Where Can a Journalism Concentration Take Me?


A communication degree with a concentration in journalism opens the door for a career in more places than a newsroom.

Journalism classes teach students how to convey information in a useful, clear and timely manner. They also place an emphasis on ethics and analysis. These skills are highly desired across a wide variety of industries.

Here are some career options outside of journalism you can do with a communication degree. Independent research is a good idea, as a candidate’s educational attainment, professional experience and regional market conditions may affect salary potential and job opportunities.

Public Relations

Public relations professionals use a variety of tools to share information with the public and present organizations or individuals in a favorable light. Public relations professionals are often required to have strong working relationships with the media, and the skills required may be like what is taught in journalism classes.

Public relations professionals work in many kinds of settings, from small firms to major multinational corporations. Some might work for independent agencies that represent clients. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the number of public relations specialist positions will grow 9% from 2016 to 2026; the average pay as of May 2017 was $67,990 a year.

Content Marketing

Content marketing professionals schedule, produce and publish materials – articles, images, videos – that are designed to engage potential and current customers. It is not the same thing as advertising; content marketing is educational and not overtly promotional in nature.

Journalism classes teach students how to produce a compelling narrative, which is needed for successful content marketing. A journalism student also appreciates the need for deadlines and editorial calendars.

The BLS doesn’t track content marketing professionals specifically, but it tracks advertising, promotions and marketing managers. For that group, the job outlook is expected to grow 10% from 2016 to 2026; the average salary for marketing managers was $145,620 as of May 2017. Non-managers should not expect to earn this much.

Proposal Writing

To win new business, a company must show that it has the capabilities to perform the work, the right combination of professionals to lead the project, a strong understanding of what the client wants, and can offer the work for a competitive price. This information is typically conveyed in a formal proposal. There may be many proposals for a single project, so it’s important to be able to make a proposal stand out.

People who study journalism will learn how to think critically and apply logic, which is required to prepare strong proposals. Companies of all sizes in all industries need proposal writers. Nonprofit organizations need grant writers to apply for funding; this requires a similar skill set.

The BLS does not list employment figures for proposal writers. However, the position compares closely to technical writers, which the BLS projects 11% growth through 2026, and reports an average salary of $74,440 as of May 2017.

Social Media Specialist

Social media specialists use new, technology-based platforms to engage with followers and build a loyal audience. The social media platforms most used today include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat.

A concentration in journalism prepares social media specialists to use words, images and videos to get a compelling message across. Journalism also teaches people how to schedule content, and to react quickly as situations change and new information emerges.

The BLS does not track salary information for social media specialists. However, it does project 8% career growth for writers and authors through 2026 and lists an average annual salary of $72,120 as of May 2017.

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