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Third of NCTJ students not in journalism jobs after three years, study finds

A third of NCTJ journalism diploma graduates are not working in the media industry three years after finishing their studies, new research has shown.

A survey of 134 graduates carried out last year by the National Council for the Training of Journalists found 66 per cent were still in journalism-related jobs three years on.

This is lower than the 79 per cent of them who were working in the media industry in 2015, six to ten months after they had graduated.

The NCTJ said this suggested “some respondents who started their careers in journalism have left it for other careers, but that there has not been a compensating flow into journalism from those who started their career in other occupations”.

Not all graduates included in the survey sample had passed their diploma in journalism, however.

Among graduates who had achieved the so-called “gold standard” diploma – passing all exams including shorthand at 100 words per minute – the number still working in journalism three years on was higher, at 81 per cent.

This compares to 64 per cent among those who failed to pass the diploma.

The survey further found that graduates still working in journalism three years after finishing their studies were more likely to be satisfied with their career than those who were not.

NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher said: “Employability is one of the most important barometers of NCTJ accreditation. We’re conscious we set a very exacting standard which is challenging and rewarding.

“We are delighted those who completed the Diploma in Journalism, and particularly those who achieved the gold standard, have such a fantastic record for getting the journalism jobs they’ve worked so hard for.”

In a separate survey, carried out this year, of 187 journalism diploma graduates who finished their studies six to ten months ago, 76 per cent were in journalism-related jobs.

This rose to 90 per cent among those with a “gold standard” diploma.

Among the 2019 graduates, more than a quarter (27 per cent) were working in newspapers while 15 per cent worked for magazines and a further 13 per cent in the digital sector.

A combined eight per cent of respondents worked in either TV or radio.

The median salary of those in work within six to ten months of finishing their NCTJ studies rose to £22,500 this year from just £17,500 in 2015.

Read the full report.

Picture: Pixabay

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