What Are the Best Degrees for Journalism Careers?

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If you want to build a career which revolves around the written word, journalism careers are excellent way to share your skills with the world! Whether you work in traditional publication or lead an organization’s public relations (PR) or marketing efforts, the skills you learn over the course of your Journalism degree program will open the door a number of lucrative, exciting careers!

Update: Journalism degrees are now offered online
To give you an idea of the wide range of careers available in the journalism field, we have put together the following table.

Here you will find information on the job duties associated with the different journalism occupations, as well as their median annual salaries:

Job Title Job Summary

Median Annual Wage

Editor in Chief Supervises the editorial staff and has the final say on published words and images.

$70,926

Medical Writer Writes manuals or educational papers that serve the needs of their healthcare-related employer.

$72,322

Communications Director Works in a variety of fields to oversee the information and communication that comes from their company.

$71,593

Marketing Communications Manager Oversees the marketing department of a business and manages marketing communication initiatives.

$65,917

Executive Director, Non-Profit Organization Top-level position within a non-profit that is responsible for handling the daily operations of the organization.

$67,313

Public Relations (PR) Manager Coordinates marketing and community initiatives and works to present the organization in a positive manner to the public.

$69,131

Senior Grant Writer Leads funding research, writes grant proposals, and edits the work of other grant writers for their organization.

$62,075

Communications Manager Works to facilitate internal and external cooperation within their company.

$65,350

Managing Editor Works within the publication field to oversee the publishing process from start to finish.

$62,971

Web Content Manager Establishes and maintains their organization’s website publications by ensuring that visitors have an interactive experience.

$58,744

Technical Writer Responsible for researching information used in technical documentation and writing content in an understandable format.

$60,535

Content Manager Works with freelancers and the creative department to establish materials used for a website or marketing campaign.

$59,495

Writer/Author Works independently or for a variety of organizations to create written content that meets the needs of their audience.

$51,711

Grants Specialist Works with grant writers and assistants to manage duties pertaining to the application and dispersing of grant funds.

$53,877

Marketing Communications Specialist Responsible for acting as the voice of an organization by advancing the business’s interests and presenting them in the best light.

$52,602

Online Community Manager Responsible for interacting with customers and clients through various social media platforms.

$54,970

Editor Works with writers to help them refine their styles and correct grammatical errors in their work.

$53,123

Social Media Manager Responsible for facilitating social media related tasks, including customer communication and page management.

$51,241

Publications Editor Oversees the style and content of physically-distributed journals and periodicals.

$50,065

Web Content Editor Promotes content standards and works with the creative team to develop content that furthers their company’s reputation and goals.

$48,143

Copywriter Primarily works within advertising to write persuasive ad copy and content for their organization.

$52,092

Public Relations Specialist Responsible for promoting and elevating the awareness of a business or brand image.

$49,316

Web Content Specialist Responsible for generating quality written materials that will engage customers with their business’s website.

$45,060

News Producer Supervises all aspects of news broadcasting and helps to create news materials for publication.

$43,882

Grant Writer Researches funding sources and writes grant proposals for non-profit or government organizations.

$48,811

Associate Editor Works under an editor in chief to provide managerial support for web and print-based media outlets.

$46,905

Online Marketing Content Writer Works with the marketing department to edit and manage the communication content of the organization’s websites.

$48,637

Content Writer Responsible for the creating, writing, and editing of various types of content for their employer.

$46,054

Radio Show Host Responsible for creating a personal connection between the radio station and audience by developing content that appeals to the public.

$45,035

Sports Writer Creates written content for various publications on the specifics surrounding the world of sports.

$40,687

Marketing Coordinator Responsible for developing and coordinating marketing campaigns for their company.

$44,646

Communications Coordinator Handles an organizations’ marketing communications both inside and outside the business.

$44,245

News Reporter Works for newspapers, TV, radio, or online sources to report and write news stories for publication.

$42,980

Freelance Writer Works for a variety of clients to create editorial, advertising, or other written materials to suit their needs.

$39,473

Journalist Responsible for carrying out research that will be used to create and write news articles.

$40,802

Social Media Coordinator Responsible for creating effective communication and relationships between their company and customers via social media.

$40,225

Reporter Works as a freelance writer or for a variety of businesses to create engaging stories about events in the world.

$45,083

Assistant Editor Works in a variety of media-related fields under supervision of an editor to edit and collaborate on content creation.

$40,577

Sports Reporter Researches, writes, and presents news reports on sporting events for a media outlet or publication.

$37,955

Editorial Assistant Responsible for re-working written content to present it in an interesting, readable format.

$36,081

*Data sourced through Payscale.com


What can you do with a Journalism Degree?

The field of journalism has changed over the last several years, and job opportunities have transitioned to incorporate the advancing technology in publication. After earning your journalism degree, you will be able to work in a number of different industries that involve effective communication, including reporting, content writing, editing, and marketing.

While most Journalism majors begin their careers in entry-level positions, you may also have the opportunity to move up to top-paying occupations within a company. The majority of the careers listed above report annual salaries above the national average across all occupations, and you may make more or less depending on your specific skillset.

What is a Journalism Degree?

A degree in Journalism will provide you with an expansive foundation in communication and the written word. Throughout your course of study, you will learn effective research techniques and the technical skills needed to succeed within the industry. You will also be exposed to a number of technological tools that are necessary for professional journalism careers in the modern workforce.

Journalism is a broad field, and during your degree program you will take a number of important courses that cover the following topics:

  • News writing and editing
  • Ethics and laws in journalism
  • Reporting and news gathering
  • Advanced research methods
  • Digital and media literacy

If you are looking for a personalized educational experience, consider one of the many online journalism degrees available at accredited universities. By earning your degree online, you will have the flexibility to work at your own pace and log-on to your classes at a time that suits your busy schedule.

Journalism Career Outlook

As previously discussed, the careers associated with Journalism vary greatly across a number of professional industries. To get a better idea of what you can expect after graduation, we suggest taking a look at resources such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The BLS projects that writers, authors, and editors will see a slight decline in occupational growth from 2019 to 2029. While this is slower than average growth, those who have advanced technological skills will have an advantage when applying for these positions. Additionally, those using their journalism skills in marketing careers or public relations can expect to see 7% growth respectively within this same timeframe.

If you’re interested in pursuing a fast-paced career that allows you to develop your passion for the written word, journalism is an excellent starting point. By learning these advanced technical and research skills, you will become a valuable asset to modern business across a variety of industries. Communication will always be an essential skillset in the professional workforce, and a Journalism degree prepares you to jump right into a rewarding career after graduation.

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Elizabeth Abner
WRITTEN BY Elizabeth Abner

Elizabeth is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Foreign Policy and earned her master's degree in business administration. For her undergraduate studies, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in international business. Elizabeth's research is focused on universities offering online degree programs.