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Program Information: Associate’s Degree in Photojournalism

Majors Overview August 20, 2013

Associate degree program in photojournalism usually takes two years to complete, if students are enrolled full-time, and prepares them to tell stories through photographic images. Other associate degree program may include photojournalism training.

Associate Degree Program in Photojournalism

An individual with an interest in news photography and journalism would benefit from enrolling in an Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) program in photojournalism that is offered at few higher education institutions. Students enrolled in these programs are trained to seek entry-level employment in news photography at magazines or newspapers companies, or freelance work. Photojournalism coursework typically covers classroom instruction on news and news writing to supplement intense courses in photo editing, digital images and photography.

While not many schools offer photojournalism associate degree programs, interested students may seek similar training in photography associate’s degree programs, which might offer an elective in photojournalism. Additionally, photojournalism classes are also usually included in associate’s degree programs. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma.

Program Coursework

Along with general educational classes, associate degree program in photojournalism includes study in both photography and journalism. Program course topics may include the following:

•Mass media reporting and writing
•Intermediate and advanced photography
•History of photojournalism
•Use of color
•Digital and electronic images

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

Job growth of twelve percent, the average for all industries, has been projected for photojournalists during the period from 2008 to 2018 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). In May 2009, all photographers took home an average annual salary of $36,370, while photographers employed in the magazine, book and newspaper publishing industry took home an average annual salary of $42,430, during the same period (BLS).

Certification and Continuing Education Information

Some associate degree program graduates may seek continued education by enrolling in a four-year bachelor degree program in journalism with photojournalism as their area of specialization. Coursework may include mass communication apart from hands-on and focused courses related to news photography and photography techniques. These professionals may seek professional development resources and career advice from the National Press Photographers Association, a professional organization that serves this purpose.

Photographers interested in certification can avail a credential program offered by the Professional Photographers Association. A review of the photographer’s images and passage of an exam will qualify them for such certification. The association offers various educational programs including workshops. Though employers do not insist on credentialing, these professionals can use certification to showcase their skills in the field.

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