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Communication & Journalism Major

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Communication & Journalism

$73,090 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Communication & Journalism Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many communication and journalism graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 96,171
Master’s Degree 10,341
Associate’s Degree 7,808
Basic Certificate 3,960
Undergraduate Certificate 1,025
Doctor’s Degree 666
Graduate Certificate 599

What Communication & Journalism Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to communication and journalism were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Communication & Journalism Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in communication and journalism should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skills for Communication & Journalism Majors

communication and journalism majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Abilities for Communication & Journalism Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a communication and journalism student include the following:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

What Can You Do With a Communication & Journalism Major?

People with a communication and journalism degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Advertising and Promotions Managers 5.4% $117,130
Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes 4.7% $66,040
Communications Professors 10.0% $68,910
Community Health Workers 17.9% $39,540
Compliance Managers 8.0% $107,480
Copy Writers 7.6% $62,170
Directors- Stage, Motion Pictures, Television, and Radio 12.2% $71,680
Entertainers and Performers, Sports and Related Workers 8.2% NA
Film and Video Editors 17.0% $62,650
Green Marketers 5.4% $117,130
Health Educators 14.6% $54,220
Investment Fund Managers 8.0% $107,480
Media and Communication Workers 10.0% $48,330
Poets, Lyricists and Creative Writers 7.6% $62,170
Producers 12.2% $71,680
Program Directors 12.2% $71,680
Public Address System and Other Announcers 2.6% $27,720
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers 10.3% $114,800
Public Relations Specialists 8.9% $60,000
Regulatory Affairs Managers 8.0% $107,480
Talent Directors 12.2% $71,680
Technical Directors/Managers 12.2% $71,680
Technical Writers 10.9% $71,850

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication & Journalism?

96,171 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
66% Percent Women
34% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This major is dominated by women with about 66% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of communication and journalism majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Communication & Journalism Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 3,844
Black or African American 10,701
Hispanic or Latino 13,379
White 57,853
International Students 3,817
Other Races/Ethnicities 6,577

Geographic Diversity

Communication & Journalism appeals to people across the globe. About 4.0% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Communication & Journalism Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that communication and journalism students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree made a median starting salary of $31,500 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $27,550 (25th percentile) and $35,100 (75th percentile).

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We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to communication and journalism so take that into consideration.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $52,430 to $90,930 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to communication and journalism. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Communication & Journalism Major  ( 52430 to 90930 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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Some careers associated with communication and journalism require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for communication and journalism careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 3.1%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 8.0%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 2.5%
Some College Courses 8.6%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 9.1%
Bachelor’s Degree 54.6%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 1.2%
Master’s Degree 10.6%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.6%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 1.4%
Doctoral Degree 0.8%
Post-Doctoral Training 0.4%

Online Communication & Journalism Programs

In 2017-2018, 1,704 schools offered a communication and journalism program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 330 31
Certificate (1-2 years) 156 9
Certificate (2-4 Years) 7 0
Associate’s Degree 647 48
Bachelor’s Degree 147 33
Post-Baccalaureate 330 31
Master’s Degree 684 115
Post-Master’s 23 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 116 2
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Communication & Journalism Worth It?

The median salary for a communication and journalism grad is $73,090 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 83% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $663,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to communication and journalism.

Major Number of Grads
Education 306,214
Social Sciences 199,576
Psychology 175,257
Family, Consumer & Human Sciences 60,305
History 32,644
Area, Ethnic, Culture, & Gender Studies 14,883
Library Science 5,996

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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