Career Advice

5 Alternative Jobs You Can Do With a Journalism Degree

When most people think of a career in journalism, they might imagine a busy newsroom or the anchors on the 6 o’clock news. But degrees in journalism and communications, and experience writing and clearly communicating information, is good for so much more. Below are five other jobs where you can put that education to good use.

Public Relations Associate

There’s a reason so many PR specialists are former journalists: There’s a LOT of overlap between the two jobs.

Public relations is a broad field. You may be coming up with communication and advertisement strategies. You might be event planning or managing a social media presence. You may dabble more in market or public opinion research.

A robust writing portfolio and strong communication skills are an excellent start to a career in public relations. Try doing some research about professional groups of PR specialists, or ask that press secretary you talk to 10 times a week a little bit about their career trajectory to get an idea.

"Communications specialists and journalists are two sides of the same coin."

Blogger

A blogger is someone who writes original content for themselves or a company. Travel bloggers or fashion bloggers who write about their own lives may come to mind, but making a brand and a following for yourself takes time that you might not have.

Fortunately, companies will hire writers to write blogs for their brands. Law firms, recruiters, beauty products, designers — pretty much everyone wants to make sure their website is updated with fresh and engaging content. That’s where you come in.

Social Media Manager

If you're a good writer or editor and have a keen eye for newsworthy topics and trends, this might be the job for you. A background in journalism — where you use social media as both a research tool and a way to promote your own work — likely trained you for this job.

Bonus points if you have experience using analytics to track your posts and inform the types of content you create. If you’re already working in a newsroom, spend some time talking to the digital guru on your team about best practices and try your hand at growing your audience. Then flip that experience into a reason someone should hire you to manage social media for their business.

Communications Specialist

Communications specialists and journalists are two sides of the same coin — journalists collect information, and communications specialists give it out. This job would be an easy transition for any working journalist.

Typical duties include managing public relations, information output, press releases, and social media and/or outside advertising. Nonprofits, trade associations, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies all have communication specialists. The job market for communications specialists is generally strong.

Technical writer

Journalists, who in part make sure to translate jargon and complex topics for a broad audience to understand, are particularly suited for a career in technical writing. These writers prepare manuals and how-to guides so readers can understand difficult information easily.

Technical writers have a competitive advantage if they already know something about the field they want to work in — like engineering or computer science. So if you’re a health reporter and want to become a technical writer, maybe seek out job postings for companies that operate in the healthcare industry.