The Pros and Cons of Majoring in Journalism

If you’re wondering whether or not journalism is a good major, the answer is yes. This industry offers many opportunities, both in the short term and long term. A lot of people don’t realize how many different types of jobs there are in the field of journalism, from reporting and writing to editing and producing.

Well, if you are getting ready to choose your college courses and don’t know what to pick yet, or maybe you’re in your senior year of high school with the hopes of going into this field, then yes: journalism is a great major.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the important reason why journalism is a good major and answer other questions surrounding journalism as a career.

Journalists are indeed in high demand. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the job outlook for the industry to grow by 6% by 2030, which is quite fast compared to other industries. So, majoring in journalism now could pay off later and even open doors to jobs that pay over 300k a year.

Is a Journalism Degree Worth It?

Is Journalism Hard in College?

The general consensus is that journalism is not a particularly hard degree to earn. As a matter of fact, it is #7 in the Top Easiest Majors by CollegeVine. While majoring in journalism is doable for most students, having specific skills and qualities can increase one’s chances of completing a journalism program successfully.

Nowadays, the work of a journalist can be harder to define than before the digital age, what with the need for journalists to be proficient, too, in online publishing, social media use and multimedia utilization.

It’s for this reason why choosing a journalism program with a more modern curriculum is important.

Wondering whether or not journalism is the right major for you? Check which of the skills or qualities below you possess — the more of them you have, the more suited you are to earn a degree in journalism:

  • Boldness
  • Communication (verbal and/or written)
  • Detail-oriented
  • Digital literacy
  • Ethical
  • Investigative
  • Objective
  • Persistence
  • Problem-solving
  • Research
  • Social media savvy
  • A lot of colleges and universities enable their undergraduate journalism students to choose from a variety of concentrations, which allows them to have a specialization and thus create a more streamlined career path.

    Some common examples of journalism concentrations include:

    This allows journalism majors to learn about all the essentials of broadcasting. They include anywhere from newsgathering, writing, editing, producing to reporting. It also provides degree-seeking students with the foundations of an ethical framework as well as social responsibility for their future careers as broadcasters.

    Students working on a journalism degree may choose to concentrate on magazine journalism, which is entirely different from newspaper journalism in terms of target audience and frequency of publishing. This prepares undergraduate students for coming up with longer stories for consumer and trade magazines.

    Learning about media photography helps journalism majors to develop the artistic and technical skills necessary in order to be able to work as photojournalists one day. Some of them are lighting techniques, photo composition and photo editing. Simultaneously, students acquire traditional journalism skills.

    Basically, this particular concentration equips journalism degree-seeking students with a deeper understanding of the writing, editing and production components of news stories, columns and other pieces intended for print, electronic and online media outlets. Both traditional and shorter forms of journalism are covered, too.

    is journalism a good major

    The concentration prepares journalism majors for coming up with stories that focus on hard-news topics, combining hard-news reporting style with a feature writing approach. Besides training students to write accurate and unbiased news, a concentration on news and features also teaches them to write ethically.

    In this day and age, concentrating on convergent media can help make bachelor’s in journalism holders more marketable. That’s because the concentration is designed to provide students with an assortment of skills in areas like traditional journalism, audio and video production, broadcasting, and web design.

    Journalism majors who would like to become sports journalists one day may consider concentrating on sports and media, which will prepare them to work not only in traditional but also on more modern media platforms. Core courses include sports communication, multimedia sports reporting and sports media law.

    Besides choosing a concentration, if the school with a journalism program provides such an option, it’s also a good idea to pick the right minor. This is especially true if the goal is to have a more rounded out bachelor’s degree.

    The following are just some of the minors that go really well with a journalism major:

  • Advertising
  • Business
  • Communications
  • Computer science
  • Economics
  • English
  • Foreign language
  • History
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Philosophy
  • Political science
  • Psychology
  • Public relations
  • Sociology
  • Statistics
  • It’s true that working on a minor that complements your major allows you to have a more in-depth knowledge of your specialization. However, opting for one that has very little to nothing to do with journalism allows you to acquire transferable skills outside your major, thus allowing you to be more flexible.

    Needless to say, consider the career path you would like to take when choosing a minor.

    Many colleges and universities offering journalism programs have dual-degree journalism programs, too, which usually aim to allow students to obtain skills and perspectives outside the journalism sphere at the same time.

    At some institutions, on the other hand, journalism majors are required to double-major.

    Since different schools for students seeking a bachelor’s in journalism have different journalism programs and requirements, too, it’s of utmost importance that you check out the program being offered by your target institution.

    Besides traditional jobs for journalism majors, there are also non-traditional ones available as a response to growth in new technologies and globalization of the media. This is why more and more journalism programs equip degree-seeking students with skills that can make them marketable as traditional and modern journalists.

    Common Coursework Journalism Majors Can Expect

    A journalism major’s core curriculum introduces them to American media institutions, mass media, basic writing techniques, multimedia tools, news gathering and judgment, and more. Students may take a philosophy or principles of journalism course that offers a history of journalism, as well as the ways it’s evolved over the years. Journalism majors take classes in reporting and writing, which includes finding stories and sources, interviewing techniques, and the nuts-and-bolts of constructing and editing a story.

    In addition to core requirements, journalism majors go deeper into topics of their choice, like data journalism, digital audio production, opinion writing, publication design and feature article writing.

    Students also learn about journalism’s impact on society through courses like communications law, which provides an overview of the U.S. legal system in relation to media laws and regulations, and covers topics like copyright and libel. And journalism ethics gives students an understanding of journalists’ responsibility to society and allows them to explore the ethical dilemmas they’ll face in the field.

    Many programs, like the Missouri School of Journalism and the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, require students to practice their skills at an actual magazine, newspaper, website, or TV or radio station. Some programs require students to pick a concentration or minor outside of the journalism or communication school, such as political science or history.

    Is the Job Outlook for Journalism Majors Good

    No doubt when talking about the most popular majors, journalism is one of them. It’s also one of the most competitive. Journalism majors have to write a lot, but they also get to travel, meet interesting people, and go places they would never have gone otherwise.

    The job outlook for journalism majors is good, but not as good as it was 10 years ago. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for reporters, news analysts, and journalists are expected to grow by about 6% between 2020 and 2030, which is slower than average for all careers.

    The BLS predicts that on average, there will be about 54,000 new reporters, journalists, and news analysts jobs available over this period (5,400/year). There will be a need for the replacement of workers who change jobs or retire from the labor force and this is where these employments will come from.


    Why journalism is a major?

    The journalism major provides a foundation in writing, editing, reporting, research, video, law and ethics. As they prepare and present media content, majors learn to communicate effectively and collaborate on deadline.

    Is journalism high in demand?

    Employment of news analysts, reporters, and journalists is projected to grow 6 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 5,400 openings for news analysts, reporters, and journalists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

    Is journalism a popular major?

    In 2019-2020, journalism was the 62nd most popular major nationwide with 14,528 degrees awarded. This represents a 4.9% reduction in journalism degrees awarded over the prior year’s total of 15,245. There are 510 schools offering degrees in journalism in the United States.

    Is journalism a difficult major?

    A journalism degree is about as hard as any other liberal arts degree. Liberal arts majors are generally easier than STEM majors so this can give you a relative idea of the difficulty involved in a journalism major.

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