The Impact of the Diploma on Journalists' Income
In other professions, the literature tends to suggest that earning a degree from a top higher education institution is a predictor for success in the beginning stages of a career (e.g. Baghestanian & Popov, 2014). The allocation of graduates on the labor market depends on several factors, including ranking within the degree earned (e.g. Smeets, et al., 2006), internship experience (e.g. Gault, et al., 2000) and gender (e.g. Cox & Harquail, 1991). Access to network structures is also essential, as it provides better access to information, resources and career sponsorships (Seibert, et. al, 2001).
The extent of the advantage that a top degree in journalism provides in a journalist’s career is undetermined however. The aim of this paper is to analyze and quantify the advantages of the degrees that are more recognized by employers. Based on national data collected from 2000 to 2013 using journalists’ yearly registrations at the Commission of the Identity Card for Professional Journalists, our study shows how a diploma in journalism impacts wages and career trajectories, generating strong inequalities in journalists’ careers.
The database enables us to focus on the impact of professional network structures, as it includes information on the degrees earned by individual employers hiring the new journalists who have entered the profession since 2000. Furthermore, we explore the role of competition among degrees and graduates, as the number of schools recognized by the profession has increased over the years. Finally, we analyze gender differences in terms of the impacts of networks and degree competition on women and men’s wages and careers.