Five unusual jobs that can help launch your career in the media
In the media industry, everything moves fast. New jobs are constantly emerging and old ones are shifting to keep up with the digital times. That being said, many people who are unfamiliar with the careers offered in a modern media landscape dwell in an outdated mindset that a degree in media will only lead to traditional jobs. There are plenty of new career avenues that often go overlooked. Below you’ll find five jobs that, although may be relatively unknown, are continuing to bloom in today’s digital era, proving that careers in the media are still very much within reach.
User Experience (UX) Designer
Have you ever been online shopping and felt overwhelmed with the number of options on the page, or conversely, frustrated because you can’t seem to locate the check-out button? This is where UX designers come into the picture. UX designers are responsible for making the experience a user has with a website, application, or other piece of technology easier and more enjoyable to use.
If you love to problem solve and enjoy working in an ever-changing, fast-paced environment, you could be a great fit for a career in UX design. You don’t need a specific degree to become a UX designer, but a bachelor’s degree in web design, graphic design or media and communications will be useful. This career avenue doesn’t show any signs of slowing down as it is a service many people need, and will continue to need with future technological advancements.
“As a user experience (UX) designer, I am an advocate for our users by studying their behaviour as they interact with our products and design digital environments based off of this research. I have the privilege of connecting and understanding diverse people, continually refining my design practices, and challenging myself to think outside the box every day.”
Dylan Cunanan, UX Designer and Professor at Humber College.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist
Important for all business owners — from big, well-known box stores to small, independently owned shops — an SEO specialist is in charge of generating traffic to websites by improving search engine rankings. Job recruiters are interested in people who have background knowledge in HTML or CSS, as well as a general understanding of search engine analytics.
A bachelor’s degree in media and communications, marketing or computer science is encouraged. However, the most important task for anyone striving to enter the world of SEO is staying up to date with the fast-paced changes of the Internet to help maintain a company’s website traffic and boost their online presence.
Social Media Coordinator
Creativity. Collaboration. Social media. If these words pique your interest, you might be the perfect fit in the realm of media coordination. A social media coordinator will determine the best and most creative ways to market a client. The goal for a social media coordinator is to increase traffic to their clients’ websites and build customer engagement on all social media platforms by developing content that is attractive to their target audience. All you need is a bachelor’s degree in any media related field, and you can jump right in after graduation.
“What I do is, with my colleague, we create media posts whether it be Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn, and create blog posts for our clients’ websites. We try to do what we can in collaboration with the clients to create more interactions with their business through social media”
Madeline Lawson, Media Coordination Intern and fourth-year University of Guelph-Humber student.
When you think of jobs in the film industry, usually the title of actor, director or producer comes to mind. The reality is, the people who make true movie magic happen are very much behind the scenes – the compositors. Utilizing different digital elements, such as animations, graphics, live-action footage, and special effects, the compositor’s job is to fuse all these pieces together to produce a final picture.
To work in this career, you must be well-versed in a range of programs like Adobe After Effects, Maya, Nuke, and Adobe Photoshop. A degree in any arts-related subject is useful for a compositor but keep in mind, you’ll need an equal amount of artistic and technical skills. You can pursue a degree in animation, design and visual communication or graphic design.
“My experience as a compositor has been challenging but fulfilling. What I enjoy most about being a compositor is that I get to work in an industry that I’ve always been amazed by, and I get to work on projects that people all over the world are excited to see.”
Danielle Murray, Compositor at WildBrain.
Some of the shows and movies that Murray has worked on include: The Willoughbys, Raising Dion and Men In Black: International.
Watching breaking news broadcasts should be accessible for everyone and one media job that often gets overlooked is a closed captioner. Both public and private broadcasts require captions for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Closed captions are also useful for people who want to watch videos in environments which may be sound-sensitive. You can either work in real-time closed captioning, where you’re transcribing a live event as it’s being broadcast on television or in off-line closed captioning, which is done using transcripts of television shows or events that aren’t aired live.
Most Canadian broadcasters are required to caption 100 per cent of their programs and advertisements. Job recruiters look for someone who has excellent attention to detail and can quickly transcribe rapid speakers. Candidates must also be highly skilled in spelling, grammar and punctuation. In order to land a job in closed captioning, you will need a diploma or degree in journalism, english or media studies.