Journalism grad wishes she'd become a mortician instead

New American Media

Elizabeth Ireland is graduating from San Francisco State University with a degree in journalism. She wishes she'd pursued mortuary science instead, a field she says "is expecting an 18 percent growth rate. Although I could have had all this, the career, the job, the growth rate, I followed my heart instead of my head. I chose to go into journalism and screw my credit rating from now until, well, eternity."

After thinking about the chances of landing a job and student loan debt, Ireland writes: "All things considered, if I could look back and do it over again, I would have taken my chance with the stiffs."

Of course, no one would describe any of the journalists who've addressed graduating classes lately as deadly! Savannah Guthrie told flat-cappers at Hobart and William Smith Colleges about making mistakes as a young journalist: "I am glad the first time I was chewed out, it was a local politician and not the White House calling. Making mistakes and being bad at something, this is how you get to be any good at all." Speaking at Barnard College Monday, President Obama offered a media critique: Tell more good-news stories!

"No wonder that faith in our institutions has never been lower, particularly when good news doesn't get the same kind of ratings as bad news anymore," Obama said. "Every day you receive a steady stream of sensationalism and scandal, and stories with a message that suggests change isn't possible, that you can't make a difference, that you won't be able to close that gap between life as it is and life as it should be."

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

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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