Although writing might be considered a basic skill, it certainly isn’t easy to become a skilled journalist. Along with excellent grammar, impeccable syntax and the understanding of readers need to know, journalists have the ability to write quickly and under all kinds of pressure.
If you enjoy writing non-fiction and want to turn a hobby into a career, then you might be considering a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Here are some key questions to ask yourself in order to discover if this is the right course of study for your future.
Are You Able to Work Successfully in a Team as Well as Alone?
This is an important question, because many aspiring journalists are only capable of handling one or the other. For much of your day, you might do research independently, and you should be able to handle long shifts of doing nothing but working at your desk, researching from your computer and editing articles. However, a team meeting might change your day altogether. A revised schedule could easily include interviewing individuals as they leave polling stations for a local election, or you might spend the day with a football team as they gear up for the start of the season. Journalists have to be comfortable in all kinds of environments.
Can You Commit to Earning a Related Degree?
There are a handful of stories where talented writers get noticed right away and begin successful and extensive careers with a national newspaper or magazine. However, these kinds of fairy-tale stories happen rarely, and it is definitely not something that you should bank on. Expect hiring managers to want proof of your skills in the form of a degree. Obviously, earning a journalism degree is the best choice, but degrees in literature or creative writing might also be sufficient. Thankfully, most of these degrees are available online, which makes it easier than ever to complete right from the comfort of home.
Is Writing Something That Comes Naturally For You?
Even if you happen to get good grade on written assignment, it might not come naturally to you. If you want to become a journalist, it is important that you are able to quickly write articles, especially under pressure. If you are only able to craft well-written pieces at a slow pace, then perhaps this is not the right kind of career for you. That being said, there are many different kinds of journalists. While you might not be able to handle daily columns, an in-depth magazine article once a month could be perfect for you.
Are You Comfortable Exploring Digital Writing Possibilities?
The role of the journalist is changing rapidly, and newspapers are expanding their digital subscriptions rather than their traditional print mediums. To be a successful journalist, you need to be comfortable embracing the changing industry, and you should also be skilled at basic computer tasks.