Journalism degree ranked near lowest ROI

According to a recent study by, the debts incurred in J-school give the college major a pretty bad return on investment when compared with other median salaries.

It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows anything about the struggling state of newspapers and magazines that journalism is one of the least lucrative college degrees to pursue. In fact, rates journalism the second-worst return on investment based on a median salary of roughly $37,000 and college costs in excess of $52,000.

Really? Worse than all those out-of-work actors who majored in theater and worse than storytelling majors? (Neither of those majors is on Bankrate’s list.)

It takes an average of nearly 32 years for a journalism student to repay his or her loans, while advertising/marketing/promotions boasts the lowest number of years it takes to repay loans at 5.83. Folks in that field have a median pay of about $108,000.

The only profession that has it worse? Marriage and family therapists, who need nearly 35 years to pay off their debts. They make more – $47,000 is their median salary – but they also have six years of school to pay off rather than just four.

The No. 2 major on the list is engineering. Students in that field pay off their loans in an average of 7.08 years

Public relations specialists are near the middle of the pack, with a median pay of around $54,000 and average of $52,596 in loan debt. It takes about 14 ½ years to pay it off.

Check out more ROI of college degrees at

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