Should journalism students re-evaluate their career options?
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As journalism continues to be a popular career path amongst arts undergraduates, questions are being raised surrounding the number of jobs actually available in the industry, and whether or not the endless effort students put in will result in employment. Adrian Monck, former dean of City University of London’s journalism school, estimates that 300 entry-level jobs in the mainstream media are available to some 50,000 journalism students. Monck criticised the academic institutions that run journalism courses. ‘It is entirely unscrupulous of the academy to look at journalism education as a cash cow through which it can extort money from hopeful young people with the promise of delivery of some form of employment at the end of it.’ Students could pay well over £30,000 on tuition alone before even entering the industry. A three year undergraduate degree at £9,000 a year, coupled with Diploma in Journalism from the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) – priced at £3950 – is the required qualification for an entry level job. However, these fees don’t take in to account maintenance costs and the countless unpaid internships students are encouraged to embark upon. For example, unless one lives in London, a bed in a YHA hostel located at St. Paul’s would cost £25 a night for a week in August. Not counting food and travel costs, this amounts to £125 for a five-day episode of work experience in the capital.
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