A degree in Journalism or Mass Communication?

Journalism and media studies in recent years have become quite attractive to students because of the creative job opportunities they offer.

The trend also probably has a lot to do with digital and social media becoming so accessible and assuming such a big role in the average person’s life. This outlet offers opportunities that didn’t exist before. It tells you that if you just acquire the right tools, the world is your oyster. And it’s not wrong either.

But which tools do you need? And do you need a degree to make it in these fields? Let’s dissect these questions.

Given below is a list of some of the courses that are taught in a degree dedicated purely to journalism. They will usually include:

  1. Sub editing
  2. Press History
  3. Reporting
  4. Communication Skills, etc.

Another option is to get a degree in Mass Communication. Let’s take a look at the courses offered in this degree:

  1. Pre-production techniques
  2. Broadcast journalism
  3. News writing and editing
  4. Fundamentals of Advertising
  5. Post production
  6. Film theory and criticism
  7. Photography

And the list goes on.

Comparing the two you can see that one is focused on the field of journalism only and the other is a more expansive study of mass media.

It is a matter of understanding what a degree in each will entail as well as offer, in terms of career opportunities, to the student.

If journalism is the only field that interests you then looking for a dedicated degree will serve you best. However, a degree in Mass Communication will suffice to open doors to a job in the field of journalism for you, but at the same time teach you other skills. These skills such as to understand the pre-production and post-production stages and advertising etc. will only serve as further feathers in your cap.

This is not definitive advice though, of course. It is completely your call and depends on your preferences and method of working. Ask yourself whether you want to focus on one thing or keep multiple options open?

As for whether or not you need these degrees to work in media, not necessarily. It is only necessary if are genuinely interested in understanding and mastering it. And it will also serve as your ticket into this world.

A lot of people are doing jobs that are completely unrelated to their degrees, so those who want to make it will do it one way or the other, especially in the field of media which is fairly accepting.

However, these people will not necessarily have taken the traditional route that consists of interning at an organization, then getting a job based on your CV and experience and climb up the ladder. To go the traditional route you will most likely need a degree.

With all these options in mind it comes down to what your style of study and career aspirations are. Good luck!