Second Career for Journalism Professional


Stephen writes:
After 22 years in journalism working as everything from a reporter to a copy editor to an editorial writer I’m ready to move on to another career. One possibility
that intrigues me is that of teaching journalism at the college level; the problem is
I have no formal training in journalism though I’ve certainly helped train enough
young reporters and editors. I do have an M.A. in English and experience teaching
freshman English. Do you know of any books or Web sites on second careers for
journalism professionals and could you offer any insights on whether this might
be a realistic option?


The Career Doctor responds:
I think you could easily position yourself as a very strong candidate for instructor and assistant professor positions in journalism at both the community college and
college levels. Years ago when I earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism most
of my professors had been former newspaper editors and only a handful held doctorate
degrees. And in researching various colleges and current job openings I have found
the case is similar today.
Most of the job openings I reviewed required at least several years experience as a
journalist or editor a minimum of a master’s degree and ideally some teaching experience. In some of the better journalism programs a Ph.D. was strongly preferred
(or required).
So if you feel a burning passion to share your insights and wisdom and to help train the
next generation of journalists I’m here to tell you it’s a realistic aspiration.
Your first step is to change your focus from editor to educator. You’ll need to totally
reformat your resume to focus on the three main qualifications these colleges are looking
for: proven accomplishments and achievement in reporting and editing; experience in
teaching and training; and an advanced degree. Actually I would recommend reformatting
your resume into a curriculum vitae (CV) which is the standard in educational recruiting.
Your next step is to determine where you would like to teach. Are you willing to relocate?
If so where? Once you have an idea of geographic region(s) you can conduct research to
find all the colleges in the region(s) that have journalism classes or programs. Contact
each to get the name of the department head and send off a job-search package that includes
a cover letter and CV.
Be sure to follow-up all your letters with phone calls. If the schools don’t have any current
offerings you still might request an information interview (as a way to get your foot in the
door).
Finally to be sure that teaching is the right path for you you might also consider taking an
adjunct (part-time) position first.
Some resources to help you:

;

Stephen writes:
After 22 years in journalism working as everything from a reporter to a copy editor to an editorial writer I’m ready to move on to another career. One possibility
that intrigues me is that of teaching journalism at the college level; the problem is
I have no formal training in journalism though I’ve certainly helped train enough
young reporters and editors. I do have an M.A. in English and experience teaching
freshman English. Do you know of any books or Web sites on second careers for
journalism professionals and could you offer any insights on whether this might
be a realistic option?


The Career Doctor responds:
I think you could easily position yourself as a very strong candidate for instructor and assistant professor positions in journalism at both the community college and
college levels. Years ago when I earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism most
of my professors had been former newspaper editors and only a handful held doctorate
degrees. And in researching various colleges and current job openings I have found
the case is similar today.
Most of the job openings I reviewed required at least several years experience as a
journalist or editor a minimum of a master’s degree and ideally some teaching experience. In some of the better journalism programs a Ph.D. was strongly preferred
(or required).
So if you feel a burning passion to share your insights and wisdom and to help train the
next generation of journalists I’m here to tell you it’s a realistic aspiration.
Your first step is to change your focus from editor to educator. You’ll need to totally
reformat your resume to focus on the three main qualifications these colleges are looking
for: proven accomplishments and achievement in reporting and editing; experience in
teaching and training; and an advanced degree. Actually I would recommend reformatting
your resume into a curriculum vitae (CV) which is the standard in educational recruiting.
Your next step is to determine where you would like to teach. Are you willing to relocate?
If so where? Once you have an idea of geographic region(s) you can conduct research to
find all the colleges in the region(s) that have journalism classes or programs. Contact
each to get the name of the department head and send off a job-search package that includes
a cover letter and CV.
Be sure to follow-up all your letters with phone calls. If the schools don’t have any current
offerings you still might request an information interview (as a way to get your foot in the
door).
Finally to be sure that teaching is the right path for you you might also consider taking an
adjunct (part-time) position first.
Some resources to help you: