'How do I become a BBC journalist?' is a question every BBC journalist is often asked. We all give different replies based on our own experience, and of course there is no one definitive answer.

But as an organisation the BBC can offer some basic guidance and advice on how you might go about it.

The good news is that opportunities arise regularly because the BBC employs several thousand journalists and people are always arriving, changing jobs or leaving.

You can enter the organisation at every level: from work experience to full-time jobs on high-profile network news programmes. A good place to start when you're preparing for any approach or interview is here on the BBC College of Journalism website. This is a training area for BBC journalists that is freely available to all in the UK. It covers a wide range of editorial subjects and issues, and multimedia craft skills. The BBC College of Production also has a website you might find helpful.

However you seek to join the BBC, you'll find that competition is fierce. There are always far more applicants than posts. You need talent of course but you also need tenacity and an ability to distinguish yourself from other candidates.

A university degree is not required. Many of the BBC's top journalists did not have a university education. You might have other experience or qualifications which are regarded as just as useful or important.

The BBC is interested in personal qualities as well as educational achievements. It puts a high value on a proven commitment to a career in journalism and on qualities such as energy, enthusiasm, flair, imagination, passion, analytical skills, intellectual curiosity and a reluctance to accept things at face value. You certainly need to be literate and numerate, to be able to swiftly read into and absorb issues and arguments.

Having said that most BBC journalists are graduates, which suggests that a degree gives you a definite advantage. And of course a degree is concrete evidence of intellectual discipline.

Many people considering journalism as a career wonder whether they should choose a degree in media studies, journalism or English rather than other subjects. It is fair to say that many senior journalists are suspicious of media studies courses and doubt their relevance and value to a career in news. They look much more favourably on journalism courses which are more news focused.

But your degree need not have any obvious connections to a career in journalism. It is better to study a subject you like and feel passionate about.

If you might want to specialise in a particular area of journalism - such as science, economics, law or politics - then a relevant degree is obviously a great starting point. A second language is also an asset. Many BBC journalists have arts degrees and the BBC is always interested in widening the knowledge base of its workforce.

As for post-graduate qualifications, they are certainly good to have, but again not essential: you might have other experience or qualifications which would be regarded as just as relevant and valuable. If you secure a job in BBC journalism, you can expect to receive training inside the organisation.

Finally, if you are thinking about studying for a journalism qualification, what should you aim for? It is not up to the BBC to recommend one course or college over another. Ask around and do some research about reputation and course content. You might find these two organisations helpful: the Broadcast Journalist Training Council (BJTC) and the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).

Many jobs in BBC journalism are not advertised externally. There could be a number of reasons for this - expense, for example, or a recruitment freeze which means vacant posts are offered in the first instance to existing staff.

You can keep up to date with everything that is available by visiting the BBC Careers website. Be aware that many jobs are not permanent vacancies but short-term contracts - covering maternity leave, for example.

Good luck.

Comments

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  • Comment number 21. Posted by Mahmud Al amin

    on 29 May 2013 07:03

    Hello,This is Mahmud Al amin from Bangladesh.I am really happy and grateful to be a account holder of BBC.I have a dream that i will sent some news in BBC but i do not know what should i do.In response to my comment if you tell me what should i do or give me the proper way to sent news in BBC i will be happy and also grateful to you. Thank you.

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  • Comment number 20. Posted by haseeb hassan

    on 22 May 2013 06:16

    bbc is gbbc not bbc and one of the inspirational motivational enthusiastic broadcasting giant in the world .and in my country gbbc is the essential part in preparing competitive eaxms .thats the the status of you in my country pakistan .Goodluck bbc

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  • Comment number 19. Posted by IMPORTANT POLITICAL BLOGS

    on 18 Apr 2013 04:18

    ABOUT THE 5 YEARS I AM LISTENING & READING TO BBC WORLDWIDE. I THINK THAT BBC IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATIOND SYSTEM ALL OVER THE VORLD

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  • Comment number 18. Posted by Loren Alfiscar

    on 22 Mar 2013 09:47

    Good day Mr. Baker. I'm from Philippines and I found this section about getting into your company as a journalist. I am a journalist on our school and I am a High School graduate. Regarding this topic, may I ask if the vacant positions are available for non-UK citizens?

    I look forward for your urgent response and I would be more than willing to work for your company one day if given the chance. Thank you very much.

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  • Comment number 17. Posted by stevenjonesoxford

    on 15 Feb 2013 13:52

    BBC news presenter is teaching a course on news presenting at Pinewood Studios.

    Might be worth having a look - http://www.actorsstudio.co.uk/

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  • Comment number 16. Posted by Yasir Hafeez

    on 10 Jan 2013 08:03

    Have a Nice day!
    I think its good way to join BBC. I like this.......

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  • Comment number 15. Posted by Mohammad Yacir Jamil Khan

    on 10 Jan 2013 03:33

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

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  • Comment number 14. Posted by arsalan

    on 28 Dec 2012 20:05

    This comment was removed because it broke the house rules. Explain

  • Comment number 13. Posted by Muhammad AbuShaban

    on 22 Nov 2012 11:54

    Hi...
    My name is Muhammad AbuShaban, 26 years old, i speak english and french, I am so much interested in working with the BBC, I always get in touch with the bbc different broadcasts, the bbc website, the bbc tv world wide, the bbc five live radio station, and all programs of the bbc have your say.
    I have a wide range and rich cv that make me a strong candidate with so many people applying to the BBC.
    I am talented and professional with the TOT, Marketing, effictive business communication, human resources management, teaching, and reporting.
    I would highly appreciating receiving from you so that I can attach to you my CV.
    looking forward towards receiving from you,
    Sincerely,
    Muhammad.

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  • Comment number 12. Posted by Déo

    on 18 Nov 2012 11:48

    Jonathan Baker,

    I am NKURUNZIZA RWANGABO Déogratias from Rwanda and I am studying in the National university of Rwanda, in the Faculty of Arts Media and Social Science; the department is Journalism and communication. I would like to start a career in journalism at BBC. I think I have needed skills and I would be happy if you helped me to improve my skills

    I'm waiting for your reply
    Thank you

    Déogratias

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