Updated on Friday 1 March 2013
International students looking to enter the journalism industry should be aware of two things: the good and the bad news about journalism jobs.
The bad news: the job market is tough. The economy is suffering and print journalism is on the decline. This is evident in every newsroom across the country. Readership is down, circulation is down, and journalists are hurting for jobs.
That being said, it doesn't mean the journalism industry is dying. But it is changing.
Now on to the good news: the Internet has (and still is) giving the industry new life and new jobs. So where previous graduates would have found jobs as newspaper reporters; current graduates might find jobs as bloggers, content writers, or reporters for online newspapers and magazines.
We are in hard economic times, but the journalism industry (and journalism jobs) will never disappear. There will always be news, there will always be a public eager to read the news, and there will always be work for those who write the news. Careers in journalism might be harder to get at the moment, but they are still out there.
International students searching for careers in journalism may want to consider a few things. A bachelor's degree is the average basic requirement. Common majors for journalists are of course journalism, but can also include communications, English literature, and creative writing. It's not necessary to major in journalism to find journalism jobs, but it is a benefit. Employers expect that a journalism graduate will know the basics of the job and need less training and supervision then a graduate from another major.
Employers will also want to see clips, or writing samples. These need to be translated into English if the originals are in another language. International students attending journalism school in the US should have plenty of opportunities to write for campus newspapers, magazines, radio stations or broadcast stations and a long stack of clips ready once it comes time to apply for jobs. This is also advantageous for job applicants from other majors—while not specifically educated in journalism, having clips from a school newspaper demonstrates some level of experience.
And experience is the magic word. Nothing helps graduates jumpstart careers in journalism than experience. Job applicants with work experience will be more appealing to employers. This may start in college at the school newspaper, but it's also important to seek out internships. Some journalism schools require their students to complete an internship in the field before graduation. If not, international students may want to find a summer internship (or if that's not an option) one that can be completed during the school year.
So what jobs can you expect to find? See below for information on just a few of the many careers in journalism:
Additionally, not all journalism graduates stay in traditional journalism careers. The skills graduates acquire in journalism school are also applicable in advertising, public relations, and publishing.