1999 Annual Survey of Journalism and Mass Communication Graduates


Lee B. Becker, Gerald M. Kosicki, Joelle Prine, and Wilson Lowrey


The percentage of bachelor’s degree recipients saying they specialized in advertising increased
slightly in 1999 over a year earlier, reversing at last for now what has been a pattern of decline in the
percentage of graduates from journalism and mass communication programs stating this as their
speciality going back to the end of the 1980s (Chart 1). Advertising, of course, is taught in many
programs not included in the population of the Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication
Enrollments. The percentage of students saying they specialized in public relations also increased in
1999 from a year earlier, bringing that figure back to its 1986 level. The percentage of students in
broadcasting declined slightly, while the percentage of students in print journalism (news-editorial)
remained the same. The percentage of students who said they had not specialized in one of these four areas of traditional journalism study declined by 3 percentage points in 1999 after a very sharp increase the year earlier.

Chart 1 shows relative student interests, not the actual number of students who said they had
these specializations. A projection of the data in Chart 1 (produced by multiplying the shown
percentages by the estimated 35,300 bachelor’s degree recipients in 1998-99), indicates that about
6,000 graduates said they had a news editorial interest in 1999, compared with 6,750 in 1986, when
about 31,000 students earned bachelor’s degrees in journalism and mass communication. For
advertising, the 4,150 graduates with this interest in 1999 is only 64% of 6,450 in 1986.

The copyrighted full text of the 1999 Graduate Report is available here.

The PDF version of the charts is available here.

Click here to view the chart "Salaries Compared."

Click here to view the table "Salaries by Employer Type."