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Overview of Associate Degree Program in Journalism

Majors Overview July 5, 2013

An associate degree in journalism is usually the first step towards getting trained by a student seeking a career in reporting on educational topics for all forms of media; community colleges generally offer this two-year degree program that imparts instruction in topic areas such as ethics, professional standards, multimedia reporting, feature writing and news-gathering basics.

Experience can be gained by students through their work at a campus television station or a school newspaper. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma. Graduates from this degree program will be prepared to seek admission to a four-year bachelor’s degree program in journalism or participate in an internship program at a media outlet.

Program Coursework

Aspiring education reporters can get a foundation in journalism through practical and classroom experience in an associate degree program. The curriculum will train them in desktop publishing, reporting, editing, and writing skills needed to work in all facets of today’s media. The associate degree program may also include core curriculum classes, including college math, social studies, and English composition. Journalism course topics may include the following:

•Mass communications in the United States
•Web design
•Opinion writing

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

Job growth for reporters is expected to decline by eight percent during the period from 2010 to 2020 due to expectations of media mergers of news organizations and a fall in viewership and readership by the public, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Smaller radio and television markets and newspapers are expected to present the best job opportunities. In May 2011, reporters took home an average annual salary of $34,870 (BLS).

Continuing Education Information

Employers are said to prefer individuals who possess a bachelor’s degree in journalism and associate degree holders could continue their education by enrolling in a four-year bachelor’s degree program. Courses in education reporting are offered through some bachelor’s degree programs that impart training in coverage of a school’s board meeting or human interest stories within the educational institutions.

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