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Careers In Culture
Digital Media - What You Need to Know
What's Happening Today
On this page:
- Content! Content! Content!
- Wanted – Team Players!
- Forging Your Path: Education & Digital Media
- Teamwork Skills Checklist
- Digital Media gets Down to Business
Content! Content! Content!
If you're an "ideas" person, then Digital Media companies want you.
Maybe you'll be a writer who will develop a Web-based interactive drama, or a performance artist who will combine video and real-time 3D animation in a live show, or an actor who will start on-line theatre workshops.
Maybe you always exceled in art and decide to hone your skills towards lighting, VFX, animation, concept or model-texture.
Perhaps you're brilliant in math and physics and are drawn to various programming languages like C#, C++, SQL, Java, etc…
Remember, the new technologies are amazingly powerful tools. Use them to pursue your creativity and vision or be the team member everyone relies on to deliver the technology behind the user experience!
Wanted – Team Players!
Digital Media products and services generally mix a variety of elements such as graphics, video, audio and text. This means that if you're working on a Digital Media project, you'll be part of a working group that may include producers, publishers, programmers, musicians, writers, designers, and various types of artists – each relying on the others to help make the project a success. Well-rounded teams with contributors who have diverse and complimentary skillsets will constructively challenge one-another. This balanced combination of people can forge a unique and innovative path to a new project, product or experience. You may seek out people who have complementary skillsets or work in a studio environment as part of a team.
You have the opportunity and choice to develop your skills and become an expert in a specific area of Digital Media or over time, you may prefer to become a generalist with expertise across various sub-sectors of Digital Media, like film and videogames. As technology advances cross- breeding of sub-sectors creates the need for well-rounded talent. Teams with a full range of artistic, technical and business skills are key to the successful development of new products, services and business models.
Forging Your Path: Education & Digital Media
Technical skills are in demand, but some skills like social networking might come instinctively to you. Some computer technologies can be learned in a relatively short period of time and for others a degree in software engineering or computer science would be beneficial. Digital Media requires old-fashioned human creativity. If you're artistically inclined, a traditional art background can serve you well. Some employers seek individuals who have completed particular programs geared towards Animation, for example. Other programs attempt to provide students with a breadth of Digital Media skills.
Listen to what our experts have to say about training!
Find post-secondary institutions that bring art & technology together in a new blended, multidisciplinary approach. These programs can fast-track students for careers in the interactive Digital Media industry. Educating yourself with a mix of creative and business skills is one approach as these skills are seen as "inherently related" in the production of interactive Digital Media content and services.
"Cultural industry SMEs that make it are led by entrepreneurs with an understanding of cross-functional skills and teams. A study on the Quebec cultural industries discusses how successful cultural SMEs tend to practice multi-disciplinary management.
Successful entrepreneurs master the art of combining business functions necessary to the success of the company, operating with an understanding of the complex knowledge required for each function. In the UK, successful interactive Digital Media professionals have been described as flexible, adaptable…and with a willingness to continue learning…[and] embrace hybrid skills and cross-disciplinary roles.
One UK study notes the cross-functional skill sets necessary to meet the future needs of the digital economy. These include the multi-skills of managers able to understand the different technological platforms and their implications for content development, as well as the ability to work in cross-functional teams that combine both artistic and technical skills."
Source: MDR, Canada's Interactive Digital Media Industry, CRHSC (2012): p. 40.
Training programs that allow for outside-of-the-box business, creative and technological skills development might include an opportunity to actually create animations and build a videogame or application in a team environment. Work-study experiences, such as cooperative education placements, internships and volunteer opportunities are a fantastic way to expose yourself and prepare you. Volunteering to work alongside professionals in Digital Media companies is worth its weight in gold!
Teamwork Skills Checklist
Digital Media gets Down to Business
Companies across Canada are using Digital Media in many ways to help them train employees, attract customers, and build their businesses.
They're developing websites and intranet sites that keep employees connected and "on top" of business. They're using e-learning to help their staff stay current and upgrade skills. And they're attending on-line conferences and trade shows, creating high-quality sales presentations and developing promotional websites to market their products and services.
If business is where you want to go, consider building your Digital Media skills while taking courses in project management, marketing, finance and business administration.