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JOURNALIST - SCIENCE: Don't Specialize Too Early

About this video 

Catherine is a journalist in the solar and semiconductor industries. She became interested in writing when she graduated from university in the middle of the recession and there were few opportunities available at the time. Luckily she found that she loved writing and has since stuck with it. She tells us that specializing early on doesn't necessarily mean more security in today's economy. Today many old industries are disappearing and new industries are being created, so there are no guarantees.

School: Massachusetts Institute of Technology - University of California Santa Barbara
Degree: Materials Sciences
Job Title: Journalist - Science
Employer: Self-Employed

Job Summary: Digital Journalist

Job Description

Digital journalist is a new breed of reporter who focuses on creating interactive news stories and blogs with videos, photos and animations.

On-the-Job Training

Moderate-term on-the-job training

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$30,000 - $150,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
1 to 8 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time, Long hours, Flexible, Irregular
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Office, Travel, Outdoor, Indoor, Home
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Creativity, Analytical skills, Written communication skills, Verbal communication skills, Artistic, People skills, Public speaking ability, Networking

Educational Path

Education requirement
Education Requirement
Bachelor's degree
View Detailed Career Data

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='170'>My</span> <span m='310'>name's</span> <span m='580'>Catherine.</span> <span m='1770'>I</span> <span m='2240'>have</span> <span m='2710'>a</span> <span m='2930'>degree</span> <span m='3430'>from</span> <span m='3890'>MIT</span> <span m='4510'>in</span> <span m='4630'>material</span> <span m='5100'>science,</span> <span m='6170'>and</span> <span m='6510'>I'm</span> <span m='6700'>using</span> <span m='7200'>that</span> <span m='7840'>as</span> <span m='8130'>a</span> <span m='8200'>journalist</span> <span m='8980'>in</span> <span m='9240'>the</span> <span m='9420'>solar</span> <span m='10140'>and</span> <span m='10470'>semiconductor</span> <span m='11045'>industries.</span> <span m='12290'>So</span> <span m='12960'>I</span> <span m='13350'>describe</span> <span m='13870'>my</span> <span m='14030'>job</span> <span m='14400'>as</span> <span m='14550'>being</span> <span m='14870'>to</span> <span m='15240'>travel</span> <span m='15610'>the</span> <span m='15690'>world</span> <span m='16030'>talking</span> <span m='16450'>to</span> <span m='16580'>interesting</span> <span m='17040'>people</span> <span m='17450'>about</span> <span m='17510'>their</span> <span m='17800'>work.</span> <span m='18690'>So</span> <span m='19190'>I</span> <span m='19560'>do</span> <span m='19750'>spend</span> <span m='20050'>a</span> <span m='20090'>lot</span> <span m='20290'>of</span> <span m='20400'>time</span> <span m='20710'>on</span> <span m='20800'>the</span> <span m='20880'>phone</span> <span m='21280'>and a lot</span> <span m='21722'>of time</span> <span m='22164'>on</span> <span m='22606'>email,</span> <span m='23050'>basically</span> <span m='23570'>asking</span> <span m='23970'>people</span> <span m='24300'>questions</span> <span m='24860'>trying</span> <span m='25160'>to</span> <span m='25250'>understand</span> <span m='25840'>what</span> <span m='26110'>they're</span> <span m='26310'>doing</span> <span m='26670'>in</span> <span m='26750'>a</span> <span m='26800'>little</span> <span m='27010'>more</span> <span m='27190'>detail</span> <span m='28110'>so</span> <span m='28350'>that</span> <span m='28540'>I</span> <span m='28600'>can</span> <span m='28780'>explain</span> <span m='29360'>it</span> <span m='29540'>to</span> <span m='29780'>a</span> <span m='29850'>general</span> <span m='30270'>audience</span> <span m='30555'>or</span> <span m='30840'>at least</span> <span m='31322'>a less</span> <span m='31804'>specialized</span> <span m='32286'>audience.</span> </p><p><span m='33732'>I'm</span> <span m='34220'>self-employed,</span> <span m='35050'>so</span> <span m='35180'>a</span> <span m='35280'>typical</span> <span m='35690'>day</span> <span m='35910'>starts</span> <span m='36360'>with</span> <span m='36840'>reading</span> <span m='37360'>my</span> <span m='37520'>email</span> <span m='37990'>while I</span> <span m='38310'>pet</span> <span m='38460'>my</span> <span m='38570'>cats.