Pursuing a master's degree in journalism

  • Pursuing a master's degree in journalism

    With the evolution of technology, our society has adapted the ways in which it has consumed news and media. While many people have started to obtain their news from digital formats rather than relying on newspapers and printed media, as they did in past decades and centuries, careers in the media have not declined. According to findings from the Pew Research Center, 34% of adults said they prefer to get their news online, via websites, apps or social media in 2018. At the same time, 44% of Americans would rather learn about what’s going on around them by viewing televised news programs.

    Just as the field of journalism has evolved in recent decades, degrees in journalism have changed to meet new media expectations. Those who would like to become masters in the field of journalism may decide to pursue their MA in Journalism and Media. Additionally, current journalists who earned their undergraduate degree many years ago and would like to learn more about modern journalism practices can go back to school to secure their master’s degree.

    If you’re interested in earning your MA in Journalism to improve your knowledge of the industry and increase your credentials for current and future employers, you might be wondering what graduate school can best fit your needs and expectations. Find out more about what journalism programs entail and how they can give you a competitive edge in gaining employment and honing your craft.

    What to expect from courses in journalism

    Because the field of journalism requires professionals to be strong in a number of concentrations, MA programs are comprised of courses in a broad array of topics. Some common themes you may cover in your advanced education include mobile communications, multimedia development, community engagement and journalism ethics. Instead of attending lectures on a regular basis, graduate journalism students typically spend a great deal of time working in their field through internships, group projects and practicum assignments.

    Additionally, the exact courses you can expect to take in your journalism program are dependent on the specific area of journalism you are focusing on. For instance, if you’re specializing in broadcast journalism, you may be required to take courses in which you will write, produce and film documentaries and news videos. Meanwhile, if your main focus in journalism is print media, you are more likely to cover topics such as feature writing and editing and reporting methods. Many master’s programs in journalism require students to complete a practicum or other large-scale project in which they can gain professional and hands-on experience in the field.

    Career paths in journalism

    An advanced degree in journalism can lead to a number of careers in media and content creation. Northwestern University has a section on its site dedicated to listing the feats many of its journalism graduates have accomplished. These jobs include, but are not limited to:

    • News associate
    • Correspondent
    • Sports reporter
    • Video producer
    • Editor
    • Social media content coordinator
    • Digital photo editor
    • Content strategist
    • Account executive

    How to find the right journalism master’s program

    When you’re looking for a journalism program that meets your specific interests and learning goals, you’ll need to do thorough research. With so many schools offering diverse journalism programs, in both Film/TV/Broadcasting and Communications, you’ll need to narrow down your choices before you start sending out applications.

    You can start your graduate school search by browsing Graduate Guide, a digital reference tool that can help you find a program that ticks all your boxes. Are you looking for an on-campus graduate program? Would you like to specialize in something specific, like social justice journalism? When you look at Graduate Guide’s online portal, you can compare universities based on their geographical location, size and program format (either online or on-campus).

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