The ultimate guide to journalism careers

Are you thinking about a career in journalism and wondering what that might look like? The world of journalism is exciting, fast-paced, and always changing. To find success you need to hone your voice and know how to captivate your audience, be curious always, show resilience, and strive to stay ahead.

In this ultimate career guide, we're covering the different roles of a journalist, traditional and emerging industries, salaries, finding a job, and exploring different avenues for journalism graduates in 2024.

Navigate this guide:

  1. What can I do with a journalism degree?
  2. Is a journalism degree worth it?
  3. 10 growing industries to find journalism jobs
  4. 10 traditional industries to find journalism jobs
  5. 15 types of journalist
  6. 10 communication-related careers you can do with a journalism degree
  7. Where can I work?
  8. Typical salaries for journalism graduates
  9. The takeaway
  10. Journalism degrees
  11. Careers Service

What can I do with a journalism degree?

For aspiring journalists, a journalism degree offers numerous opportunities within the media industry. These include roles in news reporting, investigative journalism, and multimedia storytelling. While traditional journalism jobs remain competitive, the industry is evolving. Journalists are discovering exciting opportunities in new and emerging sectors. Businesses and organisations are adapting to the changing media landscape, creating innovative paths for those with a journalism background. This provides the opportunity to leverage your skills to pursue roles across the communications sector and other industries, for example in public relations, content marketing, and social media.

Is a journalism degree worth it?


Choosing a journalism degree isn't just about attending lectures and accumulating knowledge. It's your exclusive ticket to a dynamic world of storytelling. Beyond textbooks and classrooms, it's a backstage pass to unlocking hands-on experiences, making industry-connections, learning in newsrooms, creating your portfolio, and building real-time, practical skills that set you apart in a competitive industry. Choosing to study a journalism degree means not only acquiring up-to-date knowledge from industry experts, but also honing the craft of a master storyteller. In a world where information is power, your degree becomes the ultimate tool, shaping you into the journalist that the future demands. It's not just a degree; it's your launchpad into an exciting and impactful career.

Did you know our BA Multimedia Journalism degree is accredited by the NCTJ?


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10 growing industries to find journalism jobs

With the continued growth of digital platforms, exciting opportunities to work within this area are becoming more mainstream.

Here are 10 growing industries to explore:

  1. Digital media and online platforms
  2. Podcasts and audio
  3. Humanitarian and environmental agencies
  4. Social media influencing
  5. Entrepreneurship
  6. Political Communication
  7. Advertising
  8. Public relations and corporate communications
  9. Data and analytics
  10. Health and wellbeing

10 traditional industries to find journalism jobs

Despite the growth of all things digital, traditional journalism careers remain competitive.

Here are 10 traditional industries to explore:

  1. Print journalism
  2. Broadcast journalism
  3. News agencies
  4. Travel journalism
  5. Politics
  6. Business
  7. Magazine journalism
  8. Photojournalism
  9. Feature writing
  10. Editorial

15 types of journalist

There are many types of journalists working professionally, across diferent fields. Here's a look at 15 different types of journalists, and what the roles might involve.

  • News reporters cover current events and deliver unbiased information to the public.
  • Multimedia journalists use various forms of media – text, images, and video – to convey stories that resonate with today's diverse audience.
  • Investigative journalists dive deep into stories, uncover hidden truths, and be the voice for change.
  • Broadcast journalists transform news into engaging narratives, using visuals and relatable stories to connect with a generation always on the move.
  • Data journalists crunch the numbers and turn complex data into stories that captivate and inform.
  • Political correspondents specialise in covering political events, decoding policies, and informing the public of government activities.
  • Travel writers both employed or as freelance influencers, specialise in researching, writing, and presenting travel content to diverse audiences.
  • Technology journalists explore the latest tech trends, innovations, and their impact on our world.
  • Business correspondents cover financial news, market trends, and corporate developments with a fresh perspective.
  • Environmental journalists shed light on sustainability, climate change, and environmental policies, inspiring positive action.
  • Community news editors are responsible for local news, sharing community stories, and are the voice of what's happening around your area.
  • Editorial writers express their opinions on various topics, contributing to the ongoing conversations of our time.
  • Social media journalists create content specifically for social media platforms, engaging with audiences directly and driving business growth.
  • Broadcast producers oversee the creation of news programmes on TV, radio, podcasts, and digital streaming sites ensuring each story resonates with the audience.
  • Photojournalists tell stories through images, capturing the essence of events and issues.

