For most recent graduates who studied journalism, the road ahead has been painted jagged, rough, and tiresome. Even worse, for many recent high school graduates entering into college, or veterans going back to school, this same journalism-major reputation has carried over. According to United Professionals writer Barbara Ehrenreich, journalism is a “dying industry.”
When embarking on a new career (or a first career), it is sometimes hard to see the job opportunities that exist in journalism. With the decline of newspapers and reporters, many are left wondering: What else is there? Unfortunately, this question has deterred many away from a major in journalism, but if journalism is what you love, do not give up hope. According to Business Insider writer Michael Mandel, “we may be headed into a Golden Age of Journalism, where the combination of the falling cost of communications and the high demand for news just opens up all sorts of possibilities for doing journalism in different ways.” The tricky thing about majoring in journalism is the idea of these “different ways.” Many job postings mention nothing about “journalism,” yet will hire journalism majors; for good reason. Consider three reasons journalism is a passion worth pursuing.
Journalism majors possess writing skills that every single company can benefit from, and companies are catching on to this fact. Look into advertising agencies, insurance companies, or even education and find out who writes their press releases and content for their website (because every good company has a website!) Even though these jobs are not in the industry you expected, they also need you.
Consider why newspapers and magazines are, in general, declining. If you said because of the internet, you are correct. This does not mean that journalism jobs are gone; this simply means they have moved online. When looking for jobs, look for titles like “internet publishing” and “web search entry.”
Major newspapers such as The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal will always be around. If this truly is your dream job, do not shy away from a major in journalism because you don’t think you’ll be able to get there. Working your way up in the journalism world does not require you to work at a small-town newspaper.
Internships, freelance writing, and internet content production will be enough to get you to the top. As long as you’re writing, writing well, and have something to show for it, you have all the tools you need to walk into a major newspaper with confidence.
So whether you have a child considering journalism or you yourself are considering going back to school, if writing is what you love to do, do not count this major out. If nothing else, ponder the opinion Meranda Watling, reporter, and creator of Meranda Writes gives when she says, “Being a reporter means your job will be cooler than 95 percent of the kids you went to high school with.”
Your dream job may take longer to find, but you will have opportunities beforehand to keep you busy, interested, and cool.