Journalism Schools Produce 'Useless' Degrees, Leaving Graduates Deep In Debt | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Journalism Schools Produce 'Useless' Degrees, Leaving Graduates Deep In Debt

The WSJ's education reporters have been on a roll lately, publishing a deeply reported series of stories about the unintended consequences of the fact that there's no lending cap on the federal government's "Grad Plus" student loan program. By allowing students with little to no income to borrow unlimited funds to further their education in the graduate domain (while leaving taxpayers on the hook for losses), pricey graduate degree programs have proliferated like the clap. And surprisingly, only a small fraction of these programs allow the average graduate to comfortably pay off their loans without financial help from their parents.

Back in June, WSJ published its initial deep-dive into high priced "useless" masters degrees offered by elite Ivy League Universities. The a few weeks after that, it followed up with a deep-dive on second- and third-tier law and MBA programs, which boomed in popularity over the past twenty to thirty years, only for many graduates to realize that six-figure jobs are mostly reserved for graduates from the top-tier programs.

Now, WSJ is targeting another universe of "useless" degrees: the master's degree in journalism. Expensive programs for what is by all accounts a dying discipline abound, with the "leading" programs found at Columbia, Northwestern and USC. Roughly a dozen other expensive programs continue to enroll students across the US. Together, they produce thousands of graduates a year for an industry that has seen the number of available jobs shrink practically every year for the last two decades.

While students borrow heavily, starting salaries from even USC and Northwestern are shockingly low at just $42K for the median graduate. Columbia's median number is stil just $49K (accounting for the dozen or so graduates every year who find decent-paying jobs at one of the country's top national outlets, like WSJ, Bloomberg or the NYT).