Online Journalism Degrees
Find the best marketing degree program offered by accredited online colleges. This guide will introduce you to the best online journalism degrees available.
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Journalists research, analyze, and present information to the public about newsworthy local, national, and international events. Nearly all media outlets maintain an online presence that supplements their print, TV, or radio platforms. Some companies publish exclusively online. Core activities of journalists include seeking and reporting the truth, acting independently, and being accountable and transparent.
Careers and earning potential for bachelor's in journalism degree-holders vary widely. Annual salaries range from about $30,000 for entry-level applicants to more than $100,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Positions include entry-level staff writers at small news outlets who cover community topics. More advanced positions include senior broadcast journalists who may report and analyze international breaking news.
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Questions to Ask Before Deciding on a Journalism School
Journalism degrees serve as pathways to careers as staff writers, news editors, broadcast journalists, and live broadcast technicians.
Students typically complete undergraduate journalism programs in four years of full-time study. Journalists also earn associate degrees and complete graduate-level programs.
Journalists make a mean annual salary of $66,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Earnings vary depending on the specific job, geographic area, and the candidate's experience.
The BLS projects overall employment of journalists to fall 11% from 2019-2029 due to declining advertising spending.
Why Get a Degree in Journalism?
Journalists use creative skills like writing, visual design, videography, and public speaking to present information to print, broadcast, and web-based audiences. They write news stories or broadcast scripts that employ engaging, accurate, and professional language.
These professionals also produce audio and video segments, provide narration for live events, and gather information through interviews and from publicly available records. Journalism professionals can also work as corporate communications or marketing specialists. Most undergraduate journalism majors complete their studies in four years or less. Tuition for online programs ranges from less than $10,000 per year to more than $30,000 for in-person, four-year programs.
How Much Does a Journalism Degree Cost?
The cost of a journalism degree depends on several factors. In-state tuition typically costs less. Online programs may offer lower per-credit costs but require technology fees. Some schools also charge lab fees for accessing the digital broadcasting and production studios students use to hone their skills.
How Much Do Journalism Majors Make?
Graduates with a journalism bachelor's degree enjoy a variety of career options. Opportunities include working as a staff writer, who researches and publishes written articles for a media outlet. Journalism program graduates may also work as news producers or editors or as social media planners.
Other careers for journalism program graduates include working as public relations or corporate communications specialists, product marketing managers, and freelance writers. On the low end, entry-level journalists earn an annual starting salary of about $32,000, according to the BLS. The median annual wage is $49,300, and the top 90% of journalists earn $127,370 annually.
Although employment of journalists is projected to decline through 2029, the BLS projects that reporters will also face strong competition for the remaining jobs. Candidates with prior job experience and multimedia journalism experience need an advantage given that news and entertainment publishing continue migrating to digital media platforms.
Courses in Journalism
Most undergraduate journalism programs value practical, hands-on skills. Students typically take a full-time course load that includes multiple journalism-focused courses each semester. Students need to develop and demonstrate their skills in areas such as interview techniques, gathering information using public records, writing scripts for broadcast, using multimedia technology, and public speaking.
Theoretical concepts comprise a core part of the curriculum, which varies by program and school. These courses may include ethics in journalism, legal considerations, and the history of mass communications. Requirements vary by program and school, but students typically complete 120 semester credits to earn a bachelor's in journalism.
This class focuses on identifying sources; gathering information; and using correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation to write simple news stories for print, broadcast, and online publications. Students learn essential journalism skills such as gathering accurate information and meeting deadlines.
In this course, students learn how to combine text, images, audio, and video to tell stories. A key course goal involves giving students experience with the multimedia platforms and technologies used to capture and publish content.
Students concentrating on written or web-based journalism often study the theory and practice of print and webpage visual design. In this class, students learn about typography, photo editing, and graphic design principles.
Visual Design and Presentation
Certifications and Licensure for Journalism
Most employers consider job candidates who earned a bachelor's in journalism or mass communication. Some companies looking to fill niche roles may consider applicants with degrees in political science, finance, business, or health. In the U.S., journalists do not need certification or licensure from an accrediting body or organization. However, experience with and certification in professional media technologies benefits job-seeking graduates.
Scholarships for Journalism
Journalism students at all levels enjoy access to scholarships, fellowships, and grants. Some organizations open scholarships to anyone in the journalism field. Other scholarships focus on specific subsets of journalism like photography, while others encourage newsroom diversity.
|Scholarship||Amount||Who Can Apply|
The Radio Television Digital News Foundation Presidents Scholarship
|$2,500||Second-, third-, or fourth-year students pursuing careers in digital, TV, or radio journalism can apply online. Candidates submit a cover letter, resume, work samples, and a letter of recommendation. The Foundation awards two scholarships annually. Recipients may also attend the RTDNF conference.|
Rich Clarkson Founders Scholarship of the National Press Photographers Foundation
|$2,000||Undergraduate and graduate photojournalism students whose work ethic demonstrates leadership and professionalism may apply. They must be working toward a four-year accredited degree. Applicants submit an academic transcript, resume, cover letter, recommendation letters, essay and examples of work.|
Overseas Press Club Foundation Scholarships and Fellowships
|Varies||Undergraduate and graduate students studying at U.S. universities who aspire to work as foreign correspondents may apply. Recipients may work in the foreign bureaus of international news organizations. Applications require a cover letter, resume, and work samples demonstrating a student's interest in global topics such as finance or the environment.|
Online Bachelor's in Journalism Programs 2021
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