What can I do with a major in journalism?

Additional Navigation

Examples of where alumni in your major are working

Companies:
Palladium Times
Sinclair Broadcasting Group
The Watertown Daily Times

Titles:
Reporter
Editor
Multi-media Journalist

Search for employers hiring graduates in your major

Employers in NY: 5,032
Employers in US: 67,872

 

Explore the numerous career fields related to your major

Newspaper Publishing

Areas

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

Employers

Large circulation newspapers
Local newspapers:

  • Dailies
  • Alternative weeklies 

Wire services
Trade newspapers
Online publishers

Information/Strategies

Obtain an internship or part-time job with a newspaper.
Work with a college newspaper, yearbook, or alumni publication.
Take an active role, preferably leadership, in journalism organizations.
Demonstrate curiosity, high energy level, and the abilities to produce under pressure and withstand criticism.
Develop excellent grammar and writing skills. Learn to think critically.
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 and athletes for interview opportunities and experience.
Learn HTML and other computer programs to prepare for online work. This area of journalism is growing while print is declining.
Become comfortable working in a chaotic, deadline-oriented atmosphere.

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 

Information/Strategies

Complete an internship with a publisher.
Seek experience with on-campus or community publications.
Find a part-time or summer job with a 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

Information/Strategies

Attend a 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.
See employment 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.
Be aware that a large portion of publishers are located in New York City.

Writing

Areas

Technical Writing
Science and Medical Writing
Freelance Writing
Creative Writing Including:

  • Books
  • Poetry
  • Plays 
  • Screenplays 
  • Scripts 
  • Greeting Cards
  • Lyrics/Jingle Writing

Employers

Newspapers
Magazines
Broadcast media companies including television, radio, and the movie industry
Internet sites
Trade, professional, or consumer publications
Technical industries
Large corporations
Government agencies
Universities and university presses
Self-employed/freelance 

Information/Strategies

Supplement curriculum with relevant courses such as creative writing or technical writing.
Write for campus publications such as college newspapers, magazines, or departmental/ program newsletters.
Gain as much experience as possible through volunteer positions, internships, or part-time jobs.
Join professional journalism or communications organizations.
Perfect clear and concise writing abilities.
Volunteer to assist or tutor students in a writing center.
Become familiar with the proposal writing and submission process involved in freelance writing.
Submit manuscripts, essays, articles, etc. for publication.
Read widely in area of talent and/or interest (e.g., mystery novels, poetry).
Demonstrate patience and persistence in starting a career in creative writing.
For technical writing, develop a good understanding of the subject you are writing about.

Electronic Media

Areas

Television
Radio Programming/Production
Electronic Publishing
Video Production

Employers

Major networks
Public, cable, and private television stations
National, state, or regional radio networks
Independent radio syndications
Video production companies
Government agencies
Large corporations
Colleges and universities
Nonprofit organizations
Professional associations 

Information/Strategies

Gain experience with campus or local television and radio stations.
Secure an internship with a media corporation.
Develop a variety of technical and computer skills.
Create a personal website or blog to showcase work.
Choose a particular area of interest and build the skills and experiences necessary to qualify for that field.
Get involved with relevant student professional organizations.

Education

Areas

Secondary
Post-Secondary
Publication Advising

Employers

Public or private high schools
Colleges and universities

Information/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 (master's and/or doctorate) for college and university teaching opportunities.

Business

Areas

Advertising
Public Relations
Special Events
Media Relations
Fundraising
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

Information/Strategies

Work in sales at campus newspaper, television, or radio station.
Seek part-time or summer job with campus public relations or sports information department.
Gain experience in an area of interest through internships, part-time, or summer jobs.
Hone public speaking and communication skills.

Law

Areas

Prosecution
Defense
Litigation
Contractual
Corporate
Nonprofit or Public Interest
Mediation
Lobbying

Employers

Law firms
Sole practitioner
Government agencies
Corporations
Public interest organizations
Colleges and universities

Information/Strategies

Some students choose a journalism major in preparation for law school. Develop strong research and writing skills through major courses.
Maintain a high grade point average and prepare for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
Secure strong faculty recommendations.
Participate in a debate or forensic team to hone communication skills. Join pre-law organizations.
Work a part-time or summer job at a law office to gain exposure to the field.
Earn a law degree, the juris doctor, and pass the bar exam in order to practice law.

General information and strategies

  • Internships are crucial in obtaining experience, building relationships, and reality testing career choices. Utilize your alumni network to make contacts.
  • 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. Become familiar with Associated Press style and standard proof reading marks.
  • Read extensively in areas of interest.
  • The print publishing industry has declined significantly in recent years as many consumers turn toward other media outlets including television, radio, and Internet. Seek skills and experiences in these areas to qualify for a wider range of opportunities. For example, start a blog to hone computer skills.
  • 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.
  • As the industry is tightening, applicants who have experience in a niche market, e.g. religious publishing, or outstanding technical skills, will be more competitive.
  • Minoring in business administration, political science, technical communication, natural or social sciences, sports management, cinema studies, or art media may provide greater job opportunities and complement the major.
  • Journalism is good preparation for graduate programs in communication, law, political science, and other fields that require strong writing skills.