“Make a living by doing what you enjoy, and you never have to work a day in your life”- Confucius
Making a right career choice is one of the most vital and crucial decisions in a student’s life. After all, it is a good career which defines success for most people. A plethora of psychological tests assessing your IQ, EQ, aptitude and personality, are available these days which help people understand and choose their “true calling” in life. While making a career choice, it is of utmost importance to take out some time to introspect on who you are and what is it that you want to achieve in life. An evaluation of your skills and abilities, interests and values, the things that motivate you to work towards your goal and a match between your personality and your career choices should follow. With new advances in the field of technology, the world has become an even smaller place. New avenues have opened like never before and people have a multitude of career options to choose from. Some of the factors that cause new specialties and occupations to emerge include changing technology, demographics, business practices and changes in the global economy. The more dramatic the changes, the more likely they are to cause career change. Some of the emerging career options in media and technology which can be considered while making a career choice are:
Social Media Managers: Social media is the new thing of the day. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr and YouTube have revolutionized the way we work and live now. Social media managers/strategists use social media to reach out to customers, and they build social networks within companies. They experiment with new and alternative ways to leverage social media activities. They also strategize with and educate the management team and others across the company on incorporating relevant social media techniques into the corporate culture and into all of the company’s products and services. To become a social media manager, one should be comfortable with various aspects of social networking like blogging, managing an e-newsletter, crafting web content etc. The person also needs to be friendly, patient and responsive. A course in Media Management can be an added advantage.
Mobile Application Programmers: The immense popularity of Apple’s Application Store and similar sites from other brands like Blackberry and platforms like Android has created a profession of application programmers who have specialized in developing applications for the mobile phones. Additionally, they may also help in combating security and compatibility issues. A background in computers or technology is required to become a mobile application programmer as the knowledge of interface design, network communications, web services, SQLite databases, GSP framework and location based services is highly recommended for such professionals.
Content Writers: The World Wide Web is flooded with information and a simple search on any of the Search Engines like Google, Yahoo etc. is bound to display numerous results in the form of websites just waiting to be read. Content writers write content for these websites. Web Content basically refers to factual information, like the features or benefits of a product, service or an idea. They also develop strategies for updating and organizing Web content, typically with the goal of attracting new visitors. Most companies looking to hire a content writer look for a graduate with good command over English language, a flair for writing with an understanding of what works on the internet, an effective writing style that is fresh, consistent and customer friendly, a knack for editing and proof reading with good research skills, ability to write in a variety of formats and styles for multiple audiences and an understanding of keywords and meta tags.
E-Commerce Specialists: They analyze online buyers’ preferences and handle online sales strategies, including marketing, advertising, and website design. They also manage and support client and developer relationships. Strong general computer skills such as mastery of Microsoft Office and internet usage coupled with a computing or a business degree are recommended for those planning to make a career in this field. Some universities in US and UK like the Oxford Brookes University also offer a Masters program in E-commerce, E-business or E-marketing.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Specialists: They analyze, review and make changes to websites so that they are optimized for search engines; develop original content to include key phrases and effective headlines to receive increased traffic; and test various search engine marketing techniques and web designs. It is a given that strong communication skills and understanding of the language of the target audience are skills a SEO specialist should possess. Knowledge of basic web design and copywriting is also a must for a SEO specialist.
Online / Distance Learning Coordinators: With the emergence of the internet as an education channel, distance learning has become accessible like never before. Educational centers that provide remote education now employ Distance Learning Coordinators who monitor the progress of distance learners by coordinating daily subject matter programs and courses. They also provide the point of contact to the educational center’s relevant faculty for communicating with participants. Strong communication and interpersonal skills, including written correspondence, correct grammar in writing and speaking, creativity, self-motivation, problem solving, sense of humor and a positive and professional attitude is required for professionals in this field. Additionally, knowledge of distance learning technologies, intellectual property laws, and software applications for authoring like Flash, Captivate, Articulate, Dreamweaver etc.is also a must have.
Cyber Security Specialists: They plan, implement, upgrade, or monitor security measures for the protection of computer networks and information, and may also ensure that appropriate security controls are in place that will safeguard digital files and vital electronic infrastructure. A strong background in Computers & IT is recommended for those wishing to make a career in this field.
Simulation Developers: Simulations are increasingly becoming the way of the world. Be it pilots using in-flight simulators to prepare for high-risk situations; or medical students diagnosing and treating virtual patients without risking a real person's life, simulators are a new way for professionals in all industries to train, practice and prepare for exciting and potentially dangerous situations before they happen. Simulation developers thus, help develop these simulators. Knowledge of mathematical modelling and sophisticated computer programming is desired for making a career in simulation development.
Though emerging career trends have opened a wide range of career opportunities, but at the same time it has also considerably added to our confusion as we have so much to choose from. In such a scenario, career planning becomes even more imperative. It is also very important to have the correct career information. An informed choice is always a better bet than an uninformed one. Career planning is well worth the time and energy invested in it because it is the first step towards your dreams and goals.