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Journalism Degrees

The complete guide on what you’ll learn, job prospects, university programs, and saving time and money.
on June 30, 2020

Why We Love It

  • $64,910
    Potential Avg. Salary*

* Salary & growth data is based on the recent Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes273041.htm for 27-3041 Editors 11/2021. Based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.

If you aspire to work as a news reporter, editor, feature writer, or creative nonfiction writer, a bachelor of science in journalism may be the right degree for you. Students in journalism programs study writing techniques, reporting techniques, editing, fact-checking, ethics, and legal issues in media. This knowledge prepares them for careers in publishing, creating articles for print and digital publications.

What is a Degree in Journalism?

A bachelor’s degree in journalism is a flexible degree than covers a variety of disciplines. Students study writing, law, researching, and sociology in order to learn how to craft interesting, compelling, and accurate pieces of writing for newspapers, magazines, websites, and radio shows. Students may choose to study journalism generally—covering all topics and roles in the industry—or they may choose a specialization. Specializations may focus on editing, news reporting, online publishing, or broadcast media.

Often, students in journalism programs are able to build their portfolios by working on a college newspaper or interning with a local or online publication. They may study writing, but they’re often also responsible for taking their own photographs. They cover media ethics in detail, learning about topics like image rights, copyright infringement, libel, and slander. With a thorough knowledge of these issues, graduates can go on to work as successful writers, media personalities, and editors with less risk of lawsuits.

Recommended Schools

What Courses Would I Take For a Major in Journalism?

  • Online Journalism
  • Photojournalism
  • Broadcast Journalism
  • Feature Article Writing
  • Entertainment Journalism
  • Freelance Writing
  • Sports Reporting
  • Memoir Writing

What Jobs Can You Get with a Degree in Journalism?

Though print publication subscriptions have been on the decline in recent years, journalism is still a thriving discipline online. As more and more individuals turn away from traditional news and information sources like newspapers and local news broadcasts, they’re turning to major publishing websites to access current events, political news, and sports reports. As such, it’s expected that the demand for talented writers, reporters, and photographers will be sustained for online publishing roles.

How Long does it take?

A bachelors in Journalism will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at OnlineDegree.com that could transfer to universities in the US.

Online Journalism Degree

Journalism degree programs are offered by many universities with the increasing demand from students. Some universities offer the students the option to set individualized programs from courses as news writing, visual storytelling, interviewing skills, media and politics. Students may also choose from various concentrations as dynamic new media, documentary journalism and international strategic communication. Some of the online programs have emphasis on practical experiences and require students to complete internships, practicums or to build their portfolio.


What Can You Do With a Journalism Degree?

Journalism is about telling the truth and what is happening around the world to people. It is surely an exciting career as it is always a competition to be the first and may be the only one to get the information. It can also be a risky career as journalists work in endangered areas with conflicts, wars or natural disasters. Their role in shaping our world cannot be overlooked. If you consider yourself an adventurer who is up to the challenge, then you should consider journalism for your future career.

What does a journalism student learn?

Journalism can be related to various fields including for example politics, natural disasters, economy, technology or industry. There are courses that are commonly studied in different journalism programs including courses related to language, politics, law, literature and writing.

  1. Fundamental issues in journalism
  2. Media law and ethics: media is an issue that sometimes becomes very controversial especially when journalists become biased to a certain group or ideas. This is why studying law and ethics is very important.
  3. Government and public affairs reporting
  4. Investigative journalism
  5. Radio and television production
  6. History of news in modern America
  7. Digital storytelling basics: telling a good story can be the best skill to make a good journalist. This is even more important in a digital world where people read most of the news on the social networks.
  8. International media studies: journalism is an international career where boundaries between countries do not become very significant.
  9. Feature writing
  10. Interactive design and development: gaining more attention and engaging the audience is the mark of success of journalists. It is then essential to develop a design that promotes interaction.
  11. Sight, sound and motion.
  12. Data literacy of communicators

Now I have the journalism degree…where can I work after graduating?

Journalism is a challenging and competitive career but it can also be very rewarding career. Some journalists as Joe Scarborough and Bret Baier get paid several million dollars yearly. There are a large number of specializations in journalism which you may consider for your future career.

  1. Broadcast journalist: the role of a broadcast journalist is to find new stories and bring them to the public quickly and accurately.
  2. Editor or editorial assistant: the role of an editorial assistant is to manage the editing of news, articles and media before being published. Editing include proofreading, editing of photos and videos, overall design of the newspaper, websites or other channels.
  3. Magazine journalist: writing for magazines provides more space as articles can be longer compared to newspapers. Currently, magazines are increasingly being published on the internet rather than being printed.
  4. Web content manager: companies, stores and organizations are currently available online. Accordingly, the demand for online content managers is boosting to increase the public awareness or promote products and services.
  5. Sports, economy, science or other specialized journalists
  6. Book writing: this is the best choice to provide detailed insights, thoughts and longer studies on certain topics. Some books may sell hundreds of millions of copies. For example, Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling series sold more than 500 million copies.
  7. Translator: if you are bilingual or can speak multiple languages and have a journalism degree then you will be a good candidate to work as translator. Currently, websites, newspapers and other media forms are available in multiple languages to reach more audience. Translation of bestselling books can also be very rewarding.
  8. Freelancing: working as a freelancer can provide more freedom compared to employment.

Should I choose a journalism degree?

Studying journalism is more exciting and engaging than other fields of study. Students develop unique skills that are essential part of their future job.

  1. Excellent written and verbal communication skills: journalism is mainly about effective communication. Journalists are well trained to choose the best way to communicate taking into consideration the targeted audience, media of communication and the type of the content.
  2. Enthusiasm, ambition to succeed and being proactive: journalism is highly competitive and journalists are evaluated by their ability to provide unique content and being the first to get the news.
  3. Persistence and determination: success in journalism is not an easy task and can be faced by many obstacles.
  4. Paying attention to details: Some mistakes that are normally considered trivial by people can be highly significant when found in content shown to the public and viewed by millions of people.
  5. Computer skills for editing, publishing and managing social media content.

Recommended Schools


Best Jobs for Journalism Degrees

A bachelor of science is a flexible degree that prepares students for careers in a variety of disciplines. Students can write articles for newspaper, magazine, or online publications, or they can work as photojournalists, capturing images of newsworthy events. Some also work in editing and select and revise submitted articles or books, while others pursue creative nonfiction and spend their careers writing and composing memoirs and other books.


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About the Author
Grant founded OnlineDegree.com with a purpose-driven mission: make college accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their education. He's a frequent speaker and author in higher education, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader's Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.

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