</span> <span m='39276'>I work</span> <span m='39630'>at</span> <span m='40130'>home.</span> <span m='41130'>Projects</span> <span m='42080'>might</span> <span m='42380'>range</span> <span m='42950'>from</span> <span m='43265'>a</span> <span m='44350'>500</span> <span m='44950'>word</span> <span m='45220'>news</span> <span m='45460'>story</span> <span m='45820'>up</span> <span m='46180'>to</span> <span m='47160'>a</span> <span m='47200'>3,000</span> <span m='47840'>word</span> <span m='48080'>feature</span> <span m='48800'>or</span> <span m='49540'>a</span> <span m='49630'>longer,</span> <span m='50580'>book-length</span> <span m='51090'>report.</span> <span m='52050'>And</span> <span m='52440'>so</span> <span m='53320'>what</span> <span m='53550'>I'll</span> <span m='53670'>be</span> <span m='53810'>doing</span> <span m='54330'>depends</span> <span m='55020'>on</span> <span m='55720'>am</span> <span m='56020'>I</span> <span m='56690'>doing</span> <span m='56920'>preliminary</span> <span m='57730'>interviews</span> <span m='58300'>and</span> <span m='58440'>doing the</span> <span m='58800'>research</span> <span m='59340'>for</span> <span m='59420'>that</span> <span m='59690'>report,</span> <span m='60300'>or</span> <span m='60590'>have</span> <span m='60880'>I</span> <span m='61190'>gotten</span> <span m='61600'>into</span> <span m='61840'>the</span> <span m='61950'>writing</span> <span m='62390'>and</span> <span m='62490'>editing</span> <span m='62960'>for</span> <span m='63260'>a shorter</span> <span m='63460'>news</span> <span m='63826'>story?</span> <span m='64560'>So</span> <span m='65400'>a</span> <span m='65470'>combination</span> <span m='66300'>of</span> <span m='67760'>researching,</span> <span m='68730'>writing,</span> <span m='69230'>editing,</span> <span m='69830'>and</span> <span m='70280'>of course,</span> <span m='70580'>pitching</span> <span m='71010'>stories</span> <span m='71770'>for</span> <span m='72560'>future</span> <span m='72905'>publication.</span> </p><p><span m='74840'>As</span> <span m='75030'>I</span> <span m='75100'>said,</span> <span m='75680'>my</span> <span m='76090'>degree</span> <span m='76470'>is</span> <span m='76670'>material</span> <span m='77110'>science</span> <span m='77550'>from</span> <span m='77750'>MIT</span> <span m='78450'>and</span> <span m='78830'>also</span> <span m='79800'>a</span> <span m='79940'>master's</span> <span m='80510'>degree</span> <span m='81090'>from</span> <span m='81360'>UC</span> <span m='81700'>Santa</span> <span m='82010'>Barbara.</span> <span m='83240'>I</span> <span m='83630'>had</span> <span m='83920'>the</span> <span m='84210'>misfortune</span> <span m='84980'>to</span> <span m='85410'>graduate</span> <span m='85785'>in the</span> <span m='86160'>middle</span> <span m='86440'>of</span> <span m='86570'>a</span> <span m='86620'>recession,</span> <span m='87570'>which</span> <span m='87770'>I'm</span> <span m='87940'>sure</span> <span m='88410'>your</span> <span m='88590'>audience</span> <span m='89050'>is</span> <span m='89470'>familiar</span> <span m='89950'>with,</span> <span m='90680'>and</span> <span m='91460'>so</span> <span m='91900'>stumbled</span> <span m='92550'>into</span> <span m='92850'>journalism</span> <span m='93620'>at</span> <span m='93890'>a</span> <span m='94250'>leading</span> <span m='94590'>trade</span> <span m='94940'>publication</span> <span m='95690'>because</span> <span m='96040'>that</span> <span m='96375'>was</span> <span m='96710'>where</span> <span m='96940'>the</span> <span m='97110'>opportunity</span> <span m='97810'>was</span> <span m='98140'>at</span> <span m='98240'>that</span> <span m='98460'>time.</span> <span m='98930'>And</span> <span m='99400'>it turned</span> <span m='99796'>out</span> <span m='100192'>that</span> <span m='100590'>I</span> <span m='100870'>loved</span> <span m='101180'>it.</span> <span m='101780'>And</span> <span m='102970'>I've</span> <span m='103240'>gone</span> <span m='103690'>from</span> <span m='103910'>traditional</span> <span m='104530'>print</span> <span m='104860'>magazines</span> <span m='105700'>to</span> <span m='106120'>an</span> <span m='106230'>internet</span> <span m='106690'>start up</span> <span m='107600'>to</span> <span m='107840'>what</span> <span m='108030'>I'm</span> <span m='108170'>doing</span> <span m='108470'>now,</span> <span m='108950'>which</span> <span m='109050'>is</span> <span m='109630'>working</span> <span m='109960'>for</span> <span m='110160'>myself</span> <span m='110770'>with</span> <span m='110990'>clients</span> <span m='111560'>ranging</span> <span m='112200'>from</span> <span m='112660'>Fortune</span> <span m='113132'>100</span> <span m='113604'>companies</span> <span m='114076'>to</span> <span m='115020'>small</span> <span m='115492'>web</span> <span m='115964'>publications.