If you are passionate about writing, there are several career options for you. You can opt for a career as a content writer, become a professional essay writer, launch a personal blog, and even decide to write fiction. Or, you can pursue a career in journalism.
Becoming a journalist has many pros. Most importantly, it is an interesting job with pretty good perspectives for growth. However, how to become a journalist, and what education to obtain for this? Read on to learn more!
Top 21 Best Colleges for Journalists
If you are determined to become a journalist, you will need to have sharp skills and, in most cases, a Bachelor's degree in a related field. Why is it important to obtain an education? It may seem like all you need is a strong sense of a good story and solid writing skills, there is much more to being a good professional. All courses teach future specialists a variety of other things, including:
Proofreading and editing;
These are the things that are hard to master on your own. Thus, it is never a bad idea to apply to college.
Sounds pretty simple. You pick any college, enroll, graduate, and land your first job. However, things are much more complicated.
Though not many recognize this, one of the biggest influential factors for your future career is the right choice of a school. Just like there are colleges and universities recognized for graduating excellent doctors, that are schools known for having brilliant journalism programs.
So, how to make the right choice? In the list below, we have gathered some of the best colleges in the US for future journalists. The schools are ranked by the overall program quality with the indication of a median starting salary for BA graduates.
#1 Northwestern University - Evanston, IL
Available degrees: BA - 178; MA - 139
BA median starting salary: $42,000
#2 The University of Missouri - Columbia, MO
Available degrees: BA - 533; MA - 82
BA median starting salary: $37,300
#3 Washington and Lee University - Lexington, VA
Available degrees: BA - 14; MA - 0
BA median starting salary: $43,400
#4 Emerson College - Boston, MA
Available degrees: BA - 66; MA - 19
BA median starting salary: $33,900
#5 The University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA
Available degrees: BA - 65; MA - 73
BA median starting salary: $40,600
#6 George Washington University - Washington, DC
Available degrees: BA - 53; MA - 16
BA median starting salary: $42,000
#7 The University of Texas at Austin - Austin, TX
Available degrees: BA - 144; MA - 10
BA median starting salary: $34,000
#8 The University of Maryland - College Park, MD
Available degrees: BA - 122; MA - 8
BA median starting salary: $37,100
#9 Northeastern University - Boston, MA
Available degrees: BA - 34; MA - 29
BA median starting salary: $41,600
#10 Syracuse University - Syracuse, NY
Available degrees: BA - 135; MA - 73
BA median starting salary: $36,100
#11 Arizona State University - Phoenix, AZ
Available degrees: BA - 232; MA - 27
BA median starting salary: $35,900
#12 Boston University - Boston, MA
Available degrees: BA - 124; MA - 63
BA median starting salary: $33,500
#13 The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Available degrees: BA - 157; MA - 26
BA median starting salary: $33,100
#14 The University of Wisconsin - Madison, WI
Available degrees: BA - 191; MA - 9
BA median starting salary: $37,600
#15 The University of Kansas - Lawrence, KS
Available degrees: BA - 250; MA - 16
BA median starting salary: $37,400
#16 American University - Washington, DC
Available degrees: BA - 72; MA - 34
BA median starting salary: $33,300
#17 The University of Minnesota - Minneapolis, MN
Available degrees: BA - 331; MA - 0
BA median starting salary: $38,200
#18 The University of Georgia - Athens, GA
Available degrees: BA - 156; MA - 45
BA median starting salary: $33,000
#19 Indiana University - Bloomington, IN
Available degrees: BA - 167; MA - 0
BA median starting salary: $35,800
#20 Baylor University - Waco, TX
Available degrees: BA - 73; MA - 8
BA median starting salary: $35,500
#21 Chapman University - Orange, CA
Available degrees: BA - 26; MA - 0
BA median starting salary: $36,800
A Career in Journalism: Post-Graduation Tips
Of course, obtaining a degree will certainly help you get ahead of the competition. However, just a degree isn't enough to secure a job in such a competitive field. So, what steps to take to land a job? Here are a few post-graduation tips for future journalists:
Never stop honing your writing skills.
Needless to say that a good specialist in this field should be a real pro in writing. Therefore, apart from earning your degree, be sure to get lots of writing practice.
Seeking out and applying for freelance writing jobs is not only a good way to make some cash, but also a great opportunity to boost your skills, gain experience, and start building up your portfolio.
Start a blog.
Today, in the world of technology, having a personal blog is a perfect way to start a writing career and showcase your talents. You have no need to spend time searching for how long is the sat with breaks? A personal blog is a new way to monetize your hobbies or new challenges you are going through. This is also a great practice for your skills. And, finally, having a blog can help you establish your online presence. This will make you stand out as a specialist and, thus, will broaden your career opportunities.
Enroll in an internship with a magazine, newspaper, or media company.
Apart from specialized education, journalists are often required to possess some work experience to land a job. Thus, finding an internship opportunity after you graduate is a great way to brush up on your skills and gain some related experience.
Network with the right people a lot.
Finally, the last and probably most important tip for young specialists is to network as much as possible. Networking is vital for career development regardless of your field. If you establish contacts with other, more experienced reporters, editors, and journalists, this can help you get noticed by employers and advance your career. Not to mention that networking also helps gain skills, knowledge, and experience from established professionals.
The Bottom Line
Hopefully, this article will come in handy to everyone striving to start a writing career. To sum up everything that has been said above, it is fair to note that in most cases starting your path as a journalist requires having at least a BA degree in a relevant field, which is either journalism or communications.
Yet, for all of you who have already completed college with a different major or didn't go to college at all, the good news is that you can actually pursue this career without a degree. While being a certified specialist in this field would definitely help, the 21st century offers us almost unlimited opportunities.
Even if you specialize in a different area, you may still succeed! For example, you can undertake specialized courses outside of college. Also, you can participate in student media while studying and, thus, gain some experience. Finally, you can simply seek out job opportunities and apply. You never know where life can take you.
Thus, the conclusion is simple - follow your dream and you will succeed!
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