Journalism vs Writing: Career ROI

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Updated: March 25, 2024, Reading time: 6 minutes

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If you are passionate about crafting words, you can turn your passion into a successful and rewarding career. A degree in professional writing can prepare you for many different careers, including those in the field of journalism and writing.

There are many various jobs you can apply for if writing is your passion. These include being a:

These careers can pay between $30,000 and $70,000 a year, depending on the industry or company you work for. 

Two of the most exciting careers related to writing nowadays are journalism and writing, be it for books, articles, stories, or other written materials. While both professions involve crafting words, there are a few things that set them apart. 

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Journalism: Career Pathways

As a journalist, you will create stories for one or more platforms, depending on your preference. They can be for radio, print, television, digital media, or podcasts. You will be:

You can specialize in different fields, also called beats, such as education, sports, business, politics, and more. 

To become a journalist, earning an Associate in Journalism degree gets you started! You’ll establish foundational knowledge in basic writing, fundamental journalism principles, communications, marketing, and technology.

You will need to earn a Bachelor’s in Journalism to gain the skills and knowledge needed for a career in news reporting, PR, online journalism, and more! 

Possible Careers in Journalism

Journalism majors earn anywhere between $51,391 – $65,767 per year taking on these roles: 

Career Advancement in Journalism

Journalists who work hard can be promoted to writing commentaries or columns. They can also be moved to the editorial department and be assigned to revise and finalize copies for broadcasting. Those who get lucky enough can become news anchors, managers, or directors.

To be promoted to a higher position, you should pursue a master’s degree, such as a Master of Science in Journalism or a Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, Field: Journalism.

You are a great fit for this role if:

You are not a great fit for this role if:

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Writing: Career Pathways

The number one requirement to have a successful and rewarding career in writing is writing skills. Through a bachelor’s degree, you will be able to hone your writing skills through on-the-job training. 

This is an in-demand profession nowadays because writers are essential to communication. As a writer, you will be responsible for using the right words to communicate ideas, be it in print, magazine, newspaper, or digital media. 

The best undergraduate degrees to help prepare you for a successful career in Writing. The very first step is an Associate’s in Writing degree that introduces you to the basics of the field.

A Bachelor’s in Writing program provides a closer look at the discipline, showing you the many possibilities so you don’t limit yourself to a single career type.

One of the most popular tracks is Creative Writing, the ideal career path for storytellers, essayists, poets, and fiction or non-fiction writers. Writers should not only be great with words; they should also have critical thinking and literary analysis skills. They should also have a full grasp of the processes of writing, editing, marketing, and publishing of their literary work.

Possible Careers in Writing

As a Writing major, you can land the following jobs, all with a salary range of $48,259 – $62,612 and employment growth of 4%:

Career Advancement in Writing

Depending on the kind of writer you are, career advancement may be limited. However, if you get a certification, like the Certified Grant Writer by the American Grant Writers’ Association, Inc. (AGWA), you will be more attractive to employers. 

If you earn a master’s degree in writing, like a Master of Arts in Creative Writing or Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, Field: Creative Writing and Literature, you can pursue marketing manager, director of publishing, or senior research roles. 

As the field of writing evolves, you need to keep up! Attending writing classes from the best academic institutions makes all the difference!

You are a great fit for this role if:

You are not a great fit for this role if:

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Being a journalist and a writer involve both writing to communicate to an audience. The difference, however, is clear: a journalist writes for newspapers, magazines, or news sites, while a writer is less specific as you can write books, scripts, stories, website content, and more. If you’re a passionate writer, choose the right career path for you!

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