UGA's Cox Center finds job market recovery continues for journalism and mass communication graduates

Athens, Ga. -- Improvements in the job market continued in 2005 for journalism and mass communication graduates according to findings just released by the University of Georgia's James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research.

Data from the Cox Center's Annual Survey of Journalism and Mass Communication Graduates found that 2005 journalism and mass communication bachelor's degree recipients were more likely to have at least one in-person job interview, had more job offers on graduation, and were more likely to actually land a full-time job than were 2004 graduates.

"Job prospects for journalism and mass communication graduates are up for the second straight year," said Lee B. Becker, director of the Cox Center and professor of journalism in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. "We saw improvement not only for bachelor's degree recipients but also for those who earned a master's degree from journalism and mass communication programs."

Becker has directed the Annual Survey of Journalism and Mass Communication Graduates since 1988. It is designed to monitor the employment rates and salaries of graduates of journalism and mass communication programs in the United States, including Puerto Rico.

Job market improvements for 2005 journalism and mass communication graduates cut across all industry segments, however the market remains weaker for graduates specializing in telecommunications than for graduates in print journalism, public relations or advertising. Women enjoyed more success in the job market in 2005; minorities enjoyed less. "All of these findings are continuations of long-standing trends in the field," noted Becker.

While the 2005 trend is positive for the future, it remains behind what the job market was in 2000 – the year that represents the most favorable market for graduates in the last 20 years. Becker also cautioned that weaknesses in the overall economy can certainly reverse the market recovery patterns.

Salaries increased for both the 2005 bachelor's and master's degree graduates. Inflation, however, took a heavy toll with bachelor's degree recipients in 2005 earning nearly the same amount in inflation-adjusted dollars as 1988 graduates.

Job satisfaction increased in 2005, both for those in full-time and part-time positions. "Graduates reported being satisfied with their jobs, with their employers, and with their decision to study journalism and mass communication in the first place," noted Becker.

While the media were filled with negative reports in 2005 and early 2006 about the decline of the traditional media industries and about the poor prospects for those working in these industries, journalism and mass communication graduates don't seem to buy the predictions. "For the most part, they seem to think existing media industries will survive, though they will look different. The graduates, who themselves are more likely to have read news online the day before completing the survey than to have read it in a newspaper or magazine, think that most people will get their news from the Internet in the future," Becker said.

Although the graduates are not certain that jobs will increase in the field, they do feel confident that people with the kind of skills they acquired in college will have success in the job market in the future.

Conducted every five years, the Cox Center's 2005 Survey of Editors and News Directors found that journalism and mass communication graduates made up 85% of those hired directly from college by the daily newspaper industry; that figure is up from 78% five years ago and is nearly as high as it has been back through 1970.

Television newsrooms hired more than nine in 10 of its college hires from journalism and mass communication programs, a figure that has not varied in any significant way since 1990. In radio news, journalism majors also made up nine in 10 of the hires directly out of college, a ratio that increased from five years ago.

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Both Cox Center reports containing 2005 figures for employment levels, benefits and salaries are available at www.grady.edu.edu/annualsurveys.

The Annual Survey of Journalism and Mass Communication Graduates has operated at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication since September 1997.

Established in 1915, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication provides seven undergraduate majors including advertising, broadcast news, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and telecommunication arts. The college offers two graduate degrees, and is home to the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism and the Peabody Awards, considered the electronic broadcasting industry's most prestigious prize. For more information, visit www.grady.uga.edu.

For additional information on the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, visit www.grady.edu.edu/coxcenter.


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