Where can a degree in journalism take you?

Journalism is one of the most exciting and varied career paths worldwide. You are not only creating content in your country and on affairs in your continent, you have the potential to talk about important issues unfolding all over the world. And that’s been the case for decades now – from the dawn of newspaper journalism to modern-day reporting, there’s a lot of opportunity out there.

Modern journalism has evolved massively thanks to the evolution of technology, meaning people now have access to information and breaking stories at the touch of a button. We all have news-reporting devices in our bags and pockets! Therefore, as a budding journalist, you have more opportunities than ever to change the world with a few words.


Before we get ahead of ourselves, remember that it always pays to have an idea of the sort of journalism you’d like to do. Do you want to focus on print or new media, or specialize in interviews and public relations?

It’s okay, and perfectly reasonable, not to know the answer if you’re just looking into starting a journalism degree. In this guide, we take a look at the pathways that open up to you once you graduate from a journalism qualification.

Consider your audience

Before we dive deep into the career possibilities and the avenues you might want to explore after graduating with a journalism degree, make sure to consider the audience you’d like to write for or produce content for when you graduate. Becoming a journalist covers a lot of bases!

For example, producing content for a broadsheet newspaper or a radio program is likely to be very different to the sort of journalism required for producing content on YouTube or ‘viral’ platforms like Buzzfeed.

You could choose to specialize in one or two different areas of journalism, such as politics, world news, health or technology – and find staff writer positions on magazines or websites where you can sharpen your knowledge in a given niche.

With a journalism qualification, such as an Online Masters in Journalism, students get the chance to explore a variety of different career options. With a reputable institution such as St. Bonaventure University, for example, students can major in sports journalism, which might lead them to become an expert interviewer, or get into digital journalism.

Regardless of the avenues you eventually choose when exploring your journalism career, it’s important to reach out to tutors and mentors on your degree program so you know what to expect after you graduate. Your tutors are there to help you, so use their expertise!

Here are a few of the areas you might want to explore once you have the experience and the accolades. The options below are well worth exploring as early on in your degree as possible.

Public relations

Public relations, or PR, is the art of creatively writing to promote brands, people and products. That might be, for example, to sell services or to encourage their adoption. Alternatively, it might be to give a public statement on events that are unfolding in a given industry.

Some PR revolves around creating a copy to announce someone has won an award. Or, you might be representing a famous person who needs to set the record straight on a few rumors in the news!

Regardless, working in PR means you are always on your creative toes. In this line of journalism, the press – and, indeed, the public – will carefully measure every word you use. That doesn’t have to be scary – far from it! In fact, people who write press releases and PR material love the challenge of finding new ways to promote and support their clients.

If you want to explore the PR route in journalism, it’s worth reading up on successful campaigns from the past. Yes, how we view celebrities and public brands is always changing – but the journalistic techniques you’ll pick up on a degree, and sharpen up after graduation, will help you navigate this ever-changing landscape.

PR will take you to some pretty exciting places. You could be working on one account or brand on a Monday and end up having helped to create materials for five or six others by the end of the week. It’s fast-paced, varied and makes full use of your talents.


Broadcasting is a pretty broad umbrella term in and of itself. Generally, it refers to the production of material for broadcast over TV, radio, podcasts and online. A broadcaster might be an investigative journalist, a presenter, a producer, or all of these roles.

Broadcasting can play a role in both entertainment and in delivering information. For example, if you run a podcast about a niche area of politics, or if you’re an interviewer who specializes in talking with unsung heroes in a given industry, you’re broadcasting.

The term “broadcasting” generally means conveying ideas and pushing information into the public domain. If you want to create stories of your own, or want to help other people tell their stories and reach a wider audience, then this career route will likely be very rewarding for you.

As with working in PR, broadcasting avenues can take you into various channels and niches, and there’s no reason to stick to one or two unless you want to specialize. Online broadcasting could take you to multiple podcasts, YouTube channels and content producers. It’s up to you, however, to build your journalistic brand and to seek out opportunities that really appeal to you.

Thankfully, again, brand-building is something you will cover in detail when you start studying for a degree in journalism. Don’t be afraid to take your time poring over broadcasting options when you’re studying, as you might need to make future decisions at pace once you’re in the workforce!


Editing is perhaps even more varied than PR and broadcasting, and it’s just as important.

An editor takes the position of checking information before it’s ready for public consumption. That means, for example, you might be checking through written articles for errors and factual inconsistencies. You might work as a proofreader, reading and making changes to written material to fit the writer’s and the publisher’s purpose and ensure it will make sense to the audience.

However, editing doesn’t stop at print, and it doesn’t always revolve around your own work. You might choose to start editing video content or online material through social channels, for example.

Ultimately, if you have a keen eye for detail and are always picking up on minor details in work you see in the media, this is likely to be an avenue you’ll want to explore. Editing offers some of the most varied work in journalism, as you could be working on a print magazine one day and a YouTube video the next.

Despite the AI revolution that’s currently underway, the media will always need the support of editors. They need people to ensure content looks, reads and conveys information as expected. They want to retain professionalism and make sure people are entertained and informed.

Work can be creative and interesting without editor support, but we all need them to make sure messages get across! It’s common to blend journalistic paths such as content creation and proofreading alongside editing, too – both of which you can also explore when working on a journalism qualification.

