Athens, Ga. – The job market recovery that began two years ago for graduates of U.S. journalism and mass communication programs seems to have stalled, according to findings released today 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 journalism and mass communication graduates in 2006 were no more likely to have a job offer when they finished their studies than graduates a year earlier and no more likely to have landed a full-time job by the end of October-approximately five months after leaving the university.
“Graduates of U.S. journalism and mass communication programs confronted a weakened job market in 2006 and early 2007,” according to Lee B. Becker, director of the Cox Center and professor of journalism in UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
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.
Becker noted that the journalism and mass communication job market still lags behind what it was in 2000-the year that represents the most favorable market for graduates in the last 20 years. In the 2006 Annual Survey, the market remained largely unchanged for women from a year earlier, while for men the market was weaker. Students who are members of minority groups also had a harder time finding a job.
The percentage of 2006 journalism and mass communication bachelor’s degree recipients with at least one job offer on graduation was 76 percent, comparable to the figure of a year earlier. The percentage of master’s degree recipients with at least one job offer on graduation was 72 percent, also comparable to the previous year.
At the same time, salaries for graduates with full-time jobs did increase and even managed to outpace inflation just slightly. Benefits, however, showed a marked decline.
Only half of the journalism and mass communication bachelor’s degree recipients with a job in communication were working a 40-hour week. A quarter reported working between 41-50 hours per week.
More 2006 than 2005 graduates reported writing and editing for the Web as part of their work assignment with 40 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients reporting such responsibilities, Becker noted. The percentage of graduates reporting that they are designing and building Web pages also increased in 2006.
Complete 2006 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.