Got a journalism degree but can’t get a job? It’s a struggle facing countless graduates at the moment, but what is the actual value of a degree in such a competitive industry?
According to Canadian graduate Laura Drake, writing on the Macleans ‘OnCampus’ magazine website, no one should think spending a few years at university is a golden pass to employment.
What a journalism undergraduate degree will get you are amazing memories, good connections with profs who know hundreds of working journalists, marketable skills in the form of writing and communications abilities. What it will not get you, and what no one ever promises it will get you, is a job in journalism.
To be clear, in my recollection, no one at j-skool ever lied about this, either. I’m pretty sure that from literally day one, lectures included messages from profs that, if you wanted to get a job in journalism on the other side, then you were going to have to hustle outside of class. A journalism degree on its own is never, ever going to get anyone a job in media. Students, newspaper experience, community radio, working for small-town media, free work placements, academic exchanges and, at this point, extra curricular web experience are basically mandatory if you’re interested in hunting for a job.
It’s as I was always told, every qualification, experience and contact is like a key. The more keys you have, the more doors you can open.