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Journalism - JOBS. Cause we all know it's a competitive career.

A photo of chikaaa15 chikaaa15
Hey guys,

So I've applied to both UofT Journalism, and Ryerson's Journalism courses.
Doing some research and speaking to people has given me a new understanding that this industry is a competitive one, and it's not as easy to get to the top as it appears to be.

Noticing the wave of aspiring journalists on this forum, I'd like to pose the question to all of you journalism/broadcasting/communications future students: What do you think the likelihood of you gaining a decent and respectable career when you finish your 4 (or however many) years you are in school?

Thought about it? Ideas, thoughts, concerns?

Please share. :)
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A photo of colakid123 colakid123
I'm probably not the person you want to hear from, but I actually opted out of Journalism (at least for an undergrad) for this reason. Journalists come from a variety of backgrounds and when you have a journalism degree only, it might be limiting.

Also, the people telling me I was "wasting my potential" or that my marks were "too good for journalism" made me antsy. So I'm going into business for now and then I'll see what happens.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
I also opted out of Journalism recently, choosing McGill arts over Carleton Journalism (despite the fact that it's supposedly a great program). I still think I'll end up in journalism as a graduate program, but colakid's right- a Journalism degree (in undergrad) can be really limiting. As for its competitiveness, I do think print journalism is slowly dying out- but I don't think the field itself is dying or even too challenging to get into. There's never going to be a shortage of the need for communication, whatever its form. I think it's changing, though-- online more than on paper.
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A photo of halestorm29 halestorm29

@tgruber wrote
I also opted out of Journalism recently, choosing McGill arts over Carleton Journalism (despite the fact that it's supposedly a great program). I still think I'll end up in journalism as a graduate program, but colakid's right- a Journalism degree (in undergrad) can be really limiting. As for its competitiveness, I do think print journalism is slowly dying out- but I don't think the field itself is dying or even too challenging to get into. There's never going to be a shortage of the need for communication, whatever its form. I think it's changing, though-- online more than on paper.



Hi tgruber,
I'm considering taking McGill Arts as well. I'm interested in journalism as well as media/communication studies, are there any majors/minors that you are contemplating, or have decided on? I'm not sure myself :S I was thinking English, or perhaps Cultural Studies. I'd love your input!
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A photo of colakid123 colakid123


I was really, really considering McGill Arts until I had the "what am I going to do with an arts degree?" inner conflict. I decided to go to the only business program I applied to (at McGill), but if I don't like it, I'll end up in arts.

Journalism's really tough, and while not having my first choice career/degree might hurt my happiness a little,I think the lack of job prospects and financial stability would hurt it more. If you're more of a risk taker or relying less on the money, go for it, but I decided it wasn't worth it for me.
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A photo of halestorm29 halestorm29

@colakid123 wrote
tgruber, I didn't know you were considering Carleton journalism, so was I. btw, I'm the person you know from Explore and creeped you about this forum on facebook, lol.

I was really, really considering McGill Arts until I had the "what am I going to do with an arts degree?" inner conflict. I decided to go to the only business program I applied to (at McGill), but if I don't like it, I'll end up in arts.

Journalism's really tough, and while not having my first choice career/degree might hurt my happiness a little,I think the lack of job prospects and financial stability would hurt it more. If you're more of a risk taker or relying less on the money, go for it, but I decided it wasn't worth it for me.




McGill Commerce was actually my first choice, but I'm suspecting that I won't get in with my grades. So I've decided that I think I will go into McGill Arts, possibly try to transfer to Desautels after first year, otherwise I can do graduate studies somewhere. And after 2+ years of work experience, I could always get my MBA somewhere as well! So I feel more comfortable that way :)
I'm not even sure that I want to go into commerce, the one think I'm interested is in marketing, but I feel like I'm more attracted to the creative side of it.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous

@halestorm29 wrote

@tgruber wrote
I also opted out of Journalism recently, choosing McGill arts over Carleton Journalism (despite the fact that it's supposedly a great program). I still think I'll end up in journalism as a graduate program, but colakid's right- a Journalism degree (in undergrad) can be really limiting. As for its competitiveness, I do think print journalism is slowly dying out- but I don't think the field itself is dying or even too challenging to get into. There's never going to be a shortage of the need for communication, whatever its form. I think it's changing, though-- online more than on paper.



Hi tgruber,
I'm considering taking McGill Arts as well. I'm interested in journalism as well as media/communication studies, are there any majors/minors that you are contemplating, or have decided on? I'm not sure myself :S I was thinking English, or perhaps Cultural Studies. I'd love your input!