As a graduate, your degree opens doors to a world of possibilities, far beyond a career solely in journalism. The skills you acquire, from breaking down complex information to effective communication and adaptability, hold immense value across many industries, especially in the communication sector. Whether you find yourself crafting compelling narratives in marketing, conducting thorough research in business, or venturing into entrepreneurship, your journalism skills are invaluable assets that offer the potential to explore many different career paths.

Here's some ideas of roles you can apply for with a background in journalism:

  1. Social media manager: create captivating narratives for Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms to engage and grow a digital audience.
  2. Digital marketing specialist: build digital marketing campaigns, and creating compelling content.
  3. Branding strategist: create and maintain a brand's narrative, ensuring consistency across different communication channels.
  4. SEO specialist: optimise online content for search engines, enhancing visibility and reach.
  5. Influencer marketing coordinator: collaborate with brands and influencers, using storytelling to create authentic and relatable promotional content.
  6. Digital editor: oversee digital content production, ensuring quality and relevance for the target audience.
  7. Email marketing coordinator: design and implement email campaigns, using storytelling techniques to enhance engagement and drive business growth
  8. Public relations specialist: manage public relations strategies, including crafting press releases and managing media relations.
  9. Podcast producer: plan, produce, and edit podcast content on platforms like Spotify or Apple Podcasts, exploring diverse topics and storytelling formats.
  10. Digital content marketer: develop and implement content strategies across online platforms, using storytelling to connect with target audiences and drive engagement.

Where can I work?

With a journalism degree, you could explore a career working for print newspapers and their digital counterparts as a travel, politics, or fashion specialist. You could apply to work for your favourite radio station, either as their in-house news reader, as a producer, or their dedicated film reviewer. If you want to travel and explore being an international journalist, you could consider applying for a global news organisation like the BBC.

Other companies that you could consider include:

Publication and editorial houses

  1. Conde Nast
  2. Hearst Magazines
  3. Penguin Random House
  4. HarperCollins

Online news and content platforms

  1. Forbes
  2. HuffPost UK
  3. The DoDo
  4. Refinery29
  5. The Times and The Sunday Times

Think about where you enjoy reading or watching the headlines, or keeping up to date with current affairs, and ongoing trends. Whether your interests are digital media, film and television, politics, current affairs, travel, fashion, business and entrepreneurshiup, anywhere that you consume content or news, is an opportunity for journalism graduates to seek employment, or consider a freelance route.

Typical salaries for journalism graduates

According to UCAS, 94% of graduates are in work or further study within six months, earning an average of £18k as a starting salary. The best way to see the going-rates for jobs is to visit job sites and have a look at the vacancies. It's also a good way to see the variation of roles and keep an eye out for something that might interest you.

Here's a list to get you started:

  1. The Guardian
  2. Press Gazette
  4. Hold The Front Page
  5. Mediabeans
  6. Cision
  7. Fashion Workie
  8. Arts Council England
  9. Creative Access
  10. Journoresources
  11. Creative Lives in Progress
  12. I Like Networking
  13. International Journalists Network
  14. If You Could
  15. Talent Hub Resourcing
  16. The-dots
  17. Charity Job
  18. Indeed
  19. Total Jobs
  20. LinkedIn

The takeaway

A journalism degree opens many opportunities for you to explore exciting careers in journalism and across other sectors. With your skills in effective communication, research, and storytelling, you can pursue a future in any field, whether it's travel, fashion, business, politics, human rights, or sustainability. Wherever your dreams lead you, embrace the possibilities and carve out a path that aligns with your interests. Your journalism degree is not just a qualification; it's a gateway to a dynamic and impactful career in the world of media and communication.

Journalism degrees

Careers Service

At Essex, it's our mission to develop your employability skills throughout your degree, ensuring that when it's time to walk across that stage and throw your graduation cap in the air, you're feeling confident and prepared with your next steps toward your future. From careers events, building a solid plan, finding a job, getting interview support, networking, and maximising your potential, all the support and guidance you need is right on your doorstep, and we're so excited to lead the way.


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