Online Journalism Degrees

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If you have a passion for the written word and enjoy working within the field of communication, a journalism degree can teach you essential skills to build a lucrative writing career. Whether you want to work in business marketing, content writing, or as an editor in a publication house, your online journalism degree will open the door to a number of exciting job opportunities.

Careers in Journalism

Effectively communicating through the written word is essential across nearly every professional industry. This gives students with an online degree in Journalism the opportunity to work pursue a number of exciting professions. In the table below, we have put together a short list of popular Journalism careers and their median annual salaries:

Job Title Job Summary Median Annual Salary
Communications Manager Works within their company and with clientele to facilitate internal and external cooperation. $69,036
Managing Editor Works in the publication field and is responsible for overseeing the publishing process from beginning to end. $61,674
Content Manager Works with a company’s creative team to establish and edit written and visual content. $64,384
Writer Provides written content for publication or to serve the purposes of their organization. $54,481
Editor Works with writers to help them refine their style and correct grammatical errors. $48,072

*Job and salary data provided by Payscale.com


All of the jobs listed above offer an annual wage that is above the national average across all occupations. While you may more or less than the salaries listed, having extensive experience within your chosen specialty can help you move up to higher paying positions.

Types of Online Journalism Degrees

There are a number of important skills that you must master in order to work professionally within the field of journalism. Luckily, top accredited universities are now offering online degree programs to help Journalism students earn their degree at a pace that fits into their busy lives!

Online Associate’s in Communication Studies

If you want to earn your associate’s degree and build a strong foundation in communication, an Associate of Arts in Communication is a good place to start.

Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Journalism (and related)

An online bachelor’s degree program in Journalism will provide you with a solid foundation of communication skills across a number of different platforms. With advancements in technology, it is essential that you understand the unique challenges and benefits to becoming a journalist in the technologically advanced world.

In addition to your core educational classes, you will take journalism-specific courses that may include the following:

  • Digital and Media Literacy
  • Multimedia News Writing and Editing
  • Journalism Ethics and Law
  • Newsgathering and Reporting
  • Research and Analysis

After successful graduation from your online Journalism degree program, you will have learned the technical and research skills needed to succeed in a number of professional careers, including editing, feature writing, and marketing. In many degree programs, you will also be creating a professional electronic portfolio of your work as a requirement for graduation.

Online Master’s Degrees in Journalism

For students that are already working as a professional within the field of journalism, an online master’s degree program offers the chance to learn in-depth skills to advance their careers. Some universities have highly specific requirements to enter into a master’s in Journalism program, so make sure that you thoroughly research the colleges that you are considering.

When pursuing your master’s degree in Journalism, you will have the opportunity to choose a specialty in which to concentrate your studies. While these concentrations vary by school, they may include:

  • Health Communication
  • Interactive Media
  • Media Management
  • Strategic Communication

Graduation from an online master’s degree program requires a great deal of dedication in order to fulfill the necessary requirements. In addition to your online coursework, you may be required to attend in-person workshops and seminars. You can also expect to have to complete a professional thesis as well as in-depth research projects and examinations.

Journalism Career Outlook and Salary Information

Journalism is a broad field, and those who have graduated with this degree can find work across a variety of industries. With any career, it is useful to research the occupational growth, average salaries, and job duties before committing to a job path. Resources like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) are an excellent starting point for finding accurate data on a number of different journalism careers.

According to data from the BLS, those who work as writers or authors can expect to see an 11% decline in their field by the year 2029. Declining advertising revenue in radio, newspapers, and television will negatively affect the employment growth for these occupations.

When it comes to salaries, a writer or author is reported to make an average of $63,200 per year as of May 2019. On the other hand, editors average a yearly income of $56,010. While these numbers can vary significantly based upon your specific skillset and industry, both of these career paths have an annual salary that is well above the national average across all occupations.

View our list of the top 40 Journalism careers to compare jobs and salaries in this field.

Is an Online Degree in Journalism Right for me?

Earning a degree in Journalism online is a great opportunity for working adults or for those that are juggling a busy schedule in their home life. With the advancement of technology, many schools are now offering these flexible online degree programs that use the same curriculum and standards as traditional degrees.

There are several advantages to working towards your Journalism degree online, including:

  • Flexible options for scheduling classes and attending in-person residencies
  • Possibility of lower tuition costs than on-campus degree programs
  • Ability to work directly with technological tools that will enhance your writing skills
  • Access to educational platforms that allow you to communicate with journalism experts, instructors, and classmates from across the country

While the flexibility of an online degree program allows you to log-on to classes anytime and anywhere, it is important to understand that this does not mean the classes are less rigorous than traditional courses! Those that have the greatest success in an online Journalism degree program are typically the students that are self-motivated, highly organized, and dedicated to their education.

Comparing Top Journalism Degree Programs

Receiving a quality education involves a number of different factors. In the information below, we go over a few key areas that are essential to research before choosing an online Journalism program that is right for you.

Accreditation

An accredited college is one that has undergone a voluntary review process by a recognized accrediting agency. This process examines the educational offerings of the school to ensure that the curriculums and programs offered are high-quality. By choosing to enroll at an accredited university you can avoid falling into the trap of “degree mill” schools that will not be recognized once you enter the workforce.

A couple of the accrediting agencies that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for the field of Journalism include:

If you are wondering whether your Journalism degree program is professionally accredited, take a look at the U.S. Department of Education’s website for a detailed list of recognized agencies nationwide.

Student to Faculty Ratio

Large classes can overwhelm both the students and the professors, and it is best to avoid schools that do not focus on keeping a low student to faculty ratio. Even in the online setting, small class sizes are essential to experience the personalized support and instruction that you need to reach your greatest potential in the field of journalism.

The quality of a school’s faculty plays a large role in the quality of your education. While researching prospective schools, take a look at the “Faculty” section of each school’s website. Here you will be able to find detailed information on the credentials and experience of the instructors that will be teaching your Journalism courses.

Academic Advising and Student Services

Support from your school goes beyond a quality education and skilled faculty. Throughout the course of your degree program, you will likely find that you need the additional support offered by academic advising and other student services. The university services offered to online students may include the following:

  • Online access to career and academic advisors to help you decide which Journalism degree path best matches your long-term goals
  • Internship and mentoring opportunities within a variety of professional journalism careers
  • Virtual workshops and writing seminars to help you further develop your skills
  • Access to online research and library resources for completion of course projects
  • Flexible, virtual tutoring services for various Journalism courses

If you have a knack for communication and love working with the English language, than a degree in Journalism is a great start to beginning a rewarding career! From writing and editing to working within the corporate setting, a Journalism degree opens the door to lucrative, professional occupations that allow you to use your innate talents.

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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.