Society & Culture

Job market recovery for journalism graduates stalls, annual survey finds

Lee Becker.

Athens, Ga. – The slight recovery since 2009 in the job market for graduates of the nation’s journalism and mass communication programs has stalled, according to a survey conducted by University of Georgia researchers.

Bachelor’s degree recipients from journalism and mass communication programs around the country in 2013 reported the same level of job offers as a year earlier, the same level of employment as did 2012 graduates, and the same level of success in finding work that is in the field of professional communication.

Employment tracked on a monthly basis during the November 2013 to May of 2014 period was flat.

Salaries received by bachelor’s degree recipients were unchanged from a year earlier, as, for the most part, were benefits offered.

Master’s degree recipients, who make up only about one in 10 of those earning a journalism and mass communications degree, fared slightly better as they entered the job market in 2013 than did graduates a year earlier.

Master’s degree recipients reported slightly higher levels of employment, but the median salary they reported was exactly the same as last year.

These are the key findings of the Annual Survey of Journalism and Mass Communication Graduates, released today during the annual conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. The meeting was held in Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel.

The survey is conducted each year to track the experiences of a probability sample of spring graduates of U.S. journalism and mass communication programs.

Researchers Lee B. Becker, Tudor Vlad and Holly Simpson reported that about one in four of the bachelor’s degree recipients reported satisfaction with their jobs-the same ratio as a year earlier-and half reported being “very committed” to their jobs, again unchanged from a year earlier.

Despite the problems in the job market, two-thirds of the bachelor’s degree recipients reported satisfaction with their career choice, six out of 10 said they were prepared for the job market, and seven in 10 reported that their college coursework provided the skills needed in today’s workplace.

Those assessments also were unchanged from a year earlier.

One thing did change. Bachelor’s degree recipients were less likely to report reading a daily newspaper or a magazine, more likely to have read news on a mobile device, and more likely to have viewed video online than a year earlier.

Becker has directed the survey since 1987, and since 1997, the survey has operated from the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research at the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. This is the final year that the survey will be conducted by the Cox International Center.

Becker is director of the Cox International Center and Vlad is associate director of the center. Simpson is a graduate student in the center.

The complete Cox Center report is available at

About Grady College
Established in 1915, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers undergraduate majors in journalism, advertising, public relations, digital and broadcast journalism and mass media arts. Grady college offers two graduate degrees and is home to the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media. For more information, see or follow @UGAGrady on Twitter.