By Chandra Turner
#1: That’s where Journalism fell on the list of the most regretted college majors, according to a new ZipRecruiter survey.
I was a journalism major. I’m betting that a lot of you reading this were too. Like many of you, I segued out of traditional media as a matter of survival. But this stat still stings. It hurts that recent grads regret their journalism degrees. I don’t fault them; they probably fear their skills are not valued in the world. But I beg to differ. …
After all the shuttered publications, the rounds of layoffs, the declining salaries, and the bad rap that the profession gets these days, I am still glad I chose journalism. (And my second major in sociology — #2 on the list!) In fact, I still very much identify as an editor after leaving traditional media more than five years ago following a 20+ year career in magazines. The skills that I learned as a journalist, and my experiences as an editor, have brought me where I am today.
Yes, I recognize that the irony is rich: After all, I have built a second career on helping people transition out of traditional media. But what I have found is the skillset they earned as a journalist is what makes them uniquely valuable to the rest of the corporate world. When companies come to me as a recruiter, they come because they want that editorial magic, that authentic storytelling that doesn’t come from business school, a marketing degree, or working in PR. They want someone hungry and curious, who can write authentically, with truth, and connect with an audience. (Need more convincing? Follow #editorsmakethebesthires!)
We need journalists. And we need journalism majors. We need people who are trained to tell the truth, to tell the untold stories, and to uncover the injustices in the world. That extends beyond the needs of companies and brands — it’s fundamental to our society, to democracy. I won’t get off on that tangent, but let the thought sink in. Imagine a world without trained journalists.
So for those of you recent grads out there with journalism degrees: Good for you! Be proud of your BA’J! You have more to offer the world than you may think. And reach out to me; I might have a job for you.
Would you recommend recent graduates to go into media?
That’s one of many questions I ask editors in my 2022 State of Content Survey about what it’s like to work in content right now. (You could win a $100 Visa gift card!)