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Journalism School


Disadvantages of J-School:

The big downside to J-School is its cost. Because entry level journalism jobs are notoriously low-paying, it’s tough to go into the field with debt, and J-School is expensive. Furthermore, a journalism degree might help you land a job, but it by no means guarantees you one. And, since journalism is a very competitive field, you have to take into account the fact that you might not land a job right after you finish graduate school.

You also won’t be able to use your journalism degree as a bargaining chip for a higher starting salary. If you’re applying for an editorial assistant job that pays $27,000, you’ll make $27,000 whether you went to J-School or not. So, before you decide on journalism school, consider your financial situation. Can you afford it? Can you get a scholarship? Do you already have debt?

Schooling Options:

If you do decide journalism school is right for you, there are a number of programs you can enter. It’s often said that Columbia and Northwestern (which houses the Medill School of Journalism) have the best programs, but dozens of schools across the country offer graduate degrees in journalism, many of which are very well-respected. Also, most schools have specialty programs—in magazine writing, criticism, TV reporting, etc.—so, if you know the specific area of journalism that interests you, pay attention to what the school offers.

Unlike law schools and business schools, which are exhaustively ranked year after year by magazines like U.S. News & World Report, J-schools are, well, not often ranked. That said, here are some listings (if not rankings) of major J-schools:

Some articles about the merits of J-School from journalists who went:

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