The explosion of social media and new digital content platforms has created a vast and dynamic field of opportunities for those with the vision, creativity, and the technical skills to harness the power of this new form of communication. Businesses of all shapes and sizes, as well as non-profits, government agencies, and individuals are finding that having a website is no longer enough. In order to capitalize on the opportunity to reach and engage their target audience, as well as to shape the way consumers interact with their brand, they need and want a dynamic digital media presence.
Advertising, marketing and PR firms were quick to find innovative ways to capitalize on these new platforms, and remain a dominant force in helping companies and individuals promote themselves and build their brand within the many digital media outlets. Businesses and non-profits also employ digital media professionals in house, often times as part of their marketing divisions. Government agencies at all levels, from local to federal, as well as political candidates, are also maintaining a digital media presence. New media platforms are constantly being created, and established platforms are enhancing their current service and working hard to retain and grow their user groups, making room for new hires that bring fresh ideas, perspectives and talents to the companies developing and running these platforms.
When considering a career in digital media, you should first ask yourself where you want to focus your search. Are you interested in being a part of the social media landscape, growing established sites such as Facebook and Twitter; or perhaps working for a start-up that is hoping to experiment with the media category at its outer edge? Would you rather work for an established media company that is building and monitoring its own media presence? Would you prefer to work for a nonprofit or within government, maybe directly for a political candidate? You could also focus your search on businesses or corporations in industries that appeal to you, such as fashion, technology or consumer products. There are many possibilities, focusing your search those areas you find the most interesting can make this process more manageable.
Things to Consider
Having a robust, yet professional, online presence within multiple media platforms is a must for anyone looking to work in this area. Potential employers will want to see that candidates maintain an active online presence for themselves, are able to effectively establish and build their own brand, and are comfortable within mainstream and emerging medias. Review the information on establishing a professional online identity for more information on building and maintaining your professional image.
Many companies, agencies, and nonprofits offer media related internships. Depending on the opportunity, these could include establishing or maintaining a social media presence, promoting a new media platform, analyzing data to understand who and how consumers are interacting with brands or, for those with strong technical skills, helping to build a new platform or features.
Things to Consider
The networking relationships developed through internships can help you as you approach your full-time job search. For full-time opportunities, networking and interacting with companies online is essential, as is staying up to date with the latest trends. For summer internships, employers will typically hire between January and April; full-time hiring is more unpredictable. Opportunities become available when someone leaves, when the company begins to expand, when funding becomes available, all of which happen at varying times. Building relationships early through internships and networking can help you position yourself to find out about full-time opportunities before they get advertised.
Some common job titles include: Social Media Strategist; SEO Associate; Online Community Manager; Social Media Developer; Online Video Producer; Blogger/Copywriter; Content Producer.