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Education Question- I'm going back to school and...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ClevelandWill3, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. ClevelandWill3

    ClevelandWill3 New Member

    I need some advice from the educated vets!!!!!

    My first passion is writing. Somewhere along the way I was sidetracked by money and dropped out of school only a year into college. (Not that my grades were all that great anyway!) I took a full-time well paying job in the telecom industry and it has really led me nowhere.

    About two years ago I somehow talked my way into an internship at an ESPN radio affiliate in a top 20 market without even being enrolled in school. I worked my ass off for a year and a half for free and got a part-time gig. Now I work "part-time" but do much more than an average part timer would.

    I have found myself looking around lately and realizing that I really want to write as well as do the broadcast side of things. I want to keep the radio gig going (which I already do on top of my full time job) but I know I need my degree to make anything happen with a paper, magazine or big-time online publication.

    I am going back to school half time in the fall which brings me too my question:

    I would like to get my Journalism degree w/ a minor in web programming (another passion and hobby of mine)

    I have a limited amount of time with my 2 jobs, a 9 month old baby, and regular life so should I:

    a) Take the 6 credits that I think I will be able to handle at the University close to my house and just plug away until I receive my degree and then pursue writing opportunities?


    b) Take 3 credits at my local university and 3 credits each semester towards a Certificate of Journalism at UMass Online? (Which only 9 of the 15 credits transfer to my University)

    I guess what I'm asking is if its worth it to get the certificate or not? Would I possibly be able to find a gig earlier than if I just waited until I received my degree? Or would just be pissing away money on a piece of paper that no one really cares about?

    The certificate seems be very highly regarded and has won awards, but in the real world will that translate?

    I am only 24 so there is still time, however I am very eager to get out of my current industry and join the media full time.

    Also, any advice on gaining CREDIBLE writing experience would be greatly appreciated!
  2. OTD

    OTD Active Member

    Forget the journalism certificate. Get the web programming degree. You can always find a small paper to string for. You don't need a degree of any kind for that. The web programming degree will get you a job in a field that's NOT contracting like a dick in a cold breeze.

    Also, I don't think the certificate would help you anyway. If a paper wants a degree, they want a four-year degree.
  3. ClevelandWill3

    ClevelandWill3 New Member

    To clarify, I am not trying to write full-time. I would never relegate myself to a life of poverty : )

    However, I would like to become a full-time memebr of the sports media as I said and after being around for a couple years now I see that the only way to survive and make good money is to diversify.

    Thanks though, I kinda figured the certificate was worthless.
  4. KevinmH9

    KevinmH9 Active Member

    I may be reading too in-between the lines here, or just not reading closely enough but, I'm not sure if I understand if you want to go more into broadcast or writing.
  5. podunk press

    podunk press Active Member

    You know, you come here, ask for our humble opinions, then take a shot at those of us who did sign up for a life of poverty.

    Here's my advice:

    Get away from journalism! It'll make you happier.

    Man, I should really charge for my services.
  6. ClevelandWill3

    ClevelandWill3 New Member

    I was joking. I certainly did not mean to offend anyone.

    To answer the earlier question I would like to write more. Like I said I love to write.

    Is it unrealistic to try and do both though?
  7. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    My advice:
    I've slung this shit for a while, so listen up...
    Forget the journalism certificate or degree. Find a programming degree program or a web technology program. If it's inside or affiliated with a J-School, fine. But, don't make journalism your main focus.
  8. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Go to law school.
  9. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Go to nursing school.
  10. rpmmutant

    rpmmutant Member

    Go to truck driving school. Write about the places you visit and the interesting people you meet.
  11. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    Go to culinary school. Then come cook for me, for free, because I "relegated myself to a life of poverty."
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