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Majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications at SJSU

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by kweonsam, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. kweonsam

    kweonsam New Member

    I decided to go to SJSU and major in journalism and Mass Communications. I know that a crap load of journalists say that it's a waste to major in journalism and that it's a dying field, but I feel like I can succeed. What do you guys think of my decision?
  2. podunk press

    podunk press Active Member

    I'll leave it like this:

    Everyone makes mistakes. The biggest mistake of my life was majoring in journalism.

    Best of luck to you, though!
  3. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Listen to the crap load.
  4. TopSpin

    TopSpin Member

    1. Keep your options open because a lot of people change majors at some point in college.
    2. Expand your interests to other communications fields, such as public relations, if you're committed to JMC. The PR field is more stable than the current journalism field, after all.
    3. You can also consider the wise words of Thonton Melon before choosing to enter the real world: "Don't go! It's rough out there. Move back with your parents. Let them worry about it."
    4. Listen to the crap load, as RickStain recommends.
  5. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    Two things to think about:

    1. Of course you CAN succeed. Just make sure you understand the likelihood that you WILL succeed and consider the obstacles to that success.

    2. What's your definition of success? What's your end goal, what's your path for getting there, and what are you going to do if it doesn't work? What other definitions of success are you willing and not willing to accept?

    The latter of those will be why people are telling you to do something other than journalism. Will a journalism degree possibly help you achieve whatever definition of success you arrive at? Yes, it very possibly will. BUT, consider as well whether a journalism degree will hamper your ability to achieve success by a slightly different definition.
  6. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    It's not the degree, it's what you want to do with it. There will always be a place in the world for people who can write and communicate coherently. But the old job ladder that so many of us old folks here once followed after getting our journalism degrees isn't just missing a few rungs, it has been chopped down and used for firewood.
  7. Ice9

    Ice9 Active Member

    What's SJSU?
  8. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    San Jose State.
  9. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

    I don't know what year you're in, but if you're wanting to start in this field, SJSU is a place you should be able to get plenty of access for work on features. Lawrence Fan, the SID there, is good people. If you're not already working for the student paper, start. If you think it's something you want to pursue, maybe reach out to Jimmy Durkin at the Mercury News and see if he'd let you shadow him during a football game on deadline.
  10. SnarkShark

    SnarkShark Well-Known Member

    Seeing your previous posts and this one, please focus on your undergrad English courses.
  11. OceanLottery

    OceanLottery Member

    I would not major in journalism again. Like the job, hate the degree b/c it has limited real world applications outside of the field.

    That said, if I wanted to cover government, I'd major in political science. If I wanted to cover one of the big four sports, I'd major in (or at least thinking of majoring in) some kind of health science or business. Injuries and money are a way bigger part of sports journalism now than who made or missed the game-winning shot. If it's baseball, I'd think about Spanish.

    Either you can write, or you can't. Demonstrate your ability to write for the school newspaper, but train your brain about other topics. Minor in journalism, major in something that'll give you a leg up on the other people on your beat.

    At the very least, having a finance, economics, OT or PT degree on your resume and some kick-ass clips will make an SE remember your name.
  12. Mr. X

    Mr. X Member

    What is mass communications at San Jose State? What was communications at your university? Communications courses at my alma mater were all theory with no real-world relevance.
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