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Journalism Major

15,661 yearly degrees
#73 in popularity
$69,000 median salary

Journalism is a major that typically falls into the Communication & Journalism category.

There are 126 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in journalism, 469 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 86 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 6 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Journalism Degree?

Journalism runs middle of the road when it comes to popularity, ranking #36 out of all the majors we track. In 2017, about 13,900 graduates completed their bachelor’s degree in this major. The major attracts more women than men. About 67.5% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of journalism majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 3.3%
  • Black or African American: 12.2%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 13.1%
  • White: 61.6%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 3.3%
  • Other Races: 6.6%
Journalism Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in journalism. About 3.3% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending journalism majors to the U.S. are China, South Korea and India.

What Will You Learn as a Journalism Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to journalism to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Journalism Majors

Journalism majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Journalism Majors

Skills for Journalism Majors

A major in journalism prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

Important Skills for Journalism Majors

Abilities for Journalism Majors

As a journalism major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

Important Abilities for journalism Majors

What Can You Do With a Journalism Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with journalism:

Careers Related to Journalism
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary




Broadcast News Analysts



Copy Writers



Reporters and Correspondents






Film and Video Editors



Radio and Television Announcers



Communications Professors



Journalism Major Salary

Journalism majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $52,000 to $78,000. 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, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Journalism Major  ( 52000 to 78000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Journalism Major Jobs

Some careers associated with journalism may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

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

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Journalism
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Journalism Programs

There are 469 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in journalism, with 11 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Getting your degree online is not easy and includes watching and listening to hours of lectures, participating in group charts, submitting papers by the appropriate deadline and taking tests. Some online programs will also feature internships or in-person clinical hours.

Is a Journalism Major Worth It?

The median salary for a journalism grad is $69,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 79% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $611,600 after 20 years!

journalism salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Jfurrer via License

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