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Communication & Journalism Major

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Communication & Journalism

$73,090 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Communication & Journalism Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many communication and journalism graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 10,545
Doctor’s Degree 583
Graduate Certificate 579

What Communication & Journalism Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, communication and journalism majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Communication & Journalism Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skills for Communication & Journalism Majors

communication and journalism majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Abilities for Communication & Journalism Majors

As a communication and journalism major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

What Can You Do With a Communication & Journalism Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with communication and journalism:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Advertising and Promotions Managers 5.4% $117,130
Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes 4.7% $66,040
Communications Professors 10.0% $68,910
Community Health Workers 17.9% $39,540
Compliance Managers 8.0% $107,480
Copy Writers 7.6% $62,170
Directors- Stage, Motion Pictures, Television, and Radio 12.2% $71,680
Entertainers and Performers, Sports and Related Workers 8.2% NA
Film and Video Editors 17.0% $62,650
Green Marketers 5.4% $117,130
Health Educators 14.6% $54,220
Investment Fund Managers 8.0% $107,480
Media and Communication Workers 10.0% $48,330
Poets, Lyricists and Creative Writers 7.6% $62,170
Producers 12.2% $71,680
Program Directors 12.2% $71,680
Public Address System and Other Announcers 2.6% $27,720
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers 10.3% $114,800
Public Relations Specialists 8.9% $60,000
Regulatory Affairs Managers 8.0% $107,480
Talent Directors 12.2% $71,680
Technical Directors/Managers 12.2% $71,680
Technical Writers 10.9% $71,850

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Communication & Journalism?

10,545 Master's Degrees Annually
71% Percent Women
29% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This major is dominated by women with about 71% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of communication and journalism majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Communication & Journalism Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 326
Black or African American 1,278
Hispanic or Latino 1,093
White 4,960
International Students 2,013
Other Races/Ethnicities 875

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Communication & Journalism. About 19.1% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Communication & Journalism Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that communication and journalism students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree made a median starting salary of $44,950 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $39,475 (25th percentile) and $52,400 (75th percentile).

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We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to communication and journalism so take that into consideration.

Salaries According to BLS

Communication and Journalism majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $52,430 to $90,930 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Communication & Journalism Major  ( 52430 to 90930 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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Some careers associated with communication and journalism require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to communication and journalism have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 3.1%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 8.0%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 2.5%
Some College Courses 8.6%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 9.1%
Bachelor’s Degree 54.6%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 1.2%
Master’s Degree 10.6%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.6%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 1.4%
Doctoral Degree 0.8%
Post-Doctoral Training 0.4%

Online Communication & Journalism Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 1,723 schools offered some type of communication and journalism program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 366 37
Certificate (1-2 years) 159 11
Certificate (2-4 Years) 7 0
Associate’s Degree 660 52
Bachelor’s Degree 161 38
Post-Baccalaureate 366 37
Master’s Degree 708 139
Post-Master’s 24 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 119 2
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Communication & Journalism Worth It?

The median salary for a communication and journalism grad is $73,090 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 83% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $663,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to communication and journalism.

Major Number of Grads
Education 187,512
Psychology 38,863
Social Sciences 22,817
Library Science 5,644
History 4,418
Family, Consumer & Human Sciences 3,917
Area, Ethnic, Culture, & Gender Studies 2,550

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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