</span> </p><p><span m='117580'>What</span> <span m='117710'>I</span> <span m='117770'>wish</span> <span m='118030'>I</span> <span m='118220'>had</span> <span m='118460'>known</span> <span m='118650'>that</span> <span m='118910'>I</span> <span m='118990'>do</span> <span m='119380'>know</span> <span m='119830'>now.</span> <span m='120730'>Don't</span> <span m='120970'>specialize</span> <span m='121610'>too</span> <span m='121860'>early.</span> <span m='122920'>There's</span> <span m='123630'>a</span> <span m='124030'>whole</span> <span m='124830'>industry</span> <span m='125610'>that's</span> <span m='126230'>dedicated</span> <span m='126980'>to</span> <span m='127820'>focusing</span> <span m='128699'>high</span> <span m='128930'>school</span> <span m='129180'>students</span> <span m='129680'>and</span> <span m='129789'>college</span> <span m='130210'>students</span> <span m='130759'>on</span> <span m='131220'>a</span> <span m='131300'>very</span> <span m='131570'>narrow,</span> <span m='132070'>very</span> <span m='132310'>clearly</span> <span m='132800'>defined</span> <span m='133275'>career</span> <span m='133750'>path.</span> <span m='135050'>And</span> <span m='135510'>that</span> <span m='135720'>feels</span> <span m='136250'>more</span> <span m='136480'>secure,</span> <span m='137110'>but it's</span> <span m='137410'>really</span> <span m='137810'>not,</span> <span m='138310'>because</span> <span m='138740'>there</span> <span m='138940'>aren't</span> <span m='139210'>any</span> <span m='139360'>guarantees.</span> <span m='140840'>In</span> <span m='141000'>the</span> <span m='141070'>last</span> <span m='141720'>5,</span> <span m='142055'>10</span> <span m='142390'>years,</span> <span m='142730'>we've</span> <span m='142900'>seen</span> <span m='143300'>entire</span> <span m='143770'>industries</span> <span m='144540'>that</span> <span m='144740'>didn't</span> <span m='145030'>exist.</span> <span m='146130'>And</span> <span m='146300'>we've</span> <span m='146510'>also</span> <span m='146920'>seen</span> <span m='147910'>old</span> <span m='148200'>industries</span> <span m='148700'>just</span> <span m='149200'>vanish.</span> <span m='151290'>Back</span> <span m='151820'>when</span> <span m='151980'>I</span> <span m='152060'>went</span> <span m='152290'>to</span> <span m='152410'>school,</span> <span m='152790'>Kodak</span> <span m='153340'>looked</span> <span m='153550'>like</span> <span m='153740'>a</span> <span m='153780'>great</span> <span m='154070'>opportunity.</span> <span m='155600'>Where</span> <span m='155900'>are</span> <span m='156000'>they</span> <span m='156190'>now?</span> </p><p><span m='156980'>So</span> <span m='157860'>I</span> <span m='157990'>think</span> <span m='158310'>it's</span> <span m='158570'>better</span> <span m='158920'>to</span> <span m='159010'>have</span> <span m='159430'>a</span> <span m='159760'>broad</span> <span m='160210'>background</span> <span m='161050'>and</span> <span m='161350'>be</span> <span m='161550'>interested</span> <span m='162130'>in</span> <span m='162250'>a</span> <span m='162300'>lot</span> <span m='162550'>of</span> <span m='162630'>things</span> <span m='163250'>rather</span> <span m='163940'>than</span> <span m='164600'>deciding</span> <span m='165190'>too</span> <span m='165460'>early</span> <span m='165930'>that</span> <span m='166340'>this</span> <span m='166930'>and</span> <span m='167010'>only</span> <span m='167440'>this</span> <span m='167700'>is</span> <span m='167830'>what</span> <span m='168050'>you're</span> <span m='168140'>going</span> <span m='168390'>to</span> <span m='168530'>do</span> <span m='169020'>for,</span> <span m='169630'>good</span> <span m='169930'>Lord,</span> <span m='170210'>the</span> <span m='170290'>rest</span> <span m='170570'>of</span> <span m='170650'>your</span> <span m='170850'>life.</span> <span m='171780'>At</span> <span m='172130'>18,</span> <span m='172870'>can</span> <span m='173040'>you</span> <span m='173170'>imagine</span> <span m='173680'>plotting</span> <span m='174080'>out</span> <span m='174250'>the</span> <span m='174330'>next</span> <span m='174610'>50</span> <span m='174930'>years?</span> <span m='176130'>Don't.</span> <span m='178170'>Life</span> <span m='178490'>happens.</span> <span m='178990'>Enjoy</span> <span m='179290'>it.</span> </p>","file":{"id":255817,"video_id":"2701227000001","name":"70208534","duration":180907,"thumbnail_url":null}});