organization. Beyond freelance writing, jobs as content managers and online editors are opening up on sites across the board.
• Media / Public Relations: Companies and organizations look for people with the writing skills capable of promoting a variety of initiatives. With a journalism degree, you are on your way to doing media / public relations work. You have the talents to frame stories in certain ways, as well as gather the right facts to create works with substance. From writing press releases to media advisories, your journalism expertise will get you far in this field.
• Communication Departments: Writing well becomes an essential ability needed for positions in communication departments. To communicate, one needs to have the proper writing skills to express the right thoughts completely and concisely to an audience. Your journalism degree will give you an edge in companies looking to hire leaders that can write for various mediums. If any of these six fields sound interesting to you, good! If not, then think about other things you can do with a journalism degree: publishing, editing, or marketing. Think about it, you have the talents and foundation of quality writing, so why not use it to write a book?
So start thinking about how you want to cash in that four-year journalism degree.
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Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.