Outside the square

The workforce offers infinite possibilities. It is no easy feat to reach a clear decision about how you’re going to spend the rest of your life.

The journalism industry is diminishing at a rapid pace, and slowly but surely society moves from traditional practices into the face of a technological revolution. The nature of the beast is that not everyone is able to land his or her dream job; this holds true within journalism. Students of today are all too often placed in a difficult position when deciding upon possible career paths that will shape their futures – risk the possibility of an unstable career, or journey down an alternate route that may bring opportunities never before imagined?

A journalism degree will equip you with an array of tools and skills, allowing you to enter the industry as a qualified journalist where a job may be possible. But what about those who don’t want to be journalists?

Journalism degrees equip students with an array of tools to enter the workforce with

Journalism degrees equip students with an array of tools to enter the workforce with

Kelly Stratton always knew she would study journalism, but when the time came to decide, she found that it took a supporting role after choosing to combine it with a law degree at the University of Wollongong. ‘Coming into the course, I always wanted to work in print media… Now, I would love to have the skill set to go and be a news producer or do legal work with media law.’ The skills that Kelly will learn through her journalism degree are vital in enabling her to successfully and efficiently relay her points in whichever avenue she is to choose.

Scoring a cadetship at Wollongong City Council allowed Jennifer O’Sullivan to enter university life later than anticipated. Jennifer’s role is in community engagement, where she must communicate with the public and relay their stories to the council so that the feedback can help to shape communal decisions. On taking up a journalism degree, Jennifer says that ‘My aim was never really to get into the journalism industry to start with – more to gain journalistic skills and knowledge that I can apply to my role in Community Engagement.’ The skillset acquired through a journalism degree, along with her twenty plus years experience in the field, will hold Jennifer far above all others in the field.

Effective communication careers, however, are not the only alternate jobs that may be considered for students undertaking a journalism degree. Brian Wilcock never planned to build a career as a reporter or feature writer when he began his journey as a journalism student. Brian, rather, wishes to work in refugee advocacy in international destinations, a task that will entail more than the ability to communicate. Brian hopes ‘that the knowledge gained, and ability to research and write in formats as required’ will make him more employable at the end of his degree.

And then, there are those who have been completely turned off the concept of leading a career in journalism. Katherine Lewis has changed her mind as a result of the journalism component of her degree. ‘I have been completely turned off any journalism career due to the fact we appear to be discouraged with constant reminders that journalism or print journalism is a dying industry.’ Katherine hopes to enter into the field of advertising, where she will relay a specific story within limitations outlaid by a publisher; journalistic practices put to use in an alternate form.

The skills entrusted to an individual through a journalism degree prompt them to grow into a budding journalist in the diminishing industry, but this is not the only route to be considered. Consider all the possibilities before settling.


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