Journalism: The Worst Investment

, Don Irvine, Leave a comment

A new study by of various college majors shows that among four-year degree programs, journalism is dead last when it comes to return on investment. It takes journalists nearly 32 years on average to pay off their college loans, according to the study.

This shouldn’t be a big surprise since both the print and broadcast media have been consolidating for the last several years, laying off tens of thousands of employees. That is why journalism ranks as the worst job in America by CareerCast.

The average journalist’s salary, according to Bankrate, is $37,090, which also makes it the lowest paid job of the four-year degree programs they ranked, trailing teachers and librarians. It was far below the degrees with the best return—advertising and marketing—degrees for which they estimated it takes less than six years to pay off the associated loans.

At one time journalism was a fairly well respected and glamorous job. But years of cutbacks, combined with increasing use of the Internet and social media to obtain news, has made it one of the least desirable careers to pursue.

Occasionally there’s an opening at the top for blowhard journalists, like Chris Matthews and Lawrence O’Donnell. But you have to pay some dues as a loyal Democratic Party operative to get one of those jobs.

Don Irvine is the chairman of both Accuracy in Media, on whose site this originally appeared, and Accuracy in Academia.

If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail