Is journalism the best field to pursue after getting a Master’s in Mass Communications?

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The captioned query’s answer is yes – if you decide to specialize in journalism while taking the coursework for a master’s in mass communication. However, there are other areas of emphasis in communications other than journalism. Also, there is a variety of career opportunities with a graduate degree. This article will explore these and some specializations offered at the graduate level. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Types of Communication

In the effort to reach the targeted audience, there are different areas of communication. In turn, there is an array of degrees; for example, the University of Delaware offers a Master of Arts in Strategic Communication. Graduates will be qualified to work in public relations, digital and social media, and corporate communication. Another example is the online Master’s in Strategic Communication and Leadership at Maryville University. There is also the choice of an Emerging and Digital Media sub-specialty in the degree.

The online Master of Science in Communications at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Relations has three specializations:

Advertising: Learn about the creation, planning, and execution of advertising campaigns.

Public Relations:  Learn about the intricacies of handling public relations and forming effective communications.

Journalism:  The coursework covers digital and social media, editing, analyzing information, and delivering news and information.

Is journalism the best field?

The real answer to the question is – it depends on where your interests and career aspirations lie. The answer is subjective. Some students may opt for journalism as their dream job, whereas others see themselves entrenched in digital media or analyzing corporate communications before dissemination to the public or shareholders. Others who embrace technology may prefer to settle into the creativity of digital media.

What is Mass Communication?

It is any form of imparting information through various media types to a large segment of the population. Some of the mediums to transmit the message are newspapers, magazines, brochures, radio, television, social networking, billboards, the internet, and film. The purpose of mass communication varies. Advertising is one type, as are: news reports, social interests, entertainment, knowledge, and more.

Journalism typically involves reporting events through print, newspapers and magazines, television news channels (CNN), radio, e-readers, and cell phones. There are sub-categories, such as investigative journalism that exposes corruption, environmental concerns, health scandals, abuse of power, and similar activity. The journalist feels compelled to reveal something that could be in the public’s best interest to know.

Students interested in investigative journalism would benefit from a program with an emphasis on journalism. The College of Liberal & Applied Arts at Stephen A. Austin University offers a Master of Arts in Mass Communication with three choices:

  • Advertising and Public Relations
  • Broadcasting
  • Journalism

How much can I earn with a degree in Communications?

Journalism does not have the best salary. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for the category of Reports, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts is $46,270. For those applying their mass communications degree for Public Relations, the pay is better at $61,150 (BLS). More optimistic is PayScale‘s mid-career income for a Public Relations Director at $92,200. The same site ranks journalist at #28 of 28 with a mid-career wage of $44,700 – on their list of professions related to communication

There are exceptions to any job group as some are in the stratosphere of the annual salary data. For example, George Stephanopoulos earns $15 million per year as a host on Good Morning America. Anderson Cooper of CNN has a reported income of $12 million per year.

Jobs and more jobs in Communications

Having a degree in mass communications or related field opens up a myriad of possibilities. If you glance at employment sites like Indeed, there are numerous pages of different positions. Some of the titles are:

  • Social Media Specialist
  • Corporate Communication Coordinator
  • Facility Manager of Communications
  • Public Affairs Specialist
  • Public Communications Specialist
  • Marketing Communication Specialist
  • Public Information Officer

The list goes on. What is best for one individual might not be ideal for another. Do you prefer to be the creator of the information or the presenter? Many of these jobs require the skill of public speaking. If that is not for you, then a journalism job or compiling the digital news and information is more suitable. The best area of mass communication is the one that best fits your personality, goals, and comfort zone.

Additional Resources:

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30-36 hours doesn’t seem like much. Can I still work while getting my Master’s in Mass Communication?

What areas fall under the umbrella of Mass Media?

What interpersonal skills should I possess to be successful in pursuing a mass communications degree?

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What Areas of Writing Should I Focus on to Be Successful in Corporate Communications?