Graduate Degree in Journalism
Being a journalist with a graduate degree is not difficult. However, the biggest question is whether it is necessary. Just imagine a journalist with a MA or PhD in this field. Does it really matter if you are popular and people recognize you in the street? These considerations lead some people into believing that graduate education in journalism is nuisance. As an international student, you should thoroughly weigh the pros and cons of this learning option.
First, remember that it will take you two years to earn a graduate degree in journalism. In the U.S., you will have to pay as little as $15,000 or as much as $60,000 for this degree. The financial aspect of the problem deserves your attention. Do not miss it! Second, you should realize that graduate education in journalism does have its advantages.
Advantages of Graduate Education in Journalism
So, is there anything special a graduate degree in journalism can offer? Of course. First, think of technologies. They constantly change, and you may not be able to catch up with the pace of technological advancement without engaging in continuous education and learning. Most graduate schools constantly adjust their curriculum to meet the latest technology requirements. Therefore, you can rest assured that once you are admitted you will learn the newest and the most important things about technologies in journalism.
Second, graduate education in journalism is all about networking opportunities. In other words, you come to a journalism school to build and strengthen your professional connections. These connections will further speed up your career and professional growth. They will enhance your workplace opportunities. You will be in a better position to find a great job and participate in various professional events. Networking is of critical importance for any journalist, particularly the one who comes from abroad to work in the US. Besides, you will be able to learn more about your teachers, fellow students, local media and journalists, and get to be known better for your talents and skills. You may not have so many networking opportunities outside the graduate program.
Third, if you are new to the media industry, a graduate degree in journalism will give you a stronger edge. When you decide that journalism is your career and the thing you want to do most in your life, you can enroll in a graduate program as a signature of your competencies and professionalism. You will show your commitment to continuous development if you decide to pursue a graduate degree in journalism. Remember that if you want to enroll in a graduate program, you should not necessarily hold an undergraduate degree in journalism. However, previous experiences in the media industry are welcomed and encouraged.
No Need for a Graduate Degree in Journalism
Yet, graduate studies in journalism may not look as bright and promising as they seem. First, you will often hear from practicing journalists that even the best degree will not replace practice experiences. They will say that you cannot learn journalism from books. They will strongly encourage you to practice your writing and reporting skills, as this is the best way for you to achieve excellence. Experienced journalists have tons of words and pages written during their career, and they believe it to be the main reason of their career success. In the workplace, you will learn how to use technologies and interact with other professionals. Your workplace is the best place for training and refining your practice skills.
You will also learn that, when you are looking for a job in the media industry, degrees are the last thing employees look at when considering your application. They need talents. This is what matters. You will have to go an extra mile to prove that you deserve that position and job. Besides, you can keep improving your education and sills without wasting $55,000 on graduate education. For example, professional organizations engage their members in learning and professional education opportunities to help them improve their skills and knowledge. As a member of such organization, you may even attend those learning events for free. Thus, you save a lot of time and money if you choose to become a practitioner and give up your ideas of graduate learning.
Drop It and Think Again
If you are still hesitant, as to whether you should pursue a graduate degree in journalism, put it off, take a break, and then get back to it again. Look at the circumstances of your life. Is this graduate degree vital for your future career? Do you have excellent prospects for career growth? Do you really want to get back to school and learn more? Then it is your decision, and let it become a reality for you! At the same time, see what skills and knowledge you have gained from your work in journalism. Try to see what your engagement in practice activities have given you in a strategic perspective. You are definitely a mile ahead of your fellow countrymen in your ability to make and deliver news. So, weigh all pros and cons of a learning decision before you decide to move forward.