Making the most of a Journalism Degree
I’m a graduate of journalism, so things might be a little different in other areas of study, but I’ve found you have many different options in this type of career. The important skills you’ll cover in journalism include writing skills, media knowledge, ICT, Design skills, Law, an understanding of business and sales, confidence, photography skills and research skills.
Study in any one of these areas can lead towards a career in the media. In fact, you can take just about any specialism whether it’s politics, music or health, and turn it into a story or a blog. Essentially, your degree can be in almost anything, but it might be wise to consider a journalism, English or general media route if you think this is what you’d like to do, as these will prepare you best for the reality of the less-than-glamorous life of the press. At the end of the day, you could write a brilliant piece of analysis about your specialism, but would you know how to go about selling it to a magazine?
Be careful though. Some courses will be looking for different types of candidates. I went to look round Nottingham Trent Uni and their journalism course looked really intense and news-oriented. Then I looked at a combined course in Journalism and Culture, but they didn’t seem to mould very well. After enough research, I found Sunderland, which offered courses in a number of specialisms such as Sports, Fashion, News and Magazines. Looking further into it, I discovered a lot of emphasis would be put on design and the inner workings of the magazine industry if you chose the Magazine or Fashion branches, which suited me much better than going round knocking on people’s doors looking for quotes about crimes and accidents.
If you do your research, it’s really is worth taking the risk with a journalism course, especially one that offers classes in shorthand (A great language for taking fast notes that can be implemented in any meeting). Not only does it give you a solid grounding for the world you’ll be entering into if you choose to pursue it, but it can also work in your favour for a number of other paths. Some of the people I graduated with aren’t journalists. Instead they’ve gone on to work in television, manage websites, get involved in PR, go to teach English abroad or become professional photographers.
With aspects developed such as interpersonal skills, a good basic English grounding and strong ICT skills, there’s no end of different careers you can go on to explore if you actually change your mind about being a reporter like I did. Still, if you’ve studied things like English and Media at college, chances are you’ll love it anyway and will get to go on to do great things for the news industry.