Yahoo! loves to hit me with stupid lists. I see some foolish collection of nonsense on their homepage, invariably click it, then boil over with rage moments later.
We’ve all seen the best-paying college degrees list. Now we get to peek at the worst-paying colleges degrees list. Interesting, because every single starting salary on this list is significantly more than I made after I got my journalism degree. I am not alone; the snerd and any journalist I have ever met will concur. The headline on this list should be: Degrees that financially-strapped writers should consider.
This is no woe is me, but financially speaking, there is no worse bachelors degree to get than one in journalism. Some people might think we are out there swashbuckling in public and busting corruption, and this makes up for the low pay. But for the most part, today’s reporters are usually stuck at their desks all day, trying to cover 100 square miles by telephone.
Another wrinkle is that when I transitioned from a smaller, poorer metro area to 5-million strong D.C. (with housing costs about double) I did not see higher salaries, despite more competition for journalism jobs in Washington. In D.C., every possible job with Metro will pay appreciably more than most journalism jobs, including the janitors, for instance.
Is this unfair? Hell no. No one is forcing their children to go into a career covering town hall meetings or anonymously improving copy for $14 an hour, except maybe David Broder or Bob Costas. It is a path we have all chosen, and one I have no qualms with. You don’t go into journalism for the money.
But please, never make any sort of decision based on these stupid lists. Feel free to have a life-changing revelation at any point you are on the Crank Tank, though.