I Have a Journalism Degree, Now What?

journalismBeing born in New York has been both a blessing and a curse for recent grad Samantha Manning. As a broadcast journalism major at Hofstra University in Long Island, NY, she has had the opportunity to intern in the number one media market in America. Despite interning for networks like ABC, as well as being the news director of her college radio station, Manning struggles to find a job.

"There are opportunities in New York," said Manning. "But the cost of living is also much greater."

Financial concerns make it difficult for Manning to pack up and move to a smaller market where she would most likely have better opportunities.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the college grad hiring index has improved by 11 points since November, but a recent poll that surveyed the job market for college graduates showed that journalism students have it particularly hard.

Ed Koc, Director of Strategic and Foundation Research for the NACE, said, "The lowest offer rate of any major was journalism. It was the single toughest field to get a job in the spring of 2009."

According to Koc, only 24 percent of graduates who had applied for a job in journalism received an offer. In that same poll, 53 percent of graduates looking for jobs in accounting got at least one offer.

Many college professors and industry professionals agree that flexibility is the key for journalism students to find employment after college.

"To break into the media market in New York is really tough," said Koc. "First of all, you're talking about a field that is really down in the dumps right now, if you want to stay in the field you almost have to be able to move away."

If journalism is your passion, you have to stick with it. I certainly am. But now is also the time to be realistic. If that reporting job isn't there quite yet, or even a gig as a production assistant, increase your chances of getting hired by expanding your vision a little bit.

With bills due, rent to pay, and all of the other responsibilities that come along with entering the real world, Manning hopes that her willingness to broaden her horizons will help her get a job soon.

On her blog, Popping the Collegiate Bubble, which highlights her experiences post graduation, Manning says that she accepts the fact that she may not land her dream job right out of college, but she is still optimistic.

"If you are driven enough, determined enough, and skilled enough, eventually your dreams will become your reality."

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