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How useful is NCTJ?

Discussion in 'Journalism Forum' started by ABK, May 30, 2008.

  1. ABK

    ABK New Member

    Hi there!

    I have been planning to get an an NCTJ qualification. Can someone please tell me how useful is it? Will it help me get into a newspaper company? Will it provide me with the knowledge needed to be a better journalist?
    I have also been looking at Sheffield College for a fast track course in Newspaper journalism, a 17-week course, which will prepare the student for the NCTJ exam. Would someone know if it is a good college and offers quality education?
    Eagerly looking forward to opinions that will help me make my decision.
  2. susanfenton

    susanfenton New Member

    re NCTJ usefulness

    in my day it was hard to get onto a newspaper without NCTJ training. The normal thing was to do a year pre-entry post-A levels (or a shorter pre-entry course if you had a degree) - that was what editors were looking for.
    I don't know if things are the same now, but I'm sure most editors would want to see some form of journalism training or qualification on your CV, and the NCTJ is still the national standard. Without it, you'd have to convince an employer that there's a good reason why they should take you on without you having had any training - and you'll be competing against people who do have training.
  3. journo

    journo New Member


    I'm in my third and final year of a journalism degree at City University. Although it is not accredited by the NCTJ (they had a falling out) it is a very well respected and widely known course within the industry and i have never been turned away from work because i don't have the NCTJ qualifications.

    As long as you cover law and shorthand in the course you do then you should be fine.

    However i did speak to one local newspaper editor who said he wouldn't employ someone without it, but he acknowledged that nationals don't care about the NCTJ... you just need a general high level of education and lots of passion for the job.

    This is from my experience anyway. Hope this helps and feel free to ask me any more quests about starting out.
  4. spacekadet

    spacekadet New Member

    I got into a national paper without NCTJ qualifications, for what it's worth!
  5. James A

    James A New Member

    Well according to a certain national newspaper's policy for recruiting trainees this year, none of them, nor indeed any prior formal journalism training what-so-ever. Not even in law.
    But to answer your question, they're all pretty useful. Though what the NCTJ gives marks for seemed somewhat arbitrary when I took the exams.
    over a year ago.
  6. geddiejdk

    geddiejdk New Member

    Advice needed urgently?

    Hi all,

    I have an undergraduate degree in English Literature and am trying to get into journalism. I have been offered a place on the PA's NCTJ accredited foundation course but am also considering studying an MA in Newspaper Journalism at City.

    Both have very impressive employment rates but City graduates appear have a higher trajectory of jobs. However, I could do the PA course now and have the qualification in summer, if i study at city I won't be employable until the following summer!

    What should i do, I'm desperate because the deadline for paying my deposit for the PA course is Monday!

    I'd really appreciate some advice...

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