I've heard that Cultural Studies is the closes program McGill has to journalism, but a major reason I chose McGill was because I decided it would be more beneficial to expand my knowledge of the world before diving straight into journalism. Right now I'm thinking of polisci or international relations for undergrad and then doing journalism in grad school, but I might end up changing my mind and going for Cultural Studies. What's your other choice (for school)?
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A photo of cdkpsa cdkpsa
Getting a degree in journalism is helpful if you know you want to pursue a career in the media field. I was toying around with the idea of accepting another offer from Queen's Arts, but ultimately decided to pick Ryerson because I'm hoping to get into the advertising industry (creative type stuff, like copywriting), but since it's a tough market I could also try my luck in PR, editing, etc., and I think a degree in journalism will be more helpful to me than a BA. Of course, I'm worried there won't be a demand for these jobs in four years and I'll end up blogging for MySpace news or something, but I spoke to a guidance counsellor and they told me that a journalism degree, especially from Ryerson, can open a lot of doors in media/communications, it just takes time to find the right job. (Also, I'm hoping the baby boomers retire by then. :rabbit:)
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A photo of halestorm29 halestorm29
[quote=tgruber]
@halestorm29 wrote

@tgruber wrote
I also opted out of Journalism recently, choosing McGill arts over Carleton Journalism (despite the fact that it's supposedly a great program). I still think I'll end up in journalism as a graduate program, but colakid's right- a Journalism degree (in undergrad) can be really limiting. As for its competitiveness, I do think print journalism is slowly dying out- but I don't think the field itself is dying or even too challenging to get into. There's never going to be a shortage of the need for communication, whatever its form. I think it's changing, though-- online more than on paper.



Hi tgruber,
I'm considering taking McGill Arts as well. I'm interested in journalism as well as media/communication studies, are there any majors/minors that you are contemplating, or have decided on? I'm not sure myself :S I was thinking English, or perhaps Cultural Studies. I'd love your input!



I think that Cultural Studies would be good for me, as I can always take electives that interest me outside of the media/communications world and can minor in something else as well. I also applied to UWO for Media, Information and Technoculture, and Richard Ivey. I got into Ivey but not MIT yet, haha. I applied to Queen's Commerce (nothing yet), and Queen's Arts, which I got into. I'm not really interested in Queen's. It's between UWO and McGill for me, McGill's definitely winning though :) What about you?
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A photo of halestorm29 halestorm29

@cdkpsa wrote
Getting a degree in journalism is helpful if you know you want to pursue a career in the media field. I was toying around with the idea of accepting another offer from Queen's Arts, but ultimately decided to pick Ryerson because I'm hoping to get into the advertising industry (creative type stuff, like copywriting), but since it's a tough market I could also try my luck in PR, editing, etc., and I think a degree in journalism will be more helpful to me than a BA. Of course, I'm worried there won't be a demand for these jobs in four years and I'll end up blogging for MySpace news or something, but I spoke to a guidance counsellor and they told me that a journalism degree, especially from Ryerson, can open a lot of doors in media/communications, it just takes time to find the right job. (Also, I'm hoping the baby boomers retire by then. :rabbit:)



I'm hoping to get into pretty much the same field as you. I think it's weird that your guidance counsellor would recommend a more specific program for you, as more vague ones like a BA are definitely safer, but maybe they're right about it opening more doors in media/communications. I like to keep all of my doors open though, just in case :) Have fun at Ryerson! I'm hoping to get all of my offers/rejections soon, so I can make up my mind and get excited for where I'm going!
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A photo of chloeschmoe chloeschmoe

@chikaaa15 wrote
Hey guys,

So I've applied to both UofT Journalism, and Ryerson's Journalism courses.
Doing some research and speaking to people has given me a new understanding that this industry is a competitive one, and it's not as easy to get to the top as it appears to be.

Noticing the wave of aspiring journalists on this forum, I'd like to pose the question to all of you journalism/broadcasting/communications future students: What do you think the likelihood of you gaining a decent and respectable career when you finish your 4 (or however many) years you are in school?

Thought about it? Ideas, thoughts, concerns?

Please share. :)



I applied and got into UTSC and Ryerson journalism too, but I'm going to U of T St. George for International Relations instead. Journalism is a very competitive industry, and after talking to one of my teachers (who went to Ryerson and ended up at my school - go figure) and my friend's cousin (who currently goes to Ryerson), I've found that it really is hard to get a stable income or find a regular job when you're a journalist. Granted, there is that feeling of personal satisfaction (ie. doing what you love to do) but it often means staying up at ungodly hours to meet deadlines and not knowing where you'll be getting your next paycheck from (or, in my teacher's case, being stuck in front of a computer for eight hours a day watching news clips) ... it's tough, but if you have the passion, then go for it!

As for me, I've decided to pursue International Relations because I'm interested in social issues (and quite frankly anyone can be a journalist these days as long as they can write and argue well, and know how to use media). Broadcasting is different, though - you really do need training so I think there's a better chance of getting a decent and respectable career if you graduate with a BA in broadcasting :)
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
It strikes me as odd that "competitiveness" and "difficulty getting to the top" are reasons that students frequently cite when they reject a certain career path. I would say it's difficult to climb to the top in every industry, even if some are harder to do so than others. If you want it badly enough, you'll eventually get there.

I've also heard from successful journalists that you'll be more marketable if you have a background in history, economics and poli sci. Basically, it's good to be well-rounded in your education, so that you'll be in a good position to report, interpret and analyze current events. I'm currently working with a professional journalist right now, and her advice to any aspiring journalists is to take the initiative if you have a good idea and to not be afraid of rejection. I think this advice holds true no matter which career you pursue. Apply for internships, ask around for opportunities, and seize any you can get early in your undergrad. Good luck!
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