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Associate's Degree in Photojournalism

Although associate's degree programs in photojournalism are uncommon, you might be able to take some photojournalism courses through a general photography associate's degree program. Coursework at this degree level includes instruction in camera usage, lighting, and editing. Read on to learn more about job options for graduates of a 2-year photography program.

Are Associate's Degrees in Photojournalism Available?

Associate's programs in photojournalism are rare; some schools offer associate's degree programs in photographic technology with a specialization in photojournalism. You might find photojournalism courses offered through an associate's program in photography or journalism.

Prerequisites for admission generally include a high school diploma or equivalent. You'll usually need to complete two years of study in order to earn your degree. Due to hands-on requirements, most photojournalism or photography associate's programs are primarily campus-based.

Degree Programs Photographic technology, photography, journalism
Common Courses Digital camera usage, lighting equipment, image editing
Median Annual Salary (May 2018)* $34,000 (for Photographers)
Job Decline (2016-2026)* 6% (for Photographers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Take?

Most programs teach you how to use digital cameras as well as lighting equipment. You might learn how to develop photos in a darkroom or edit your images using a software application like Adobe Photoshop. Some programs explore the ethical and legal issues of photojournalism.

You'll usually gain experience behind the camera lens through class assignments; you may need to complete an internship in order to graduate. Some programs may expect you to purchase a camera, while others allow students to borrow cameras through the school photography department.

What Are My Career Options?

With an associate's degree in photojournalism, you might find work as a commercial, portrait or news photographer. Commercial photographers take pictures of various objects used in magazines and catalogs; portrait photographers often take pictures of people in professional, educational or religious settings. News photographers take pictures of individuals and events for online and print publications.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for photographers were expected to decline at a rate of 6% from 2016-2026 (www.bls.gov). Demand for portrait photographers during this time was expected to remain strong; opportunities for commercial photographers were expected to center on the creation of images for advertisements.