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Is an Online Degree in Journalism Right for You?


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Journalism is a popular major for aspiring journalists and reporters to get, with over 13,000 degrees being awarded each year. New forms of media are constantly changing the landscape of both traditional print and broadcast journalism. Blogs, social media, and interactive content are new ways for media members to get news in front of people.

There are so many different multimedia platforms and the need for qualified journalists grows. With various restrictions still in place at many educational educations, seeking an online degree is a great way for a person who loves learning and writing to get a thorough education.

There are many affordable online journalism degrees available for those who wish to pursue that career route. Read on for more information about how to get a journalism degree online.

What is a Journalism Degree?

When you major in journalism, you’ll learn how to research, report, and communicate for web, print, and broadcast media outlets. It’s a mix of learning in the classroom and hands-on experiences to help teach you the skills to apply your knowledge in the workforce right after graduation.

In addition to learning a basic foundation of interviewing and reporting, journalism majors will also learn how to incorporate ledes and quotes into a compelling and clear story. Students will master editing skills and the regulations set out by the Associated Press Stylebook.

The curriculum for a journalism major includes:

  • Overview of media institutions
  • Writing techniques
  • Mass media
  • Multimedia tools
  • Judgment when reporting
  • History of journalism
  • Interviewing techniques
  • How to write and edit a story

Journalism majors can also take courses in more specific areas of study, depending upon their preferences. This can include:

  • Digital audio production
  • Data journalism
  • Publication design
  • Opinion writing
  • Feature article writing

If you’re curious about the world, an online degree in journalism may be the right choice for you. Journalists often travel the world, asking questions of those around them for their stories.

If you also enjoy writing, journalism is a great way to showcase your skills while reporting about important topics. You’ll be able to interview various people and dig into topics. Once you’ve decided that journalism is right for you, researching the best college to go to is your next step.

Should I Get a BA in Journalism Online Degree?

An online degree allows for ample flexibility where traditional in-person learning does not. If you’re a working professional, you can attend classes when you’re not at work or in your free time. Online colleges use the same curriculum as brick-and-mortar ones, providing you with an equally quality education.

How Long Will it Take Me?

For an online journalism degree, you’ll typically need around 120 to 128 units to graduate. That is typically completed in four years of being a full-time student.

How Much Does a Degree Cost?

There are several factors that go into account when considering the cost of an online degree. Which state the college is in is important as some institutions charge students higher tuition if they live out of state. However, some colleges charge a flat tuition rate for all students in an online program.

When pricing out online colleges, consider the following factors:

  • Employer Partnerships: Check to see if your employer has any existing arrangements with online schools that could provide you with reduced tuition or tuition reimbursement
  • Understand the College’s Fees and Costs: Research how colleges price out their degrees, whether it’s based on degree type or per course
  • Look at Transfer Credit: If you have college credit from previously attending an educational institution, check to see if it will transfer over to the new school to help reduce your degree cost

Find an Accreditated College

Finding an accredited college is vital when looking at schools. Universities and colleges receive accreditation from agencies that are only recognized by the Department of Education. The accreditation process includes a review of the school’s student services and educational programs.

Check their accreditation as that will impact if previous courses can transfer. It will also affect your eligibility for financial aid.

How Are Classes Taught?

Online education is different than a brick-and-mortar school as you’re not in the usual classroom filled with students. Many online courses have conference calls, online chat rooms, and other types of interactive classes. Creating a sense of community is a vital component to replicating the in-person classroom experience online.

The best online colleges will allow you to interact with other students, so review their classroom setup before selecting a college. Being able to communicate with your professor is important as well.

Some online classes are taught through written instruction without any live classes. That’s not an optimal way to learn as it doesn’t give students the opportunity to interact with others and ask questions.

What Jobs Can I Get?

You’re not limited to being a reporter when you get a journalism degree. As a journalism major, you gain countless communication skills that can be applied to any career in publication or writing.

Some career options include:

  • Editor: Plan and review content for both online and print media
  • Author: Draft articles, manuscripts, blogs, and scripts
  • Public Relations Manager or Specialist: Manage the public image of an organization, public entity, or corporation
  • Reporter or Correspondent: Report the news for broadcast, print, and online sources about news and events
  • Technical Writer: Prepare journal articles and specialized manuals about complex information, making it accessible and easy for the reader

No matter what career route you take, a degree in journalism opens you up to countless possibilities.

Pursue an Online Journalism Degree Today

Don’t let the lack of in-person options deter you from pursuing your dream career. There are countless options for a quality online degree in journalism. Take the time to research accreditated colleges and hone in on what you want to study.

The cost of college can get expensive, especially when you take into account the cost of supplies. Search for your college textbooks using our price comparison tools. You have the option to buy or rent textbooks at a discounted rate.

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