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is a master's in journalism worth it

"If you listen to the advice of more experienced people and use a bit of common sense that seems to do the trick. "I am yet to come across a particular task that needed the extra experience a postgrad seems to give people," says Jerome Lyte, a 23-year-old television researcher and freelance radio producer who has worked on several BBC Radio 4 documentaries. The average starting salary for journalists is well-known to be low. HuffPost is part of Verizon Media. Is it worth paying up to £9,000 for a journalism course, or can you just work your way up the ladder? Our blog is maintained by Sean Flynn, a recent graduate from City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.His work has appeared in The Buffalo News, Condé Nast Traveler, The New York Times 'Fort Greene Local', The Daily Meal, and FoxNews.com. We and our partners will store and/or access information on your device through the use of cookies and similar technologies, to display personalised ads and content, for ad and content measurement, audience insights and product development. Getting a master’s degree in journalism from this renowned private university amounts to the cost of owning a luxury car. But current master's student Michael Allen decided to go to City University London even though staff at his local paper in Norwich, where he had done work experience, told him this could exempt him from many regional newspaper jobs. According to PayScale, the national average of journalist salary is $37,000. These loan repayments start one month after a course ends regardless of a debtor's employment status, and the careers market for journalism is fierce. On one hand, attending school for journalism can be a great way to learn important skills that come in handy when reporting, writing and editing. On the other hand, some of the most … Local papers aside, while recognised qualifications are a prerequisite to starting a career in many professions, from dentistry to plumbing, journalism is gradually doing away with these barriers – just look at the rise of bloggers and "citizen journalists". It used to be that local newsrooms would train staff in-house, but shrinking resources have all but eliminated journalism apprentices. You shouldn't need to go to a seminar to figure that out.". MAs usually take a year to complete, postgrads nine months, and some of the fast-track courses last just a few months. But is it worth it? Those with a journalism postgrad say it gave them the skills, the contacts and the confidence to be a journalist. "With or without a postgrad, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to get into journalism," says Dawood. About Our Blog. "If I'd had no knowledge of media law, I don't know if I'd have even understood why the statement was defamatory in the first place," she says. They also have a ready-made contacts book, gained through meeting interested industry guests and their own cohort.". A friend of mine recently graduated from UC Berkeley’s journalism school and is thinking about continuing on to grad school. "It taught me skills I wouldn't have otherwise," says Sarah Dawood, a recent MA graduate of Sheffield University. Some believe an MA is a fast-track way to get into a newsroom. Couple that with the fact that the industry is low-paying, very crowded, and rapidly changing, and what you have is a pretty complex career path. City – unlike Cardiff, Sheffield and the University of Central Lancashire (Uclan), for example – is not NCTJ-accredited. "By working alongside the best in the business today, you are inevitably going to learn more than from lecturers who are disjointed from the industry," he says. Many job adverts for local papers specify the need for candidates to have qualifications certified by the NCTJ, the newspaper industry's accreditation body. Training comes at a price – journalism postgrads can cost up to £9,000 (a master's at City University) – so you have to be sure you want to do it. But standing out – even in the unpaid work experience market – can be extremely tough. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Your Privacy Controls. Journalism is a risky business, and even the most experienced hacks have to be wary of everything from misquotations and misspellings to factual inaccuracies and libel. A postgraduate environment can be a lot more forgiving than a busy newsroom. "I pretty much felt that you have to do a postgrad if you want to start in a fairly good job. "I didn't feel confident at all just coming out of my BA at Warwick and trying to get a job somewhere.". Like many students, Graeme Port had to take out a career development loan to pay for his MA at Sheffield – but he fell out of love with the profession on his first day of work experience at a Scottish local paper. Cathy Darby, a senior lecturer in Uclan's school of journalism and media says: "Students go on placement fully prepared to impress, having committed any blunders in the privacy of their course. Those without sneer at the idea that journalism can be taught in a lecture hall. Yes but only if you are already employed with a good organisation, and you are fairly certain that acquiring this graduate degree will earn you a significant pay rise/promotion, Otherwise I would say no and advise you to branch out to another field that can diversify your qualifications. But he cautions students against doing a full master's: "Those upgrading to an MA have to stay on over summer to produce their dissertation. "From my small glimpse into the world of journalism it was very apparent that the hours were very long and the pay was very low," he says.

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