Thursday, July 17, 2008

Not worth the paper it's printed on ...

... my bachelor's degree, according to this piece from the Wall Street Journal.

Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration. But it's proof that finishing with an undergrad degree no longer provides folks with the security and options that it used to.

This is even more worrisome for journalism folks like myself, who focused much - if not all - of their collegiate efforts on improving their craft, getting internships and bouncing from paper to paper in pursuit of the best jobs.

Well, with the newspaper industry hemorrhaging jobs by the week, having a bachelor's degree just doesn't seem like enough protection in this changing world. What other skills will I need, say, 10 years from now? Is writing no longer enough to provide for myself or my family? Also, have I resigned myself to a (very) limited income because I need journalism more than it needs me?

These are not the questions I was preparing myself to answer when I was an idealistic student leaving TCU in December of 2000. I figured I was set for life - I'd write and write and write until I landed a cushy and well-paid sports columnist job at some major metro newspaper or someplace like Sports Illustrated. Unlike those other schmoes, I'd never sit in a cold, boring classroom again.

I guess the question I really need to answer is: who's the schmoe now?

UPDATE: The WSJ also offers solutions.


Zen said...

Your paper ain't worth ish because of the institutions name that's printed on it. You drop that H-Bomb on folks and I gaurantee you it's worth it's weight in paper. (and by paper, i mean paper currency.)

The value of the degree is in the institution it's attained from.

blackink said...

To me, that's a crock of ish. Though I know instinctively that Ivy League grads have a leg-up in almost any industry.

But TCU has never been a hindrance when it came to getting jobs in the journalism industry. That mostly comes down to your writing and reporting skills. People want to know if you can do both, and do them well under deadline pressure.

Btw, genius ... it's "guarantee."