Thoughts on this study plan?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by Spinmaster, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. Spinmaster

    Spinmaster Valued Member

    I'm looking to finish up my associate degree this summer and transfer in the fall semester to start work on my bachelor's in journalism. What I'm debating is what direction to go with the electives I'm going to have to take; my current thought is to go with a double minor in psychology and economics. Obviously I need to ask a school counselor about this, but I thought maybe some folks here would have some good input. Would this course of action be beneficial to a career in journalism?
  2. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    What is your associate degree in?
  3. Spinmaster

    Spinmaster Valued Member

    General Studies. I'm transferring to a university that has an agreement with my community college, so transferring with the associate means I've completed all the basic stuff for the bachelor's. I've taken some psych and eco classes to fill up social science electives slots for the associate degree, that would also count towards what I'd need for the minors.
  4. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Sorry, but it seems like you have put in good thought and a good course of action..

    I don't quite understand what you desire from this thread.
  5. Spinmaster

    Spinmaster Valued Member

    Just for people to say "yes, psych and eco will help your journalism" or "no, that's a waste, you should take [whatever subject] for your electives instead." :)
  6. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Only the college where you are going to study would have the set courses per curriculum

    Why venture off with courses which may not be useful to that curriculum?

    For example, if someone is going into the field of engineering, why would they study "psychology"?

    They may study economics as this maybe useful in engineering somewhere
  7. Spinmaster

    Spinmaster Valued Member

    Well, there are the required courses which I have to take for the journalism program, of course. 13 of those, to be exact, I think. But that leaves me needing 7 more classes to make up the required number of credits/hours. They have a recommended list of electives, and as I said, I'm going to talk to somebody from the school about it soon. I'm not posting here to argue that psych and eco are useful in this case, just to ask people's opinions on if they are. :p

    EDIT: The usefulness of economics is rather obvious, I suppose, given that I may end up having to cover matters of government spending or the like at some point (I hope to get a chance to cover political matters at some point). My question here was more specifically directed at psychology, which I'm thinking might be of use if I ever get involved in investigative journalism. Anyways... like I said, that's just my state of mind from previewing the data and mulling over the options, and I thought someone here might have experience in the matter.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  8. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    No argument or debate here.

    To reiterate;

    "Only the college where you are going to study would have the set courses per curriculum"
  9. Spinmaster

    Spinmaster Valued Member

    47MartialMan, I realize this is a matter I have to discuss with the school. In fact, I pointed that out in the original post so that no one would think I'm coming on here without doing my research and expecting y'all to give me answers. I asked for opinions. If you don't have any input on whether or not what I suggested is a wise course of action, please refrain from commenting. So far, every post you've made in this thread has been "you need to talk to the school."
  10. kuntaoer

    kuntaoer Valued Member

    The plan of attack is to get your core courses out of the way first and then concentrate on the degree that you want.. When I went for my degree, I took the core classes at the junior college and from there combined them with my other courses to get a degree in marketing with a side interest in international business. When I was in the military, my background was in medical and government contracting, so I combined these courses I received through military affiliated colleges and my junior college to focus on my interest in international business with a focus on security consulting
  11. embra

    embra Valued Member

    Some comments.

    1) Journalism as a career is probably pretty tough i.e. very long hours, and may not be that glamorous i.e. writing marketing material for a food-store or a dull magazine/newspaper.

    Also, if you are going to comment on matters wide very much in the public eye, then its best to grow the hide of a Rhinoscerous - as criticism will come your way - no matter what - just look at some of the flame-wars on this little forum.

    2) That said for a young citizen of the US, this is potentially a rewarding career, as the USA is gradually coming to terms with the reality that it not isolated from the rest of the world and is taking an interest in places far flung.

    However, the average US citizen probably wants (I have no real evidence I may add, beyond what I experienced on a visit n 1989) very simplified digestable "news" and "commentary" e.g. Tea-Party devotees (my perception - right/wrong/otherwise - is that they distort the real-world into overly simple arguments) - so Psychology probably is a good study - its always useful to gain empathy with potential readers.

    Objective argument and presentation is difficult - and sometimes you have to/will be compelled/forced/otherwise - to twist or 'spin' (specially for you:cool:) as we used to say with "New Labour" (what a joke that was :eek:) what you write and present.

    3) Economics. Yes this is a good subject to study. However caution, it is a complex subject with many diverse aspects ranging from Hedge-fund derivative trading, commodity production and marketing, agriculture in diverse places, resource management, science, technology, bond markets (In my mind this is the major area to study right now - it affects us all), local politics , geo-politics, government structure, society and loads of others.

    However what holds it all together meaningfully is quantitive economics, which means Mathematics and Statistics.

    If you watch some of the videos on, you will see that the journalists, interviewers and presenters really know there stuff when interpreting charts and trends - they can really backup what they are saying - with quantitive evidence; and go to quite some effort to 'simplify' the arguments and discussions.

    So Economics is a good but difficult subject - but you have to start somewhere. Good luck.
  12. AndrewTheAndroid

    AndrewTheAndroid A hero for fun.

    I think it largely depends on what you want to do as a journalist. It's a pretty wide field field from what I understand.
  13. Spinmaster

    Spinmaster Valued Member

    @kuntaoer: By "core courses" do you mean like the basic history/science that everybody has to go through? I'm finishing that up with the associate degree. :)

    @embra: Thanks, you gave me a lot to think about! The hard work and the flaming is something I expect to come with the territory, but I'm hoping it will be made up for with the times I get to write on things that matter to me. Who knows, maybe I'm being young and naive. :p Increasing globalism is one of the things that draws me to the field, particularly because my girlfriend is Estonian with Russian ancestry. Visiting her over Christmas really opened up my eyes to the wider world out there, and particularly the contrast between the social structure of Europe and that of America. I won't lie, statistics scares me a bit. :p That's definitely something I'll have to research more, and see if I can handle. I'm currently taking a principles of macroeconomics class, and the math hasn't been too terribly frightening; I'm not sure if that's a reasonable taste of future study in the field, or if it gets a lot worse later on. A couple classes offered by the university I'm transferring to really catch my eye, namely comparative economics (examining communism vs. capitalism throughout history) and economics of natural resources (or something along those lines, don't have the course catalog in front of me atm). I will definitely check out those videos you linked!

    @WhitePanda: That's quite true. I'm hoping to obtain a versatile skill-set that will allow me to work in different areas of journalism. My main interests are in covering political matters, science writing, and international news. However, I want to be prepared to cover whatever jobs I can get until I can get into one more focused on what interests me. That's my reason for considering economics; I can't say I love the field, but I think it would be useful.

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