Have you always harbored a personal passion for true stories? Do you have a fascination to the point of distraction for current events? Does a fast-paced, high-pressure work online journal environment loaded with ever-looming deadlines appeal to your inherently hectic nature?
If so, a journalism career could be the perfect angle for your expose into occupational options. This exciting field is filled with opportunities to showcase and exhibit your aptitude from any slant. Sit still for a just a moment and raptly review the aptly exciting job options offered by an online journalism degree. Class has officially started.
Start with self-assessment
As with any worthwhile journey, a journalism career must be well-planned with thorough thought given to all sides of the story. Set aside a brief interlude with your pad and pen. List all pertinent personal strengths and talents. Identify the ones that make you especially well-suited for this exciting career.
Next, delineate your resources realistically. This exercise is highly individualized as everyone’s circumstances differ drastically. Can you devote enough time to your studies? Do you have sufficient fiscal fitness to foot your educational bills? After adequately developing this data, you may proceed to flesh out the full details of the story.
Investigate all sources
Having pared down the possibilities, take a comprehensive look into online journalism degree offerings. Conduct a search engine query to find cyberspace-based schools that feature your desired subspecialty. Different career paths demand different levels of learning.
If you desire the position of editor or report for a newspaper, magazine, or television station, a bachelor’s degree will almost certainly be required. Although a Journalism major is generally preferred, related disciplines are often desirable. Degrees in technical fields, the social sciences, History, or English are also very common among journalists. Their broad applicability to many news subjects makes for easy applicability to informational applications.
Before proceeding with enrollment, insure that your chosen school is accredited. The institution should be regionally accredited by one of the six accrediting agencies officially recognized by the US Dept. of Education.
All of the top schools of journalism have accreditation from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC). Currently, there is about 113 schools that carry this distinction. Relatively few ACEJMC-accredited programs offer online study. Make sure that any online journalism degree program you are contemplating is ACEJMC-accredited.
Roll up your sleeves
A sine qua non for Journalism majors is internship. These practical training forays are essential to develop the requisite portfolios that prospective employers request.
For print journalists, common portfolio components will include newspaper clippings, magazine articles, or periodical columns.
For those seeking a career in Broadcast Journalism, video media samples or you delivering a story on camera are appropriate. Non-conventional information delivery modes fall within the Journalism field as well.
Internet bloggers and website developers are prime examples. Even online advertising agents now constitute a specialized niche within the journalism profession. These folks will need to provide extensive curricula vitae of URLs, software expertise, and content samples for perusal by prospective employers.
Alternate routes to success
If you cannot launch full-blown bachelor’s-level studies, an associate’s degree in Journalism is a very viable option. Many local community colleges offer Journalism degrees at the associate’s level. As of late, these courses are being more frequently offered in exclusive online formats.
Even if classes are not entirely virtual, you may be able to enroll in a “hybrid” class that is primarily online and requires only sporadic or occasional physical attendance. This typically occurs once or twice per semester for short workshops or administration of final exams.