In Retrospect, @NYTimes Reporter Would’ve Studied Statistics Instead of #Journalism

Nowadays, what do you need to become a good journalist? Some may rush and say “a journalism degree.” But what do you say? We all know that students are trying to figure out what to study, what’s necessary to make a living, what it really takes to cut the mustard. So, I  asked a working journalist what he thinks especially during these tough times.  See what this New York Times business reporter says:

Surprised?

Kristina Libby, a social media consultant I profiled last week said that she would have waited to get an MBA rather than rush to grad school. What do you think?

Like Mr. Nixon stated, whatever you end up studying should enrich what you end up doing, in Libby’s case, an MBA would give her the business sense to understand her business client’s problems and run her consultancy (whereas a degree in public relations would only help her understand PR and social media principles, best practices, ethics and tactics which are still important). In Nixon’s case, a more nuanced foundation of statistics would probably have aided his business reporting for the New York Times more than a journalism degree would have.

My take: When looking to get a degree, in the beginning follow your passions and after undergrad assess what you need after working a few years. School won’t necessarily teach you to do. Only doing can teach you to do. School can refine your knowledge, expand your networks and enhance your ability to do something in a niche way. But more on that later.

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