What Can You Do with a Journalism degree? Career & Salaries

Do you have an interest in analyzing and interpreting facts and information about local, national, and international events and reporting them to the public? You are most likely going to enjoy a career in Journalism. This article aims at giving you information on what you can do with a Journalism Degree, career, and the salaries of a Journalist.

Here are the topics we will discuss.

What Is Journalism

Journalism is an important component of a democratic society. According to Thomas Jefferson, “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost. It also provides people with verified information they can use to make better decisions.

The American Press Institute defines Journalism as the act of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information and also the result of these activities. 

According to Wikipedia, Journalism is the production and distribution of reports on recent events. The word journalism applies to the occupation, as well as citizen journalists who use information-gathering methods and literary techniques. Journalistic media include print, television, radio, the Internet, and, in the past, newsreels.

From the definition above, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Journalism is a form of communication. However, it is quite different from other forms of communication in the sense that it’s a one-way message or story from the Journalist to the audience.

In addition to its uniqueness, the Journalist sends the information across based on his or her observations and discoveries about an objective story rather than his or her subjective thoughts or personal story.

Scope of Journalism

Most of the time, journalism comes in the form of reporting. Reporting involves conveying the fact of a message or story. Generally, reporting comes from doing the following: interviewing, studying, examining, documenting, assessing, and researching facts about a particular event.

Most Journalism works are reported using the five Ws:

  • Who was it?
  • What did they do?
  • Where were they?
  • When did it happen?
  • Why did it happen?

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Who Is A Journalist?

According to Wikipedia, a journalist is a person who collects, writes, or distributes news or other current information to the public.  They write and report for various media and news houses.

 The media houses include newspapers, radio and TV shows, magazines, websites and a lot more.

Journalists can work as but not limited to the following:

  • Writers/reporters for print media (including newspapers and magazines) and also, broadcasting media(television or radio stations)
  • Hosts of radio or television shows
  • Editors for print media
  • Announcers/commentators for radio or television
  • Online writers/reporters/editors for websites, e-magazines or e-newspapers
  • In addition, podcasters

What Are The Basic Skills Of A Journalist?

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Objectivity for reporting any news without prejudice.
  • Basic journalism knowledge.
  • Creativity
  • Research skills.
  • Persistence in pursuing news.
  • Basic computer skills, including social media and databases
  • In addition, the ability to work long hours in a fast-paced environment

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What You can do with a Journalism degree | Career And Salaries

Generally, to become a Journalist, you need a degree in Journalism or any related field. In addition, having work experience in a similar field is always beneficial.

How To Become A Journalist

However, for clarity’s sake, follow the steps below if you want to get a journalism job:

#1 Earn A Degree

According to the US Bureau Of Labor Statistics, employers generally prefer workers with a bachelor’s degree in journalism or communications as well as an internship or work experience from a college radio or television station or a newspaper.

You may like to see these 25 Undergraduate Scholarships for Journalism Students

Through bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, you can develop writing, interviewing, and reporting skills in various media formats. Also, you can actively participate in field internships (on-the-job training) to build professional contacts and also, understand the profession better.

#2 Develop a Portfolio and Gain Experience

As a Journalist or a soon-to-be one, your research and writing samples speak for your qualifications.  Your portfolio shows the finest examples of work in your chosen specialty; writing, photography, design, layout, or multimedia; and areas of expertise.

Generally, journalists should have a solid journalism portfolio, a collection of journalism samples that demonstrate skills and experience in journalism. As a graduate, your journalism portfolio of journalists may consist of works published in academic publications during internships.

Also see Ongoing: Internships For Journalists In UK [PAID]

Also, do not neglect the experience too as it helps develop your skills and adds to your portfolio as a Journalist.

Usually, journalists start at the entry level by writing for small publications in small towns or cities. As they gain experience, develop reporting skills, and make a name for themselves in the field, they can move to larger, better-known news outlets in major cities.

As the Journalist’s career progresses, his or her portfolio should also evolve.

#3 Think Of Continuing Education; Get A Graduate Degree

Although getting a bachelor’s degree is enough for a career in journalism, you can also take advantage of earning a graduate degree to stand out from other candidates and gain advanced reporting skills.

However, this can be particularly beneficial for journalists who have trouble starting their careers or for those with a bachelor’s degree in non-journalism.

A postgraduate degree in journalism usually teaches new digital technologies, multimedia journalism, and specialized journalism and generally requires the completion of a thesis or dissertation project.

You may also read Top 20 Colleges for a Cheap Online Master’s Degree.

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Journalism Career Options And Salaries

A career in Journalism is going beyond just print and broadcast reporting; there are journalism jobs that are now on the increase in digital content or a combination of the above-mentioned reporting with digital content.

Using information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Payscale, below are some of the jobs and career options available to a Journalist.

Content Marketer

A career in journalism will undoubtedly be centered on writing and all sectors need strong writers in many media. Content marketers create videos, articles, and images in an editorial calendar to raise brand awareness, sell products, engage in brand-related conversations, and create a sense of community between customers and the brand.

In addition, content marketers direct e-mail, content, social media postings, and other creative forms of communication to different points in the customer experience.

Requirement: A bachelor’s degree should be enough to get a job in content marketing.

Salary: $46,718 per year


Reporters inform the public about news and events, spend a lot of time in the field, conduct interviews, and investigate stories. They work on tight deadlines in an accelerated environment and strive to be the first to publish the story.

Requirement: A bachelor’s degree along with an internship or work experience.

Salary: $40,910 per year


A traditional but ever-changing journalism career choice, editors oversee every step of the publishing process, working with writers to plan and edit content for publication. Editors work in magazines, newspapers, and online media outlets. Basically, anywhere there’s a story, there’s an editor.

Requirement: A bachelor’s degree in Journalism, English or any Communication-related field, along with an internship and/or work experience, is the norm.

Salary: $57,210 per year


Generally, copywriters develop messages to be delivered with an advertisement. If you’re naturally persuasive, super-creative, and can gather a lot of compelling information into a few words, then, you are most likely to fit in here.

Requirement: A bachelor’s degree in addition to your skills is enough to get a copywriting job.

Salary: $49,664 per year

Corporate Communications Specialist

Generally, large corporations need to convey company-specific information to their many employees, as well as the press. This includes everything from information about benefits to internal news and details of upcoming events.

A corporate communications specialist is responsible for creating and disseminating all this news and, often, maintaining an intranet.  

Requirement: A bachelor’s degree in Journalism or related courses.

Salary: $59,300 per year

Grant writer

Grant writers use their persuasive skills to demonstrate the importance of a non-profit organization’s causes through written proposals to earn the money necessary to promote them.

Requirement: A bachelor’s degree.

Salary: $45,788 per year

Technical Writer

At any time, instructions must be written, especially for a technical product or service; these writers get to work. Technical writers prepare instruction manuals and how-to guides to explain the operation of a product or service works.

Requirement: A bachelor’s degree is standard for this position, but having experience in a technical field (such as computer science, engineering, or web design) is helpful.

Salary: $70,930 per year

Public Relations Specialist

Public relations specialists create and maintain a favorable public image for the organizations they represent and also gather media releases to help shape public perception and increase brand awareness.

Requirement: A bachelor’s degree in journalism is necessary, but most employers will want you to have completed an internship.

Notwithstanding, your journalism background makes you an excellent candidate for a public relations role, as they regularly interact with journalists to effectively communicate their organizations’ messages.

Salary: $59,300 per year

Social Media Specialist

A social media specialist works for a brand or organization and communicates with the public through social media platforms to build a positive reputation.

They tweet, share, like, and post information about the organization on social media platforms. They also review data and analytics to see how they can improve their company’s social shareability.

Requirement: A bachelor’s degree is necessary. However, a solid knowledge of social media platforms and networking tools is a plus. Also, an internship can help make you more attractive to employers.

Salary: $42,097 per year

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.

Requirement: A bachelor’s degree is normally required for this role. Although not required, having a background in collegiate athletics can help make you more attractive to employers.

Salary: $36,212 per year



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