College Connect: Remember implicit costs while job hunting

Posted By Spring Eselgroth

By Annie Dankelson

For seniors across America, graduation just finished up or is right around the corner. And with that, of course, comes entering the “real world” and the ever-important job search.

For some people, that might be easy. But for journalism majors like myself, things might be a little more difficult. How many times have we all heard the speech that journalism is a dying field that makes no money and has no jobs?

The recent ranking of the 200 best jobs by Careercast only seems to confirm this. As far as journalism goes, publication editor is No. 139 on the list, public relations executive is No. 140, photojournalist is No. 186, broadcaster is No. 196 and newspaper reporter comes in at a whopping No. 199. The ranking takes into account things like work environment, stress, hiring outlook and income.

However, one part of the Careercast post made me feel a little better:

“No two work experiences are guaranteed to be alike, and different career paths cater to unique skills and interests. Ultimately, only you can determine the best job for your abilities and passions.”

So journalism jobs don’t have the best income or the most stellar hiring outlook. But what if journalism is what you’re really, truly passionate about?

This reminds me a lot of the whole idea of implicit versus explicit cost in economics. I just recently finished grading some economics tests in which one of the questions was about the explicit and implicit costs of Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy entering the NFL draft instead of staying at Mizzou. If he had stayed, his explicit, monetary costs would have been another year’s worth of tuition (excluding any scholarships) and the salary he would have missed out on in the NFL. But his implicit, nonmonetary cost of staying would have been missing out on the experience of the NFL when playing at the professional level is probably a dream of his.

Explicit, monetary costs are definitely important and should be considered. Will people be giving up a higher salary by taking a journalism job? Maybe so.

But implicit costs, to me, are just as important to consider. Is the money worth it if you’re paying the high implicit cost of giving up a lifelong passion?

As we graduate, I think we need to keep this in mind. As even Careercast pointed out, everyone has different interests, and abandoning those interests would be its own kind of cost.

Annie Dankelson is a junior majoring in magazine journalism at the University of Missouri.

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