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.”

  • 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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