Non-journalism careers for journalism majors

By ALEX PEARCE

Most college students start off their secondary education undecided on what they want to do with their lives and even when they finally pick a major, they remain unsure on what career they will ultimately end up with.

Students majoring in journalism tend to have some clarity of vision in regards to their post-college life. Print journalism majors will work for newspapers or magazines, broadcasting students will work for television news and multimedia majors can take their pick.

But what about journalism majors who don’t intend on working in the news industry? What careers are open to them?

The primary skills that journalism majors hone throughout their college careers are those of investigation and writing, as well as a functioning grasp on current technology albeit with a media bent. While this might seem limited, these in-demand skills provide a wealth of opportunities to students who don’t envision themselves as reporters or editors.

While it may seem at odds with journalistic ideology of questioning authority, the government is a viable career path for someone with a degree in journalism. The CIA and FBI both consider journalism to be preferred training for prospective operatives and agents. Both of these agencies require employees to gather information effectively and compile it into easy-to-read documents, a specialty of journalists.

In the same vein, but on a more local level, law enforcement is another possibility for journalism majors. Police officers are required to write daily reports of what they have seen and experienced as well as interview suspects and maintain a network of local contacts for information. These skills are the mien of good journalists and translate into making effective police officers.

For those who do not wish to work for the government, journalism degrees can still lead to profitable careers. Private investigation utilizes many of the same skills required in journalism, including investigation, interviewing, research and using cameras. Private investigators make $40,541 per year on average, with the potential for much higher earnings if they specialize in more lucrative areas.

While these careers may not interest everyone, they merely serve as an example that journalism degrees can lead to careers outside the news industry.

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