1996 Annual Survey of Journalism and Mass Communication Graduates


Gerald M. Kosicki and Lee B. Becker


One of the key indicators of student interests at the undergraduate level is the specialization they select within the journalism and mass communication major. Most universities offer choices to the students. Even where there are no formal sequences or specialized programs, students often fashion one for themselves, creating what they see as a special preparation for the various careers in mass communication. The Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates asks students to indicate the specialization they have chosen. The students can select from the list presented on the survey instrument or name their own specialization.

In recent years, we have seen a return on the part of students to the historical core of journalism education--news-editorial or print journalism--and a turning away from some of the other, perhaps more trendy, areas. The 1996 graduates continued this pattern, as Figure 1 shows. Just less than two in 10 of the graduates indicated that they had specialized in news editorial journalism in 1996, as has been true the last four years. The percentage of students specializing in public relations and advertising also is now stable. Advertising, in fact, seems to have reversed the slight declines experienced in recent years. The percentage of students who had specialized in telecommunications/broadcasting declined in 1996 from a year ago, but the 1995 figure seems to be the aberration. Telecommunications/broadcasting has increased in popularity in comparison with the figures in 1993 and 1994.

The copyrighted full text of the 1996 Graduate Report is available here.

The PDF version of the charts is available here.