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Is it worth pursuing a career in journalism?
Stan
posted on Friday, 25 March 2011 12:48
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Hi doc,
I work in engineering industry but never had a genuine interest in it. I have given it a few years already and have worked really hard and progression is not bad; but at the end of the day you got to listen to you heart and I am at the point that I am clear I don't have the passion nor the long term drive for it.

Journalism has been a long term interest but I have never taken it seriously. Many universities in HK have courses that appear to be really attractive on paper, and demand seems to high, with many applicants. Fortunately I have been offered a few places in journalism master degree courses. It's a bit of an awkward question to ask on a newspaper column, but what are the genuine prospects? I have heard some really negative things about the job, e.g. horrendous hours and minimal pay, etc. Also, the industry is on decline and the newspaper may no long exist in the future.

I don't want to offend anyone but I just want to have a realistic idea of the picture. The course brochures, unsurprisingly, sound a little biased making the degrees sound like the best in mankind's history. I am dying for impartial advice and was hoping you could help. Cheers doc!

 

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2 Comments
Anonymous's picture
Mani
Posted Saturday, 02 April 2011 10:38 AM

Try posting your articles on forums or the reader-contributed sections of newspaper websites.

Career Doctor's picture
Career Doctor  
Posted Monday, 28 March 2011 04:49 PM

First off, I don’t know where you studied but I am impressed by how well you write for an engineering student. That’s perhaps one good quality by which to sell yourself in the industry.

It’s like I’ve always said: You need to show demonstrate your abilities before changing jobs. But proving yourself is not only about showing interest and passion. It’s also about being willing to try hard enough.

Regarding the horrendous hours and minimal pay, tell me, is that going to stop you from proving that you have what it takes? Ask yourself: Who’s doesn’t work long hours these days?

I don’t know how low salaries are in the industry, but what I can tell you is that I do know quite a few editors and journalists, all of whom are able to support themselves and their families.

The course brochures you refer to are simply marketing tools. If they weren’t convincing, who would pay those expensive fees? As for their exaggerated claims, try comparing them to MBA brochures. Trust me, you’ll be pretty amazed.

All in all, if you do have a genuine interest, you need to start writing. Thus, a degree in journalism might not be the first step.

By the way, can you read and write Chinese? You’ll be open to a much bigger market if you do.

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