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2021 Communication & Journalism Degree Guide

Majoring in the field of Communication and Journalism will equip students with all types of knowledge on how to communicate with the general public through a plethora of media outlets. You will have the opportunity to take classes ranging from speech writing to design and layout while learning how to improve your writing and verbal communication skills.

There are many options when it comes to choosing your major within this field. Communications and Media Studies gives you the opportunity to study communications at broad level and understand all types of media. If you are passionate about reporting news stories to the public you may choose to go into Journalism. Or if you are interested in building a reputation or brand for clients Public Relations and Advertising may be a good choice. You also have the option to focus on Radio, Television, and Digital Communication to learn skills to design, develop, and manage types of digital media or major in Publishing and focus on layout and design. No matter what major you decide to focus on, a degree in communication and journalism will enhance your writing and verbal communication skills, making you a great candidate for any type of employment.

Communication & Journalism Degrees Growing in Popularity

#11 Most Popular Major
122k Degrees Awarded
1.3% Increase in Graduates

In 2018-2019, communication and journalism was the 11th most popular major nationwide with 122,154 degrees awarded. This is a difference of 1,584 over the prior year, a growth of 1.3%.

Approximately 1,501 colleges in the U.S. offer a communication and journalism degree of some kind. Our 2021 Best Colleges for Communication & Journalism ranking analyzes 585 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for communication and journalism students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of communication and journalism programs later in this article.

Communication & Journalism Degree Requirements

Those going into the communications field should enjoy communicating through the written word as well as through interaction with people. A career in this field will require constant meetings with clients, other communications professionals, and members of the media. Communications professionals are often in fast paced careers, making the skills to balance multiple projects a necessity. This field of study is also best suited for students who are detail oriented and enjoy problem solving and investigation.

Typically, most careers in the communications and journalism fields are full time, but don't stick to the 40-hour workweek. New stories may cause journalists to work at odd hours while long projects or deadlines will force communications specialists to work in evenings and on the weekend.

Prior Education for a Communication & Journalism Program

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most communication and journalism degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. In addition to these basic communication and journalism program qualifications, to serve in some communication and journalism careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Types of Communication & Journalism Degrees

Communication & Journalism degree levels vary. You can get anything from a associate's degree in communication and journalism to the highest communication and journalism degree, a research/scholarship based doctorate. Depending on the communication and journalism degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to communication and journalism, with approximately 53.4% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to communication and journalism tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 54.6%
Master’s Degree 10.6%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 9.1%
Some College Courses 8.6%
High School Diploma 8.0%

Most workers in communication and journalism have at least a bachelor's degree. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in communication and journalism careers have.


The education level required is different depending on the communication and journalism career you are seeking.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Communication & Journalism Graduate

Above Average Number of Jobs
$32.5k Average Starting Salary
7% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

A degree in the communications and journalism field opens a wide array of career options to graduates. You may decide to work in a public relations firm, at a publishing house, as a representative for a major corporation, as a speechwriter, or work as a consultant. No matter what career path you choose, you can be confident that your degree in communication and journalism will give you the skills to work and advance within any organization.

Growth Projected for Communication & Journalism Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your communication and journalism degree? Communication & Journalism careers are expected to grow 6.7% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to communication and journalism.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Managers 1,071,700 8.0%
Public Relations Specialists 282,600 8.9%
Producers and Directors 151,200 12.2%
Writers and Authors 141,200 7.6%
Photographers 139,000 -5.6%

How Much Money Do Communication & Journalism Grads Make?

Communication & Journalism graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $32,549 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $5,200 to as high as $97,600. As you might expect, salaries for communication and journalism graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Communication & Journalism Majors

Salaries for communication and journalism graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers communication and journalism grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Advertising and Promotions Managers $133,090
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers $131,570
Managers $115,590
Broadcast News Analysts $91,990
Artist, Athlete, and Performer Agents and Business Managers $90,930

Getting Your Communication & Journalism Degree

With over 5,980 different communication and journalism degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased communication and journalism school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in Communication & Journalism

Communication & Journalism Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Communication & Media Studies 68,301
Public Relations & Advertising 20,156
Radio, Television & Digital Communication 16,150
Journalism 15,466
Communication & Journalism (Other) 1,784

View All Communication & Journalism Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Education 306,739
Social Sciences 203,399
Psychology 177,655
Family, Consumer & Human Sciences 59,281
History 32,806

View All Communication & Journalism Related Majors >


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