Journalism Jobs Hard to Come By for Recent Grads

Have you been looking for a journalism job since last May? You’re not alone. The University of Georgia (UGA) just completed its “Annual Survey of Journalism and Mass Communications Graduates”, finding four out of 10 journalism grads from 2008 were unable to find journalism jobs six to eight months after graduation.

This is officially the worst job market for journalism graduates ever (at least in the past 23 years UGA has been doing the survey). Out of the 2,500 recent 2008 journalism grads surveyed, only 60.4% of bachelor degree recipients had found full-time employment six to eight months after graduating.

If there is a sliver of good news in the survey though, it’s the fact that journalist salaries have remained flat for entry level positions. The median entry level salary is about $30,000 per year, which isn’t that bad considering the alternative (no job).

Are you a recent journalism grad that’s still looking for work, or are you one of the lucky ones? Let us know.

About Jeremy Porter 214 Articles
Jeremy Porter has been passionate about the intersection of public relations and journalism since studying both Public Relations and Journalism at Utica College of Syracuse University in the late 90s. Porter launched Journalistics in 2009 to share his ideas and insights around both professions and how trends and developments in modern day marketing, communications, and technology impact those working in these fields. Porter also values the traditions and history of both professions and regularly shares his perspective in these areas - and related topics geared toward the next generation of journalism and public relations professionals.

7 Comments

  1. I am not a journalism major but I am a Communications Technology major before it was all Social Media and stuff. I still haven’t found a full time job but I am networking like a mad woman and hoping to change my career path to something stable and full time.

  2. I graduated in May 2008 with a B.S. in Communication from the University of Miami (Fla.). My majors were print journalism and studio art (with an added useless minor in art history). I had been applying for summer internships with the big newspapers since fall 2007 and couldn’t find anything. I ended up landing a full-time (paid!) internship with a company in their corporate communications department. I interned for 14 grueling months before I was hired full-time. The pay as an intern was more than what I would have gotten as an entry-level journalist, but being without health benefits was painful (I managed to get bronchitis in January and was slammed with a $1,000 bill for a 45-minute walk-in appointment). Now my responsibilities are split between internal and external communications with the company. It’s not a newspaper or magazine, but I’m loving it. Maybe down the road, when the industry picks itself up again, I’ll try my luck again.

    My advice:
    (1) If journalism students have the option and time to double major, do it. But pick a logical second major. I had no intentions of pursuing a career as a starving artist.
    (2) Explore areas related to journalism, even if it’s not exactly that path you had intended. Unfortunately, my college professors never suggested these options, but I was willing to take a leap and it worked.

    • Thanks for sharing your story Ashley. You reminded me of another piece of advice to offer…

      If students have time to intern at a local paper (or any media for that matter) during school, they should do so. Paid or unpaid. Also take advantage of any on-campus jobs (i.e. writing for the alumni publications, school paper, campus radio station, etc.). The more “real world” experience you can get before you hit the pavement looking for a job, the better.

      Of the people I’ve known who have found journalism jobs right out of school, most worked or free at the outlet during school and were hired full-time after.

      • hi jeremy , any idea about the CUNY graduate journalism school , how is it . Is it suggested to go to that a new institution as is it. Kindly pls pls do lemme no abt the faculty and job prospects that school has to offer.

  3. No doubt the business of journalism is undergoing fundamental change, but there’s a unique institution in NY that is addressing the challenge. The City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism is reporting steady growth in enrollment with paid internships. It will be holding its August Academy for Class of 2011 Applicants: see http://tinyurl.com/n59c57 .

    • hi Sam , jus read your comments , could pls give me some more info about CUNY as i am extremely interested in it.

  4. I just graduated from Mizzou’s ‘School of Journalism’. While everyone says its the best journalism school and most Mizzou grads always get jobs. I can tell you at least 10 right now that don’t have jobs and there are plenty more. I am one of the lucky one’s that didn’t have to wait long and struggle, but I wasted a lot of money in the process. Here’s my two cents of advice:

    1) Make everything as simple as possible, get a tape, make copies, send it out
    2) FIND ANYONE YOU KNOW AT A STATION THAT HAS AN OPENING AND BEG THEM TO GET YOU A JOB.
    3) Persistence pays off, I got my job by checking in with my news director and making plans to come and visit. Times are tough for companies and stations, they can’t always accommodate you.

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