A new report by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce shows that unemployment rates for recent college graduates are falling for almost everyone except for those in journalism.
The report, Hard Times to Better Times, College Majors, Unemployment and Earnings, was authored by Center researchers Anthony P. Carnevale and Ban Cheah.
The unemployment rate for 22- to 26-year-old journalism grads is now 8.2 percent and climbing. For journalism majors with a recent grad degree, defined as 24- to 34-year-olds, the unemployment rate drops to 5 percent.
Experienced journalism grads, aged 35 to 54, were at 5.6 percent and experienced graduate degree holders were the best off with just a 4.5 percent unemployment rate.
In addition to the climbing unemployment rate for journalism grads, they are also facing stagnant to falling salaries as the industry is still in cost-cutting mode.
Recent journalism grad media earnings average $34,000 today compared with $36,000 in 2010. For experienced grads, average earnings have dropped from $65,000 to $63,000 in the last four years.
While the salary drop may seem small, it should serve as a warning sign for aspiring journalists that it isn’t the field that it used to be. For those who are taking on debt to finance their education, it is highly unlikely that they will be able to pay it off, given the bleak future for newspapers and other companies that generally hire journalists.
So unless people considering journalism as a career, or as a major in collee, are independently wealthy or can otherwise afford to take a low-paying job—if any are available—they might want to choose a career with better long-term prospects.