Q: I’m a mid-career print journalist (nine years total) who so far has gotten by doing traditional beat/feature reporting. With the lousy job market and the long-term decline in newspaper circulations, I’m finally realizing that for job security (in whatever form of media) I need specialized knowledge — probably in business/financial, health/medical or high-tech.
That’s clearly where the jobs are. So my question is this: Are there specialized programs for mid-career journalists wishing to get a rapid education in these fields, or any other way of backgrounding myself thoroughly enough to convince an employer of my qualification? Or must I bite the bullet and get a master’s degree?
A: Youâ€™re obviously looking for professional training that takes place in something under two years. I would look to mid-career fellowships (Michigan, Nieman, Stanford) that might let you stake out a specialty, or even shorter seminars in the specialties you outlined.
Also, look to gaining some expertise with just a few courses, perhaps taken as a non-degree student, rather than going for the full masterâ€™s.