There’s reason for recent graduates and college seniors majoring in journalism and communications to be optimistic. The job market for them is improving.
According to an annual study from the University of Georgia
, 2011 graduates in this field were “more likely to report having a job upon graduation, more likely to report having a full-time job, and more likely to be working in communication than were graduates a year earlier.”
Women reported higher rates of employment than men—a consistent trend year over year, according to the study’s authors. But in 2011, the difference was more pronounced, because “women are more likely to specialize in advertising and public relations than are men.”
The job market among PR and advertising grads is better than those who tend toward journalism, the study said. According to the authors:
“Graduates who had concentrated in public relations reported a comparable level of full-time employment to those in advertising, but for the public relations students, the market in 2011 was better than a year earlier. As in the past, it was better to be an advertising or public relations graduate in 2011 than a graduate in print journalism or telecommunications.”
Full-time jobs for graduates studying “news-editorial journalism,” which the study described as traditional print-based journalism, saw a “hefty increase” compared with a year earlier. “But the previous year had been a disastrous one, and the level of employment remains low in historic terms,” the study said.
Two-thirds of graduates finding work said their jobs involved writing for the Web, a comparable number compared to 2010.
Salaries among graduates with full-time jobs are also up, though the study notes that once the paychecks are adjusted for inflation, the gains in pay are modest. In fact, the study says 2011 graduates are earning less in inflation-adjusted dollars than those who received their diplomas in 2006.
The study found that the median fulltime salary of graduates with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and communication is $31,000, a boost from $30,000 in 2010, the study said. Graduates with master’s degrees reported median salaries of $40,000, up from $36,200 the previous year.
Those who found a job in advertising reported average salaries that were $1,000 higher than the previous year. Salaries for grads landing jobs in PR were nearly the same, according to the study.
Graduates who found fulltime jobs in newspapers, magazines, radio, and broadcast TV reported salaries that were below the median earned by graduates overall. Those with jobs in cable had salaries at the median. Grads with jobs in PR, advertising, specialized publishing, and online publisher were above the median.
The study by the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research at the University of Georgia surveyed 2,195 bachelor and master degree recipients in journalism and mass communication.