Universities and schools
Journalists are not officially required to hold a license to practice their trade but are socially expected to have at least a related university degree or some higher education studies. The preferred choice for journalists is related to Media and Communication subjects, but other degrees do not restrain from the professional practice. As a professional degree, journalism is normally taught at a higher education level, frequently as part of a broader Communications degree.
According the 2016-2017 registry of the National Association of Universities and Higher Education Institutions (ANUIES), there are 391 higher education schools that offer a Media and Communications and Journalism degree. Nearly a fifth of those institutions are affiliated to the National Council for the Teaching and Research of Communication Science (CONEICC), a civil association dedicated to the study of communication. Membership to the Council is not compulsory but gives an idea of the importance and seriousness of the institution in question. The Labor Observatory, a public agency, considers different areas that comprise the broad subject of Communications and qualify as part of this expertise, such as: Communication Science, Organisational Communication, Political Communication, Mass Media, Journalism and Photojournalism. For its part, ANUIES also includes degrees in public image, public relations, entertainment management, and social communication as part of the broader subject of Communication.
According to the same institution, the student roll in the country for these Communication programs in the 2016-2017 school year was nearly 69,108, of which nearly 60 percent is female. Mexico City is the federal entity with the most institutions offering a communications or journalism degree, with 40 institutions, followed by the State of Puebla (36) and the State of Mexico (31), capturing together 48 percent of the total count. The three institutions are located in the central part of the country, revealing the centralised nature of the media industry. Depending on the institutions, degrees last three to five years of study, although it is most frequently a four-year degree. Graduation rates are low, as only 16 percent of the students get their final certificate. Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City is the first institution in Mexico to have offered a Communications-related degree since 1960.