Graduates with degrees in journalism learn many skills that are readily transferable to other jobs. As a result, journalism graduates often have lower levels of unemployment than many graduates with other types of degrees, according to the 2010 Annual Survey of Journalism and Mass Communication Graduates. A bachelor's degree in journalism is a flexible and useful degree that prepares students for employment in a variety of fields.
Many graduates with bachelor's degrees in journalism become freelance writers. Graduates with a bachelor's in journalism have learned research and writing skills that serve them well in a variety of freelance writing opportunities. Freelance writers are called upon to write about a variety of non-fictional topics, including topics that are in the news, or in a variety of areas of specialization, such as health or legal topics.
Public Relations Specialist
Graduates with degrees in journalism are also well positioned to enter into the field of public relations. Public relations specialists need training in persuasive communication, writing, and strategic thinking, all of which are skills learned by graduate students in journalism. Public relations specialists use these skills to help businesses and organizations present themselves to the public. They write press releases, design media campaigns, and help raise funds for their organizations.
Graduates with a bachelor's degree in journalism also can become technical writers. The goal of technical writing is to make difficult information readily accessible to the user or reader. Technical writers write about a number of technical topics, including patient information for pharmaceuticals, legal information, help files for software products, and more. Because journalism graduates have extensive training with research and writing factually, they are often able to excel as technical writers.
Many graduates with undergraduate degrees in journalism become editors. Many editors start out as writers or hold other entry-level positions and then move up in the ranks of their organization to become editors. Others use their specialized training to begin as an editorial assistant and then advance in the editorial field. To be successful, editors must have a keen eye for grammar and syntax as well as have a strong sense of audience awareness. Because journalism graduates have been trained to consider their audience as well as to pay attention to details, they often make successful editors.
- James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication University of Georgia: 2010 Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates
- Ashford University: Online Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication
- Degree Directory: What Are Some Possible Careers for a Journalism Major?
- University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications: Public Relations
- United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics: Public Relations Managers and Specialists
Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.