Those with NCTJ journalism qualifications more likely to get a job but paid less than other graduates

Students who take NCTJ courses in journalism are more likely to get a job than other graduates but are likely to be paid less.

According to research commissioned by the National Council for the Training of Journalists some 86 per cent of students who passed all modules of their National Council for the Training of Journalists diploma (the 'gold standard') were in a journalism-related job six-ten months after qualifying. Some 96 per of these gold standard graduates were in some sort of employment. This compared with 70 per cent of all those leaving higher education.

But starting salaries for those with NCTJ qualifications were generally lower, reflecting the comparitively low starting pay for journalism compared with other professions.

The survey also found that around a fifth of NCTJ graduates found their jobs through work experience and a further fifth found employment via “personal contacts”.

The survey looked at 1,096 former NCTJ students who took courses between May and October 20145.

Of these:

  • 308 achieved the gold standard (passed all subjects plus 100 words per minute shorthand)
  • 209 achieved a diploma (A-E in all modules and 60 words per minute shorthand)
  • 579 did not complete the course.

Some 53 per cent of this total were female and 88 per cent were from a “white” ethnic background.

The survey findings are based on responses from 205 students.

Overall 82 per cent of those who responded were in employment and 79 per cent said they were in journalism-related jobs.

Those who found journalism-related jobs found said they worked in the following areas:

  • Local newspapers, 33 per cent
  • Magazines, 13 per cent
  • Online/digital,9
  • National newspapers, 7
  • Television, 7 per cent
  • PR company, 6 per cent
  • Radio, 4
  • Other, 23

Those in the ‘other’ category were said to have journalism-related jobs outside the journalism and PR industry. So they could be doing journalism or PR in-house in the public or private sector.

Most NCTJ graduates in work were earning between £15,000 and £19,000 a year.  The median salary for an NCTJ graduate was estimated at £17,500, this compares with a typical starting salary of £20,500 for all graduates.

Asked how they found a job, those in work said the following:

  • Recruitment agency/website, 27 per cent
  • Personal contacts, 21 per cent
  • Already worked there (ie. on work experience), 20 per cent
  • Social media/professional networking sites, 11 per cent
  • Media advert, 11 per cent
  • University/college careers service, 6 per cent
  • Employer’s website, 6 per cent
  • Other university/college source, 4 per cent
  • Speculative application, 2 per cent
  • Other, 11 per cent

Of those who found work in journalism, some 37 per cent said the NCTJ qualification was a formal requirement and a further 40 per cent said it gave them an advantage.

Read the full report: Destinations of NCTJ Diploma in Journalism Students.

Picture credit: NCTJ

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