Journalism jobs for newbies hard to come by: study

A survey conducted by the University of Georgia confirms what we already know: 2009 was a terrible year to graduate. The 2009 Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates, released earlier this month, included some pretty depressing statistics regarding the class of ’09 journalism school graduates.

Check it out:

  • The percentage of spring journalism and mass communication (bachelor’s degree) grads reported having at least one job offer when they completed their studies dropped in 2009 by nearly 10 percent compared to a year earlier.
  • A record number of grads went into part-time positions or back to school
  • The median salary earned by new grads was the same as it has been for the past three years—$30,000
  • At survey publication time, fewer graduates were working in full-time jobs than any graduating class going as far back as 1986. (To put that in perspective, 2009 was likely the worst year for fresh grads to find employment in those new grads’ lifetimes.)
  • Only 46.2% of the graduates had a job by October 31, 2009. By May, however, the number was up to 62.8%

If you don’t want to read the (very long) survey, Advancing the Story about have pretty solid summaries.)

It’s still too early to tell how the market is treating the 2010 grads (and Canadian 2010 grads at that), but anecdotally speaking, it seems like things are starting to pick up. I graduated this past spring, and I’d say most of my classmates who were looking for journalism-related work (some left the field immediately upon graduation, and others went to pursue a Master’s) have found it, but many of those jobs are part-time, contract or only slightly related to their chosen field. Many are working in PR or communications.

That said, I do tend to see things from a Ryerson/Toronto bubble, so I’m curious where the rest of you see the industry heading? (Especially those of you from outside of Toronto.) What will the University of Georgia say about the class of 2010?