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Posts Tagged ‘journalism degrees’

Lola Ogunnaike on the Journalism Degree Debate

Whether you’re a graduating senior or a professional switching careers, you know the debate over the true value of a journalism degree is always ongoing. In mediabistro.com’s So What Do You Do? interview, freelancing heavyweight Lola Ogunnaike settles the score.

“If you studied journalism in undergrad, then I don’t think a graduate school degree in journalism is necessary,” said Ogunnaike, who has penned more than two dozen cover stories for everything from Elle to Rolling Stone. “But if you’re new to the craft, I definitely think some education is required.”

Ogunnaike, who earned her Master’s degree in journalism from NYU, says it’s not crucial to shell out $70,000 or $80,000 to understand the intricacies of the field. “I think people underestimate how difficult journalism is. It’s not just sitting at your computer and spouting off your opinions about Beyoncé’s dress at the Met Gala. There is a structure to it, and I feel like that is sorely lacking in a lot of what’s being passed off as journalism today.”

Read the full interview.

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A Dose of Optimism: J-school Grad Prospects and Website Traffic Growth

There is plenty of evidence for gloom: the newspaper industry is the fastest-shrinking of them all, and the online ad shares of newspapers have sunk to an all-time low. Hopefully, two studies released this week will help lower your blood pressure; auspicious statistics are a rare commodity these days.

As I’ve written about before, studying journalism may not be such a bad idea. A new study from Georgetown University showed that it’s certainly no worse than studying social science, arts, architecture or law and public policy. Recent graduates with journalism degrees had a 7.7 percent unemployment rate (lower than the aforementioned areas of study), with architecture faring the worst at 13.9 percent. Like any other industry, the unemployment rate in journalism decreased with experience and the attainment of a graduate degree. On average, recent grads can expect $32,000, which increases to $58,000 with experience, and $66,000 after graduate studies. The fields with the lowest unemployment rates were health and education, both at 5.4 percent. Read more

Why Studying Journalism Is Still a Good Idea

News of the death of newspapers never stops. A LinkedIn analytics post showed that newspapers are the fastest shrinking industry in terms of job numbers. The Newspaper Association of America released statistics that showed ad sales were down 7.3 percent in 2011. On his blog, Alan D. Mutter added some more dismal facts—the last time ad sales were this low was 1984, and the combined ad sales of all U.S. newspapers equal only two-thirds of that of Google. Though digital advertising increased 6.8 percent, it still failed to make up the 9.2 percent loss of print.

And so, Robert Niles at the Online Journalism Review asked a pertinent question, “Is any university in America still admitting students as print journalism majors?” Read more

Standing Up for the Journalism Degree: It Is Not Useless

Last week, the Business Insider ran a post disparaging the values of a journalism degree. In “Degrees Are Useless And Other Tips For Aspiring Journalists,” author Jean Prentice writes, “anyone who has graduated from journalism school and gone on to work in the industry can tell you that a degree in journalism is useless.” She argues hard work and experience are what will land you a job after graduation.

She is not alone in saying journalism degrees are useless. In April, journalism topped the Daily Beast’s list of 20 Most Useless Degrees. Journalism doesn’t pay well and your student loans may very well be greater than your first salary as a reporter. But who goes into journalism thinking they will make a six figure salary? Being a reporter is tough, no doubt about it.

Yes, it’s true hard work and experience are important. But Prentice is incorrect in saying that all J-school grads would say their degree was a waste. A journalism degree is in no way useless. Read more