Should You Earn an Online Journalism Degree?

January 18th, 2013 by

JournalismMany people believe that individuals are either skilled in math and science or skilled in reading and writing. For the second group, or those who excel in language and communication, a career as a journalist may be a great fit. Journalists spend much of their time investigating stories, researching individuals, writing articles and editing written work.

Today a journalist can be anything from a highly respected author working with the New York Times to a blogger who works from the comfort of her own home. If you are thinking seriously about becoming a journalist, you will first need to get the right training and education. Few journalists will get hired without a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, so that is the best place to start.

Do You Enjoy Writing?

Ultimately, students who are considering a degree in this field should enjoy writing. Although working as a journalist involves lots of different activities, the one that is most important, and the one on which you will be judged most often, is your ability to write. Those who should seriously consider this as a viable career option are those who have gotten positive feedback on their writing from past teachers and professors and those who have pursued writing as a passion or hobby in the form of poetry, article writing or by working at a local or school newspaper.

Are You Willing to Pursue a Journalism Degree?

There is no way to get around the fact that journalists require a degree. There are two ways to become a journalist. The first is to study a specific subject and then write as an expert on that subject. The second is to study to become a journalist and then be able to write on any subject. Either way, you will need to earn a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in order to secure employment in this field. Expect to take an average of four years to complete this degree.

Find accredited online colleges offering degrees in journalism.

Do You Have Realistic Salary Expectations?

Although there are a few examples of journalists who are able to live lavish lifestyles, most journalists earn comfortable but unimpressive salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States, the average salary for a journalist in the past year was $56,210. If your goal is only to earn a high salary, then working as a journalist may not be the answer.

Do You Have Specific Career Goals in Mind?Journalism

With an increasing number of magazines and newspapers abandoning their print editions and blogs becoming a popular form of media, aspiring journalists should have a clear and realistic picture of the career opportunities after graduation. While there is plenty of room for growth, many graduates will end up working as freelance writers and journalists. This involves writing articles and then submitting them for publication rather than being salaried, although certain salaried positions are certainly still available.

Are You Prepared to Study Online?

An increasing number of journalists have earned their degrees online rather than through traditional college campuses. Since writing and researching are solitary activities, there is no real reason to spend time commuting each day to a lecture hall. Instead, students can log on from their home computers and stream live lectures, participate in online class discussions and even submit their exams over the Internet.

A journalism degree is often the perfect way to prepare for an exciting writing career, and an online degree can help you to pursue your career dreams within this competitive industry. Find out more about the programs available at accredited colleges and universities around the country. Visit

About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

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