Q. I’ve just started the first semester of my sophomore year and wonder if I picked the wrong major (journalism). I love journalism, but other friends have switched to public relations and digital media which seem to offer more job prospects. I know you are biased towards PR, but I’m looking for all sorts of insights before I spend too much more time perhaps pursuing the wrong degree. -JT
A. Relax. There is no urgency to switch majors at this point in your college career. Generally, most universities suggest that you lock into your major by the end of your sophomore year. You may even want to complete your degree in journalism and simply augment it by selecting a minor or electives in public relations. I was a political science major and journalism minor.
My journalism colleagues will make a compelling case for sticking with your passion. Students who do so almost always land jobs in or near their career path ambitions. There are. indeed, more PR pros than journalists today–six PR specialists for every journalist. And PR jobs are growing at a faster rate than journalism positions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This graphic as well as tips from The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Major will help you think through the process of selecting a major. PR News editor Seth Arenstein states, “Despite differences, journalists and PR pros have much in common.”
Finally, if you opt to pursue a journalism degree and decide later to switch careers, know that your writing skills will appeal to many agencies and corporations. In addition, you can also obtain skills training and build a PR network by enrolling in a public relations graduate program.