Study: J-school grads’ unemployment rate better than average

Georgetown University
Recent college graduates with an undergraduate degree in journalism have a 7.7 percent unemployment rate, a new Georgetown University study says. Experienced grads have a 6 percent rate, and people with graduate degrees in journalism have only a 3.8 percent unemployment rate. Median earnings, according to the study: $32,000 annually for recent grads; $58,000 for experienced college grads; $66,000 for people with graduate degrees. (Data from the 2010 Census said journalism majors make about $50,000 per year.)

Those unemployment rate figures compare well to the national unemployment rate (8.2 percent) and to the unemployment rate for 20-24-year-olds (13.2 percent). “Unemployment for students with new Bachelor’s degrees is an unacceptable 8.9 percent,” the study says. Recent graduates in architecture did the worst of all fields studied (13.9 percent) because of the housing collapse; healthcare and education grads did best, with an unemployment rate of 5.4 percent.

This is welcome news to anyone who’s followed a string of recent morale-plunging speeches given to aspiring journalists: Roger Ailes told journalism students at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, “I think you ought to change your major”; Malcolm Gladwell told Yale students “Newspapers are kind of dreary, depressed places“; and The Daily Caller’s editor, Tucker Carlson, told a luncheon attended by writer hopefuls that “Most people’s voices are not worth being heard.”

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  • Dane S. Claussen

    Well, at least Tucker Carlson has it right.

  • Dane S. Claussen

    Well, at least Tucker Carlson has it right.

  • Neil

    Mr. Martin may be right, but the broader point still is important. Journalism grads are employable, and they are finding jobs. The evidence that they are not getting hired so often in traditional journalism fields has not stopped young people from enrolling in journalism programs. And my discussions with students suggest that they aren’t “settling” for non-journalism jobs; instead, they are eager to use the skills they’ve learned in J-schools to get jobs in a lot of industries.

  • Anonymous

    yes, indeed. it would be very interesting to know how many recent journalism grads who want to work in NEWS gathering (print  and broadcast) as REPORTERS are unemployed or settled for non-reporting jobs, including the broader category of jobs that have virtually nothing to do with da news.

  • Hugh J. Martin

    The report you cite uses a category called Communications and Journalism, which lumps together many different kinds of degrees and jobs.

    If by journalism you mean reporting and editing news coverage, the trends are clear. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects continued declines in employment for news reporters and correspondents in print and broadcast. The only growth area, broadcast news analysts, is too small to affect the larger trend.

    A 2011 Advertising Age analysis of media employment statistics from the BLS found that “Newspapers (242,200 jobs) still make up the biggest sector for media employment. But newspapers have eliminated more than 100,000 jobs since 2007.” 

    Digital media jobs are growing, but the companies cited in the article – Facebook and Zynga - are not known for employing journalists.