Exploring Modern Journalism Degrees and Careers in the Digital Age

While there’s no doubt that journalism has altered significantly over the past several years, it’s still a field that is ripe with opportunities for those who know where to look.

Over the last several decades, the world has evolved substantially with digital processes becoming a normalized part of our everyday lives. This cultural shift has impacted a number of industries and forced them to update their processes to keep up with the rapidly developing world.

One industry in particular that has been forced to alter significantly is journalism. Fortunately, though they have changed in important ways, there are still viable careers in the space for young professionals to pursue. Understanding some current journalism roles and the education necessary to step into them can give one a clearer idea of the changing journalism landscape.

Here are some modern journalism degrees and careers in the digital age.

Degrees to Explore for Those Interested in a Journalism Career

Given the changing landscape of journalism in today’s quickly evolving world, it can be tricky to know which degrees to pursue to find a professional career in the space. Thankfully, having some guidance around the most useful degrees can make the process of choosing one feel more accessible.

Here are degrees to explore for those interested in a journalism career.

General Journalism Degree

Though the journalism landscape has changed significantly over the last decade, many journalism programs are also evolving to meet the needs of the current landscape. As such, students can expect to learn many of the skills they’ll need to excel in a digital journalism role in these programs.

However, it should be noted that different programs may value different elements of journalism with some being more traditional. As such, it’s important to research specific programs and what they offer before committing to one.

Mass Communications Degree

In today’s largely digital world, mass communication degree programs can be valuable for students and young professionals. In essence, mass communication explores the messages that are disseminated to large audiences along with the media that is used to disseminate these messages. Given that this is such a broad field, it can be incredibly useful for those looking to step into a digital journalism role.

As such, this is a great major for any students thinking about pursuing a career in journalism in today’s evolving world.

Digital Journalism

Though this hasn’t been a traditional major over the past several decades, more and more laudable universities are beginning to offer programs in digital journalism. These programs focus on imbuing students with the skills they’ll need to thrive in a largely digital journalistic landscape.

Unfortunately, these programs are not as common yet as their traditional journalism program counterparts. That being said, the field is quickly rising and it’s likely that these programs may eclipse other journalism programs in the coming decades.

Careers to Explore for Those Interested In Digital Journalism

For those interested in pursuing a career in journalism, it can be daunting to navigate the rapidly changing world. Thankfully, having some examples of careers to explore can make the process easier.

Here are careers to explore for those interested in digital journalism.

Marketing Communications Manager

Marketing communications managers are skilled professionals who help companies communicate their value to the public. Typically, these professionals are tasked with overseeing marketing campaigns while also communicating regularly with other professionals within a given company, such as those in sales and other managerial positions.

Ultimately, marketing communications managers aim to engage their audience and create effective strategies for retaining them.

While this job is not technically a journalism role, it is indicative of how lines are being blurred between fields in today’s evolving world. Much like journalists aim to communicate with masses of people, marketing communications managers also work to hone their ability to communicate effectively with large audiences. In addition, experience in this role can help qualify one to step into a range of other journalism-related roles in the future.

Web Editor

Today, most people go to specific websites to find news and entertainment. As such, the internet can now be seen as one of the main platforms people utilize for finding information. Given this shift, those in charge of maintaining the content of these websites play a key role in journalism in today’s world. These professionals are called web editors and they engage in several key practices to keep their websites effective.

Some common tasks that web editors engage in are proofreading content, optimizing content for search engines, and helping plan content. In today’s world, these practices have become a key aspect of engaging in the journalism world and disseminating information effectively.

For those interested in gaining a broader perspective on the inner workings of digital journalism, this is an amazing role to become more knowledgeable and gain an invaluable skill set.

Freelance Journalist

Today, the number of news websites out there has exploded. There are specific news websites for virtually any type of individual in any geographic location. As such, there are more places than ever to submit work to as a journalist. Freelance journalists, who are essentially self-employed and sell pieces to various outlets, now have an opportunity to grow their digital presence and portfolio like never before.

Freelance journalism is perfect for those who aren’t interested in a traditional work schedule and prefer to be their own boss. However, this flexibility does also come at a price. When freelancing, there may be times when one has to go through periods without selling a piece.
In addition, the role demands that one is proactive in seeking out new opportunities and cultivating relationships with various outlets. Regardless, freelance journalists can have fruitful and fulfilling careers that allow them to grow and develop at their own pace.

Journalism is Thriving in the Digital Age

While there’s no doubt that journalism has altered significantly over the past several years, it’s still a field that is ripe with opportunities for those who know where to look. From careers in marketing and communications to web editing, there is no shortage of roles for young professionals ready to enter the field. This being the case, journalism is an exciting field for proactive professionals ready to explore new areas and grow with our evolving world.

Sophia Carlisle
Sophia Carlisle is a professional writer.
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