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Journalism Major

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Journalism

13,285 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
1,603 Master's Degrees Annually
#37 in Popularity
$69,480 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Journalism Majors Are Getting

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

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 13,285
Master’s Degree 1,603
Associate’s Degree 734
Basic Certificate 155
Graduate Certificate 52
Undergraduate Certificate 46
Doctor’s Degree 39

What Journalism Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to journalism and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Journalism Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in 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.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • 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.
  • 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 Journalism Majors

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

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • 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 Journalism Majors

A major in journalism will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • 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 Journalism Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with journalism:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Communications Professors 10.0% $68,910
Copy Writers 7.6% $62,170
Film and Video Editors 17.0% $62,650

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism?

13,285 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
68% Percent Women
33% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
Journalism runs middle of the road when it comes to popularity, ranking #37 out of all the undergraduate majors we track. In 2018, about 13,285 graduates completed their bachelor’s degree in this field. This major is dominated by women with about 68% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Journalism Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 445
Black or African American 1,615
Hispanic or Latino 1,735
White 8,184
International Students 433
Other Races/Ethnicities 873

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Journalism, too. About 3.3% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • South Korea
  • India
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom

How Much Do Journalism Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism made a median starting salary of $30,000 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $26,900 (25th percentile) and $33,100 (75th percentile).

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It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to journalism.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $51,630 to $78,090 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to 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 Journalism Major  ( 51630 to 78090 )
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250K
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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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with journalism may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. 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.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to journalism have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 3.5%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 8.9%
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) 2.2%
Some College Courses 11.0%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 6.3%
Bachelor’s Degree 52.9%
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. 0.2%
Master’s Degree 11.8%
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. 0.2%
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. 0.5%
Doctoral Degree 1.9%
Post-Doctoral Training 1.2%

Online Journalism Programs

In the 2017-2018 academic year, 529 schools offered some type of journalism program. 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) 42 3
Certificate (1-2 years) 27 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 126 4
Bachelor’s Degree 17 4
Post-Baccalaureate 42 3
Master’s Degree 86 11
Post-Master’s 2 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 6 1
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Journalism Worth It?

The median salary for a journalism grad is $69,480 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 74% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $591,600 after 20 years!

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

Major Number of Grads
Communication & Media Studies 68,023
Public Relations & Advertising 19,507
Radio, Television & Digital Communication 14,960
Communication & Journalism (Other) 1,920
Publishing 246

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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