Jobs outside of my career interests and few scholarships

Student’s at Georgia State struggle to find journalism job opportunities on Handshake. Photo by Matt Siciliano-Salazar | The Signal

In recent years, Georgia State has made efforts to ensure the post-graduation success of its students.

The university emphasizes internships, cohorts and required research for many of its majors. The university even goes out of its way to implement major clustering, an academic system designed to reduce the cost of changing a major and the wasted credits that come with it.

Georgia State prides itself on doing all that it can to maximize the value of tuition and ensure career turnout following graduation. Unfortunately, journalism students were left out of the plan.

If you sign into Handshake, a popular career app, featuring on- and off-campus job and internship opportunities, you will find a plethora of student assistantship positions and internships related to business majors, including finance and business analysis.

If you filter out the results, a few unpaid positions will pop up. Some of the positions, however, may be fitting for English and literature majors, rather than journalism majors. 

Career Services is more helpful. If you inform one of the advisors that you can’t find opportunities, they’ll have a sit-down with you and help you find the positions available to your career or concentration of choice.

I left the meeting at Career Services with the knowledge of PACE Magazine, a local publication that offers paid internships and prioritizes Georgia State. In addition to PACE, there is The Signal, the independent, student-run university newspaper, which offers mostly unpaid positions.

While experience is beneficial, and there are some opportunities for a stipend of a paid internship, journalism students need more opportunities. They should have university-wide scholarships and an abundance of internships like the other majors.

The CNN Center is right down the street from Aderhold, yet they have a tight fist around their internships, shadowing and career outreach opportunities.

At a time where journalism is under attack and facing a potential decline within the next ten years, it is imperative that journalism students look for loopholes in their studies.

Journalism as a degree is not a jackpot for internships, scholarships or career opportunities. However, a career in journalism doesn’t require a formal degree in journalism.

A student can pursue a journalism-adjacent major — English, film and media, creative writing and media entrepreneurship, to name a few — and gain the required experience in journalism.

At The Signal and PACE Magazine, two of the common entry-level student jobs, a student isn’t required to be a journalism major. The positions are based on skillset. If you exhibit the skills necessary or the specific media, such as writing, photography and personality, then you have a strong chance of employment.

In turn, with the samples of your work, you can present your experience to future employers.

Journalism may seem bleak as a major and a career, but there are options. You can maintain your passion for journalism, but it is best to pursue a career through the experience that is available and use opportunities for more fruitful academic paths.