What Can I Do With a Journalism Degree

Newspaper Publishing

Areas

  • Reporting
  • Editorial/Column Writing
  • Investigative Journalism
  • Editing
  • Proofreading
  • Photojournalism
  • Circulation
  • Marketing/Promotion
  • Production
  • Sports

Employers

  • Large circulation newspapers
  • Local newspapers
  • Wire services
  • Trade newspapers
  • Online publishers

Strategies

Obtain a summer job or internship with newspaper. Work with college newspaper, yearbook, or alumni publication. Take an active role, preferably leadership, in journalism organizations. Demonstrate curiosity, high energy level, ability to produce under pressure and withstand criticism. Develop excellent grammar and writing skills. Create a portfolio of writing samples, especially those that have been published. Seek opportunities for recognition and networking through writing contests and freelance writing submissions. Build relationships with campus and community leaders as well as athletes for interview opportunities and experience.

Magazine/Newsletter Publishing

Areas

  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Advertising/Sales
  • Promotion
  • Circulation
  • Design, Art, and Production
  • Investigative Journalism
  • Photojournalism

Employers

  • Major publishers
  • Consumer magazines
  • News magazines
  • Specialized magazines
  • Technical and industrial publications
  • Professional publications/associations
  • Merchandising and trade publications
  • Labor unions
  • Academic journals
  • Corporate in-house publications
  • Religious organizations

Strategies

Secure internship with publisher. Work on campus publications. Find part-time or summer job with newspaper, magazine, or print shop. Obtain sales experience.
Join a professional journalism organization. Demonstrate creative spirit, writing skills, verbal skills, and proofreading ability. Create a portfolio of writing samples. Consider obtaining a minor in photography for photojournalistic specialty.

Book Publishing

Areas

  • Editing
  • Sales
  • Promotion
  • Publicity
  • Production
  • Subsidiary Rights

Employers

  • Publishers including: Tradebooks, Children's books, Paperbacks, Textbooks
  • Book clubs
  • University presses
  • Religious presses
  • Technical, scientific, or medical presses
  • Internet sites

Strategies

Attend summer publishing institute to sharpen skills and build contacts. Become familiar with word processing, desktop publishing and web page design.
Gain knowledge of printing and production. Work with local or regional magazines and campus publications. Work as sales clerk or book buyer in campus or local bookstore. Supplement coursework with technical writing courses for opportunities with technical, scientific, and medical publications.

Writing

Areas

  • Technical Writing
  • Creative Writing

Employers

  • Hardware and software manufacturers/developers
  • Technical industries
  • Technical publications (journals, magazines and websites)
  • Research laboratories
  • Government agencies
  • Self-employed/Freelance

Strategies

Work on college newspaper or campus publication. Join professional journalism or communications organizations. Develop excellent word processing skills.
Perfect clear and concise writing abilities. Demonstrate patience, flexibility, and creativity. Begin submitting manuscripts, essays, articles, etc. for possible publication immediately. Read widely in area of talent and/or interest (e.g., mystery novels, poetry)

Business

Areas

  • Advertising
  • Public Relations
  • Special Events
  • Media Relations
  • Fund Raising
  • Business Writing
  • Account Services
  • Print Production
  • Management
  • Administration

Employers

  • Advertising agencies
  • Corporate advertising or public relations departments
  • Media companies (e.g., Turner Broadcasting)
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Colleges and universities
  • Labor unions

Strategies

Work in sales at campus newspaper, television, or radio station. Obtain business experience. Complete internship at market research firm. Hone public speaking skills. Seek part-time or summer job with campus public relations or sports information department.

Education

Areas

  • Secondary
  • Post-Secondary
  • Publication Advising

Employers

  • Public or private high schools
  • Colleges and universities

Strategies

Obtain state teacher certification for high school teaching opportunities.
Consider obtaining certification to teach additional subjects such as foreign language, social studies, or English. Actively participate in campus newspaper and yearbook publications. Volunteer to assist local high school students and sponsors with publications. Obtain graduate degree (Masters and/or Doctorate) for college and university teaching opportunities.

General Information

  • Internships are crucial in obtaining experience, building relationships and reality testing career choices.
  • Begin cultivating creative talents as soon as possible. Develop a portfolio of creative materials related to career goals.
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm, interpersonal skills, team work, integrity, good judgment, and intelligence.
  • Experience with campus publications is a must.
  • Develop excellent writing and grammar skills.
  • Choose the most writing intensive coursework possible.
  • Read extensively in areas of interest.
  • Be prepared to begin a journalism career in a small market, performing entry-level tasks before moving to larger markets and positions with more creative freedom and responsibility.

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA /ADEA Employer