When you want a career with a great outlook, job security, and excitement, few paths measure up to a journalist. However, getting your break in journalism isn’t quite as easy as it may seem. Although the internet has changed and improved opportunities for writers, there are still some essential steps to pursuing journalism as a career.

Obtain Your Education

Most employers in journalism require that their candidates have a bachelor’s degree, but the specific area of study varies and is sometimes open. While you can pursue a degree in journalism, other fields that will help you qualify include communications, English, media studies, and IT. You might also be eligible to write for industry-specific periodicals if you have a degree specific to that field. For instance, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or law might enable you to write for legal, security, or law enforcement journals.

Network With Established Journalists

You can help yourself in many ways by networking with journalists who already have established careers. Getting to know professionals can help you learn about job fairs, conventions, and other events that are specific to journalism. Additionally, knowing journalists in the industry can help you learn about new positions and job opportunities as they emerge. Getting that advanced warning can help you be among the first to apply for new openings.

Start Getting Experience

Employers in the journalism industry prize experience almost as much as they value education and writing skill. For that reason, you should look for opportunities to get your writing published in online blogs, magazines, newspapers, and anywhere else you can publicly share your writing. Even maintaining your own online blog may work in your favor. You should also start looking for paying writing gigs to add credibility to your writing. Many periodicals, magazines, and websites pay freelance writers for their original works. If there’s a specific site or publication you’d like to write, contact them to find out what types of content they want to publish. This can help you write a proposal that will get you that first paid writing opportunity.

Journalism is a career open to anyone willing to put in the effort to obtain the necessary credentials. Once you have a good education behind you, it will just be a matter of gaining more experience. Honing your skills and remaining dedicated to your career will ultimately lead to a successful career in journalism.