From left to right: Konrad Kalpen, Tudor Vlad, Lee Becker and Cully Clark.

Center Research Shows Job Market Improving Slightly

The job market for graduates of the nation’s journalism and mass communication programs showed signs of improvements in 2011 and 2012, continuing the trend from a year earlier, researchers from the University of Georgia told a gathering of journalism educators in Chicago in early August.

The gains in the job market were modest, the researchers said, and 2011 graduates faced job prospects still much more limited than did graduates four years earlier.

Graduates landing a full-time job reported slightly higher salaries than did graduates a year earlier, the researchers said, but the gain just slightly beat the rate of inflation, and the improvement in salaries was the first reported by bachelor’s degree recipients since 2006.

Dr. Lee B. Becker and Dr. Tudor Vlad, director and associate director of the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, reported these findings from the Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates on Aug. 9.

The researchers, accompanied by graduate research assistant Konrad Kalpen, released the results at a special session for the Annual Surveys of Journalism & Mass Communication at the annual conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, meeting at the Marriott in downtown Chicago.

The Annual Surveys of Journalism & Mass Communication are housed in the Cox International Center but funded by media organizations, foundations and associations interested in journalism and mass communication education.

The Cox International Center is the international outreach unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

The researchers also released preliminary findings of the Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Enrollments showing a decline in enrollments at U.S. journalism and mass communication programs around the country.

The decline was modest at the undergraduate level–only 0.5 percent–but more substantial at the graduate level. Overall graduate enrollments declined by 7.9 percent, but doctoral enrollments actually increased slightly.

The researchers also released results of a study of degrees granted by doctoral programs in the broad field of communication. The study found that the number of degrees granted increased slightly, but percentage of those degrees granted to domestic minority students remained about the same.

The percentage of degrees granted to students from outside the U.S. actually declined.

The Annual Surveys of Journalism & Mass Communication are designed to provide basic data on the U.S. entry-level journalism and mass communication labor market and on the educational institutions that supply graduates to that market.

Dr. Becker had directed the survey project for 25 years.

Nearly 2,500 educators and others interested in journalism education attended the Chicago conference, which ran from Aug. 9 to Aug. 12.