Journalism grads wish they had more Web skills

The annual survey of journalism and mass communications graduates finds that most grads are using the Web skills they’ve learned in school and wishing they had more.

The majority of 2010 bachelor’s degree recipients said they had the skill when they completed their studies to write for the Web, edit for the Web, use still photography on the Web, adapt to the digital environment generally, and use the social media professionally.

In a follow-up question the researchers asked graduates to list skills, if any, they felt were missing. More than three of 10 dealt with the Web specifically.

Many of the skills listed, such as knowledge of HTML, programming and social media, are part of the Web environment. Others, such as graphic design and photo editing, have strong Web connections.

In addition, the 2010 Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communications Graduates found that two-thirds  of grads working in communication are writing and editing for the Web.

The researchers said, “Almost regardless of employer type, writing and editing for the Web is a prominent part of the work landscape.”

More than half are using social network sites in their jobs as well, and a fifth are designing and building websites.

When it comes to getting and keeping jobs, this year shows a slight improvement over last, but pay remains low and benefits relatively poor.

In fact, the median salary earned by the 2010 graduates of $30,000 is exactly the same as the median salary reported in 2006, the last year that salaries improved over the year before.

Break that down by media type and once again, TV news salaries are the lowest — the average for 2010 was $25,400 (though that’s up from $24,900 a year earlier).

As in previous years, women were hired at rates higher than men, though the researchers explain that as a factor of advertising and public relations attracting more women.

Minority graduates in 2010 once again had a more difficult time in the job market than did graduates who were not members of racial and ethnic minorities. The gap in 2010 of 17.1% is the largest ever recorded in the survey.