Content creation

Content creation is another broad umbrella phrase that, until recent years, could probably be summed up as “writing.” However, with the dawn of new media and the rise of fast-paced online content delivery, content creation is a term that is more fitting for the different roles you’ll take on.

For example, you are not just a content creator if you write articles, but also if you produce scripts for videos, or even if you film those videos – and you’re creating content if you produce infographics and social content for brands online as well.

This is, as you’d expect, one of the most freeing and creative pursuits once you graduate from a journalism qualification. As with the PR and broadcasting career paths, this option will involve working with many different outlets and brands. Therefore, if you love working with words and have plenty to say, this option is worth exploring.

While studying journalism, you’ll get to explore different ways of creating content and adapting your voice for different types of audiences and media. During that time, you’ll get a taste for the types of content you’d like to create.

Therefore, look at your time on a journalism degree as both a learning experience and as an exploration. It’s a great way to flex your creative muscles. If you find you’d prefer to work in more of a supporting role or more behind-the-scenes in a journalistic capacity, that’s entirely your choice!

Again, don’t worry if you’re not sure of the right route to take with your journalism degree right now. There’s time for you to experiment with a range of creative content and platforms before agreeing to take any specific projects or roles.

Communications planning

Communications planners are some of the more unsung heroes of journalism and broadcasting. They often work alongside PR executives to help shape strategies for businesses, brands and public figures. Essentially, a role in communications planning means you’re in the driving seat for deciding how certain messages are conveyed and who works in which capacity.

This is a highly collaborative role, which means you’ll be working with different people in various areas of a business and will brainstorm creative ideas most days of the week. Planning communications is highly effective for brands and businesses as it means they can weather the unpredictability of the media and public opinion from day to day.

You could get into a comms planning role either as part of a private business or on behalf of a PR team. It’s an option worth considering if you’d like to get into creative work that also requires extensive strategizing.

If you’re the sort of content creator and editor who loves to help others and wants to make a genuine difference to the media landscape, this behind-the-scenes role is likely worth exploring. Again, you’ll get the chance to learn more via journalism qualifications.

Market research

There’s a fine line between marketing and journalism nowadays and, for everyone working in the business of broadcasting, market research is key. For example, if you don’t research what your audience wants to see or know, you’re making assumptions about them – and the best content really nails down what they’re looking for when they view that content.

Market research isn’t necessarily a journalistic job on paper, but it’s still a creative pursuit that requires a lot of collaboration and which puts you in touch with the public.

You could research how people feel about a topic or area that your chosen business or brand is involved in, and work with other creators to draft plans of action to help deliver news and entertainment in new and exciting ways.

That means doing plenty of reading and diving into a world of existing content. So, if you’re a voracious reader or want to work more on the human side of journalism, this is absolutely a career path you should consider.


While still highly creative, translation work takes a different approach to the other journalistic routes explored in this guide. When translating material, you don’t necessarily create your own stories or pieces, but instead make sure that other people’s work reads correctly in a different language.

For example, as a journalist working in international news, you could cover a story originally printed in Japanese that needs translation into English for western audiences. That’s going to require knowledge of the language you’re translating from, but also knowledge of journalistic principles.

Some of the nuances in an original Japanese piece might not translate perfectly into English for audiences in the US. There might be cultural differences you need to account for alongside the change of language.

You may need to be highly creative in shaping an existing story for a whole new audience. Does an article for Japanese readers need a whole new spin for readers in the US or Canada? How could you recreate the piece effectively?

This career path, naturally, requires you to be something of a polyglot – you need to speak more than one language! However, provided you have a background in journalism, you’ll already have the skills to work with existing stories and creatively adapt them for new audiences.

It’s a highly lucrative path that’s also very rewarding personally. You get to learn about new cultures and you still get to exercise some creative input – it’s not just reading and rewriting!

As this is a more niche path than the other journalistic routes discussed in this guide, be prepared to take on additional studies – even if it means starting with a language learning app on your phone!


The role of an investigative journalist is a niche worth considering if you have the passion and the confidence to pursue it.

Investigative journalism is all about getting to the heart of matters and covering issues that people genuinely don’t know about but want to understand. For example, you could uncover details on political scandals, entertainment news or information regarding public services that people have a right to know.

Investigative journalism is, by its very nature, very forthright and probing. However, you will still need integrity and to uphold values that you’ll learn about in your journalism degree.

This is a path that’s very exciting for the right types of people. To excel in this realm of journalism, you need to be bold and persistent while, at the same time, you need to know when to stop pursuing certain avenues. This is the perfect route for anyone who cares deeply about protecting the public and making sure people know about things hidden behind closed doors.

As a niche in journalism, you will likely come across investigative projects in your degree. However, it’s recommended you look at the broader job roles and career options available to begin with, and specialize in this area once you enter the workforce. However, now’s the time to read up on the niche and to start honing your skills!

Journalism puts you in contact with the world

Journalism is the art of sending messages to the world that make them think – it’s about creating exciting, informative and entertaining content.

As you can see, you can take many different routes in a journalism career post-qualification. Therefore, as you continue through your journalism degree, feel free to keep your options open!

This is only just scratching the surface, too. Be sure to ask your tutors and course leaders for any career advice they might be able to impart, and always look for mentoring opportunities. Gaining a mentor can be the perfect way to start learning about a journalistic career.

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