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How students can select the best journalism school for their career

Tuesday, November 4, 2014
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How students can select the best journalism school for their career

Aspiring writers and broadcasters can expect a great deal of competition in the workforce. A graduate degree from a journalism school could be just what they need to set themselves apart from other job applicants. When selecting the best one, students may want to consider the following points.

Identify a focus
Depending on students' career goals, certain journalism schools may be better choices than others. For example, if their dream is to be a TV reporter, a school that specializes in broadcast journalism is a better option than one whose main focus is on print or Web copy. Students should narrow down some of their top schools and take a look at their course offerings to see if the program is an ideal fit in regard to their goals. Similarly, those who seek an advanced degree in journalism sometimes opt for a dual degree so they graduate with a specialty in another field that they can report on.

Consider the location
While many other professions aren't necessarily reliant on location, jobs in journalism often are, noted Forbes. For example, New York and California are hubs for entertainment and, as a result, are home to many script and magazine writers. Students should put some thought into where they want to find a job, and choose a school accordingly. By doing so, they'll be in a better position to find an internship at their dream company while they're at school. Also, when the time comes to apply for jobs, their prospective employers may be more familiar with their college if it's in the general vicinity of the company's headquarters.

Look into career services
When choosing a graduate school, it's important that students perform research on the school's career services. While many schools offer career service to students, some are more hands-on than others. Students should utilize their journalistic skills and speak with several of their top choice schools' career departments. Questions regarding the companies with which the School has connections, the percentage of students who find jobs in their field upon graduation, and any special assistance provided to students should be asked.

Research some of the professors
Forbes explained that the world of journalism is a "relationship business." This means that personal connections are extremely important and can be a major factor in landing a job. Students should consider notable professors and factor them into their decision. Taking courses led by them won't necessarily guarantee a professional connection, but it could improve a student's chances of being introduced to the right people.

By Monique Smith

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Queens College offers more than 100 master's degrees and advanced certificates in the liberal arts, sciences, social sciences, and teacher education.
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