I know people do crazy things in a recession, but taking out a student loan for a degree that won’t give an edge in a wheezing industry actually makes gettingExactly.
an MBA look smart.
Forbes reported that enrollment at journalism schools is soaring. Huh? Media jobs are hard enough for undergrads to get, so why they hell are you going to pay $40,000+ a year, incurring millions of dollars in debt to become poor? And these kids aren't going to want to be working for a PR or marketing agency after a stint at J-school.
Forbes also lists that there will be a tiny increase for entry-level reporters and news anchors by 2016, and positions for experienced writers and editors will grow by 10%, which I find hard to believe, even if they are for trade publications, freelancers and digital media. Maybe it's just the cost-cutting going on now, or the fact that there's an excess of writers and editors without a large enough, supportable structure in place.
The Forbes piece, much to my disappointment, doesn't really go into the detail I'd have liked. I've read many times before that the only benefit to J-school is the connections, but nowadays I feel that's crap--follow enough people on Twitter, read enough blogs, put real effort into this kind of networking (and create your own stuff), and you too, can make it. Julia Allison is the master at it. I admire many New York writers--there's no reason I can't meet some of them someday, I reason; I don't live far, I'm familiar with their work, I just need to be at the right place at the right time.
I'm sure J-school does have a purpose, real training for real journalism, and the kinds of opportunities that aren't available for those cub reporters that can no longer be because every day a new publication bites the dust. They're an in.
This reminds me of a teleseminar I attended recently at work, where one of the editors of Good Housekeeping (or similar magazine) had a MA in journalism from a top-notch school. And you're working here?, I thought. What a waste. And then I felt bad--what if she couldn't get anything better? But writing fluff copy for midwestern moms pays a living.