Two of the most popular career choices for Manchester students are Marketing and Media. However, as a careers consultant, I see a lot of final year students or graduates who are keen to get into these areas of work, but all too often they just don’t have the relevant skills or experience that will make potential employers sit up and take notice. While you’re still in your first and second year there’s a lot you can be doing to build up your portfolio – read on!
Last week I went along to a careers fair for the digital industries for students hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University and Manchester Digital and got talking to some local employers who were recruiting at the fair. These companies are involved in some really cutting edge stuff.
The MD for the northern region of a large publishing company told me that they desperately need people with digital skills. They are in the process of taking all of their paper publications online, embedding multimedia and developing exciting Flash-based content, and they need people who are well versed in web media with the vision and skills to make that happen. He said they have a lot of people who can “do paper” but they don’t understand the web medium.
I spoke to 2 representatives from a digital marketing agency who also talked about their need for digital marketing specialists who really understood and were passionate about online marketing and media. One of them told me that there were “huge opportunities” for people who had the necessary passion and set themselves the goal of developing a bit of a portfolio.
Someone from another digital agency told me he gets hundreds of dull indistinguishable CVs, but what really gets him excited is when someone sends him a link to a dynamic, interactive website or a blog or a DVD with some multimedia they have created – something that shows him what they’re capable of.
So the message is really this:
- The future of marketing and media sectors is digital. Currently, there just aren’t enough people with the necessary skills, so for those who are motivated enough to go out and get them, the world is their oyster. You don’t need to be a techie wizard (although if you are that’s great too!), but you need to understand what kind of things you can don on the web, be passionate about it and be prepared to keep updating your skills!
- Get focussed now! It’s difficult to build up the skills and experience you need for marketing/media careers overnight so don’t leave it until your final year… If you’re interested in careers in marketing or the media, start researching job opportunities in those sectors now. Browse graduate job ads and make a note of what knowledge, skills or experience they require, and set about building up your toolkit. Step-by-step blog post on how to do this to follow… In the meantime, here are a couple of good websites for jobs in marketing/new media – www.brandrepublic.com and www.nma.co.uk/jobs.