03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Malcolm Gladwell: Aspiring Journalists Should Skip J-School

Malcolm Gladwell told TIME magazine that he would tell aspiring young journalists today to skip journalism school and study something else instead.

"The issue is not writing. It's what you write about," Gladwell told TIME.

Gladwell said he enjoys reading Bloomberg's Jonathan Weil, who broke the Enron story, because he's "one of the very few mainstream journalists who really knows how to read a balance sheet."

Gladwell used Weil as rationale for advising young journalists not to attend journalism school, instead becoming an expert in another field that they could then cover as a journalist.

"Most accountants don't write articles, and most journalists don't know anything about accounting," he said. "Aspiring journalists should stop going to journalism programs and go to some other kind of grad school. If I was studying today, I would go get a master's in statistics, and maybe do a bunch of accounting courses and then write from that perspective. I think that's the way to survive. The role of the generalist is diminishing. Journalism has to get smarter."

Read Gladwell's full Q&A at