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Online Journalism Degree

There will always be a need for good journalists. Reason is the world needs to know what’s happening and how it’s going to affect them. If you think you are cut out for a career in journalism, you will need to do your homework to find the best journalism degree that will help you meet your career goals. Depending on your needs, you can either go for an on-campus degree program or an online journalism degree. If you want to find out more about journalism degrees before making the final decision, you can get some key information below.

Online Journalism Degrees

A variety of online schools offer journalism degrees. However, it is important for you to select a degree that is approved by a recognized accrediting agency. The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) accredits journalism and mass communication programs. It ensures that the journalism degree programs meet acceptable quality standards and your degree will be acceptable to future employers. Following are some of the major degree levels offered in online journalism degrees.


Online Associate Degree in Journalism

With an online associate degree, you will prepare yourself for different careers in media. You will acquire the knowledge and skills to work for television, radio, and newspapers. Besides, you will also be trained to pursue a role in social media and online reporting. The major focus of an associate degree is to train students to have excellent communication skills. Students are expected to write critically and demonstrate effective communication skills in various situations, so that they can acquire entry level positions available in the field of journalism. If you want to get admission in an online associate degree in journalism, you will need a high school diploma or GED. Although, coursework can differ depending on the institute you select, some of the major courses offered in the field are:

  • Media and Ethics
  • Writing and Communication
  • Advertizing
  • Marketing
  • Public Relations

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism

The bachelor’s degree in journalism is a comprehensive four year program which will prepare you to have a career in print, broadcast, and online journalism. In the first two years of the program, the focus is on liberal arts courses.  However, in the next two years students take courses that are more in line with their major. Admission requirements for the degree include a high school diploma or GED. In addition, schools may require reference letters and application essays to check the suitability of applicants. Applicants may also be required to submit their SAT or ACT scores, depending on the school they select. Since the bachelor’s degree is a relatively advanced degree, it is likely to equip students with skills in research, writing, and communication. The coursework will include both foundation and advanced courses. Some of the courses offered in the degree are:

  • Writing Techniques
  • Reporting Techniques
  • Ethics of Reporting
  • Web Development
  • Photo and Video Editing

Online Master’s Degree in Journalism

The purpose of a master’s degree in journalism is to allow students to focus on a particular area of study and acquire additional skills. The degree enables students to enhance their critical thinking skills and broaden their horizons in different situations related to journalism. As a master’s degree student, you can opt for different areas of concentration such as media management, interactive media, and strategic communication. Some schools also offer concentrations in very specific areas such as arts and culture and politics. Applicants need to have a bachelor’s degree to apply for a master’s degree program. Other admission requirements include a writing sample or essay, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation. Although, coursework can differ depending on the school you select, some of the major courses offered in the degree include:

  • Technology and the Media
  • Advertizing and Society
  • Public Opinion Research
  • Literary Journalism
  • Visual Communication

How to Select an Online Journalism Degree?

If you wish to enroll in a suitable online journalism program, you will need to take the following steps:

  • Make a list of accredited online programs that offer degrees in journalism.
  • Select a degree level and study the coursework offered by different journalism schools.
  • Find out about the admission requirements, tuition costs, and instruction methods of your preferred school.
  • See if the journalism programs are entirely online or provide hybrid education. Shortlist programs that offer your preferred method of instruction.
  • Learn about the overall repute of your preferred schools and also get alumni feedback to see if the school will be suitable for you.
  • Select a school that provides quality education, meets your coursework requirements, offers convenience and flexibility, and is also affordable for you.

Journalism Careers

Many students tend to expect traditional careers after completing their journalism degree. They are expecting to work as newspaper, magazine, or television reporters but there are a wide variety of other fields waiting for them. Following are some of the popular careers that journalism graduates can pursue.


News Analysts
New analysts work side by side with editors. They suggest trending topics to journalists and help them see the bigger picture of a topic or story. They also help newspapers and news programs produce interesting content. News analysts also write columns and appear on news programs to share their insight and analysis of current events. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts made an annual median salary of $37,090 in 2012.

Editors check the content submitted by writers and reporters. They also make sure that the finished work meets the standards and is free from all kinds of errors. Besides checking the work of writers and reporters, editors may submit their own stories or articles for publication. As the media is continuously expanding, there is a growing need for editors for online newspapers and magazines. BLS states that editors made an annual median salary of $53,880 in 2012.

PR Specialists
The job of PR Specialists is to manage the publicity of businesses, corporations, and individuals. Many public relation specialists work with multiple clients. Their key function is to represent an individual, business, or an organization in a positive light. They usually enable press coverage and act as a link between media, clients, and the public. Major duties of PR specialists include managing campaigns, performing different PR functions, and writing press releases. According to BLS, public relation specialists earned an annual median salary of $54,170 in 2012.

Personality Traits and Skills for Journalists

  • Creative
  • Outgoing
  • Courage and initiative
  • Attention to detail
  • Analytical
  • Public speaking skills
  • Writing skills
  • Problem solving skills


States with the highest employment level in this occupation:



Employment per thousand jobs

Location quotient

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

California 16600.111.2618.1337720
Florida 11300.141.6817.9737370
Illinois 9600.161.9217.937240
Texas 7600.070.7816.6234570
New York 6500.070.8520.1241840


Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:Journalism masters programs are designed for what purpose?

A:A masters degree in journalism is a two-year graduate degree designed to prepare students for professional roles in the field of media and journalism. The program will help students develop strong writing and reporting skills. Students will cover different topics in the program. These may include: ethics in journalism, video journalism, entrepreneurial journalism, multimedia storytelling, and data reporting.

Q:Can I work as a reporter with a bachelor of journalism degree?

A:Yes, you may qualify for the role as a reporter with this qualification. You can apply to different news reporting agencies. Your basic job duties will include: researching topics for news, review and editing articles for media, interviewing people for news, etc. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014, reporters and correspondents made a median annual income of $36,000.

Q:With an associates degree in journalism, what areas can I look for jobs in?

A:An associate degree in journalism can help you qualify for jobs at entry-level. You can consider working in areas such as the following: social media, newsroom reporting, copy writing, advertising photojournalism, fashion and sports journalism, and more. To qualify for advanced jobs in journalism, you may need a bachelor or masters-level degree.

Q:What courses are covered in a journalism certificate program?

A:In a journalism certificate program, you will be required to cover a range of topics relevant to the field. The curriculum may vary slightly from place to place. Some of the topics include: reporting and writing, investigative reporting techniques, media law and ethics, social media and community engagement, writing for advocacy, narrative journalism, and more.

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