Top 10 Jobs for Journalism Grads
When I finished my undergraduate degree in journalism in 1990, I thought I only had two career options: a newspaper reporting job or one at a TV or radio station.
I was a journalism grad who was completely uninformed about my career possibilities. Now some 20 years later, job options for journalism grads have only grown, particularly with the explosion of the Internet. Here are 10 of the numerous journalism major jobs well within your reach.
You probably already love books. Why not help create some of the thousands published each year?
As a book editor, you could be involved in everything from evaluating manuscripts and selecting books for publication to editing text and shepherding the design process.
When the Web was in its infancy, this job didn't exist. But today's information-heavy Web sites -- such as Monster -- need writers and editors for their ever-changing content.
Content producers combine their communication backgrounds with strong technical skills and a knack for working well under pressure.
Whenever you watch an advertisement on television, hear one on the radio or read one in the newspaper, a copywriter developed the message being delivered.
If you're naturally persuasive and creative and can cram a lot of convincing information into a few words, this job should grab your attention.
Nonprofit organizations depend on grants for much or sometimes all their funding. They rely on grant writers who use their persuasive writing talents to demonstrate the importance of their organization's causes to win the money necessary to promote them.
News Service Writer
Many colleges and universities, particularly larger ones, have news services staffed by writers and editors who tell the institution's many stories to the media and general public via news releases, institutional publications and Web sites.
The Newsletter & Electronic Publishers Association estimates that the US publishes some 8,000 subscription-based newsletters. That equates to a lot of journalism major jobs. Each newsletter needs at least one writer/editor, and larger ones typically need more.
If you can't shake the reporting bug and have an interest or expertise in a particular topical area, you might find your niche writing about a niche.
Public Relations Specialist
In your journalism courses, you learn how the media works and what a journalist needs to operate successfully at any level. That's why journalism grads make great public relations specialists, who interact with journalists to effectively communicate their organizations' messages.
Both for-profit and nonprofit organizations produce publications for employees, customers, clients, donors and volunteers. Someone has to write and edit the copy, put it into an appealing design and get it printed (and often mailed as well).
That's what publications specialists do. You could work for a big company, a college or university, a religious or charitable organization, or a government agency.
Sports Information Director
If you're a sports junkie, how about getting paid to oversee a college athletics program's ongoing communications needs? As a sports information director, you'll help local, regional and national sports journalists get the stories they need from your school's coaches and athletes. You'll also coordinate media coverage for various athletic events.
Remember the last time you bought computer software? Did you ever crack open the user manual? Many of them are so poorly written that it's a wonder anyone bothers anymore.
You could be part of the solution as a technical writer. Any time clear instructions must be written, particularly for a technical product or service, a technical writer goes to work.
To learn more about the diverse careers you can pursue with a degree in journalism, check out the following resources:
- Opportunities in Journalism Careers by Donald L. Ferguson and Jim Patten
- Careers for Writers & Others Who Have a Way with Words by Robert W. Bly
Learn more about editorial careers.
Learn more about media careers.