A wealth of new, innovative career paths in digital media are opening up that are great options for recent graduates or for someone looking to make a career change. Digital media encompasses a lot of different functions: marketing, consultancy, PR, writing/publishing, social media, innovation or technology. This is a promising area with a wide range of potential jobs.
Where do I start?
Within the digital media you could be looking at a wide range of occupations. Prospects has a useful list of job profiles, each containing relevant information about key responsibilities, skill requirements, starting salaries, entry requirements, career prospects with links to major employers and current graduate vacancies.
Job roles in this sector include (but are not restricted to):
- Applications developer
- Digital copywriter
- Digital marketer
- Editorial assistant
- Games developer
- Graphic designer
- Multimedia programmer
- Multimedia specialist
- SEO specialist
- Social media manager
- UX researcher
- UX designer
- VFX artist
- Web content manager
- Web designer
- Web developer
As part of your job-hunting strategy you will need to keep up to date on developments in this sector and keep track of any vacancies that are coming up. Below are some key resources to help you research opportunities available. The knowledge gained through your research may help you to target your applications and will help when preparing for interviews.
- Mashable – Independent on line news sited dedicated to covering digital culture, social media and technology. Also advertises job vacancies and events.
- Allaboutcareers – Internet Digital and Interactive Media offering advice and information about a wide range of careers plus useful current affairs and work experience sections. Explore the employer video clips to hear ‘career stories’ from professionals working in specific areas.
- Discover Creative Careers – Help and advice for your creative career. This includes profiles for ‘A Career in…’ ‘Getting Started in..’ and jobs in the sector
- Creative & Cultural Skills – Help and advice for your creative career, including job profiles, developing your career and advice on self-promotion when looking for a job.
Undertaking work experience is invaluable in developing expertise and the all-important transferrable skills, which will help you demonstrate your motivation and commitment to this area of work.
However finding experience will take time and effort. The key to success is to prepare thoroughly, do your research and organise your experience in good time. A good place to start gaining experience could be looking at the university societies and considering whether you can create digital media content for them such as social media. This can provide valuable experience of working within a team, and give you something to show to employers in support of a job application.
There are advertised opportunities online, but to find great work experiences you’ll often have to be more proactive and contact individuals and organisations to enquire further.
In your job search, it is important to be clear on your specific skills and strengths and how these could be applied at the companies that you approach. So make sure you research the specific companies before approaching them.
Employers receive many CVs every week so you will have to work hard to stand out from the crowd. You can find out more about how to create a targeted CV through the Careers and Employability website.
You will find that some roles are asking for experienced and senior people. This does not mean that there are not jobs out there, don’t despair, it simply means that the recruitment process is not like other more traditional career paths.
The digital media industry has a recruitment process that is volatile and less secure than other traditional career paths. People are often recruited in on a freelance or part time basis initially which can then lead to full time roles. So you maybe be opting to accept the lack of job security that a full time role offers in return for the freedom and variety of freelancing.
As mentioned above the industry is very entrepreneurial and this extends to the recruitment process. You need to be willing to contact organisations speculatively and market yourself. In this sector employers may decide to recruit through personal recommendations so nurture all personal relationships. It is important to be proactive and contact employers about work opportunities, as opportunities often present themselves unexpectedly.
Placements and internships are highly competitive, but excellent ways to gain experience within your chosen sector. We have a dedicated placements team for CCI students to support you in exploring this option. Target Jobs and MilkRound are useful resources for exploring internship opportunities, but you may find opportunities specifically linked to Digital Media difficult to source. You may consider finding companies or organisations which are particularly appealing to you and approach them speculatively, enquiring about the potential of shadowing, work experience or possibly a full summer or year long internship. A strong CV and covering letter is needed to stand out from other potential applicants and to convince the employer to take you on.
It is also worth considering the voluntary sector for work experience. The Careers and Employability Service offers current students and graduates access to a Virtual Volunteering Bank which provides local opportunities to undertake alongside your studies. Similarly you can access these opportunities through the paper-based bank located in the Careers and Employability Centre.
Tips to build experience
- Keep regularly updated about the sector: using websites/blogs/social media/crowdsources to keep abreast on your chosen sector.
- Large organisations post opportunities on their Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages so it is worth using social media for any opportunities that may arise.
- Be proactive in arranging your own work experience by directly approaching organisations. In the creative sectors this may be your best option.
- Talk to people employed in your particular areas of interest, as this will help you to get a real feel for the type of work and also to build up contacts.
- Nurture your online presence and ensure that you connect and network with organisations and companies you are interested in on social media. See our see our Networking and Social Media section for further guidance.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can be a useful place to showcase your work to the public and to potential employers. Depending on the type of media that you create, you may wish to share this on social media to develop connections with other media creators, develop your own distinctive style and following, and increase your visibility. Using relevant hashtags can help your content to reach wider audiences. A strong social media presence can function much like an online portfolio, and can give employers an overall impression of your work to support the application process. Additionally, if you wish to explore freelancing as a career option, a robust social media presence can help you to reach potential clients.
Finding a job
Digital media encompasses a lot of different functions, with opportunities to work in marketing, consultancy, PR, writing/publishing, social media, innovation or technology. There are lots of ways you could transfer your existing creative skills to a job in the digital industry. It’s up to you to research each area of the digital sector and find a niche where you could excel.
Many large and medium-sized companies have an in-house marketing and communications department, which offers digital marketing services in addition to traditional marketing support.
Useful websites to help you start your job search
- Linkedin Digital Media Jobs – Sign-up with LinkedIn, helps you to leverage your professional network, and get hired.
- Bubble Jobs Career Portal – Online Career Portal with job postings as well as useful advice on how to break into the digital media sector.
- ScreenSkills - Jobs board for creative roles.
- Creativeboom – An online magazine and network community aimed at the creative industries. Has a careers advice section and advertises vacancies.
- The Drum Jobs – Creative job adverts across the UK
- British Interactive Media Association – Includes jobs site advertising positions including web developers, digital project managers, creative digital designers and more.
- Wired Sussex – Jobs Board to find the latest digital media vacancies across Sussex. Also includes news, projects events and training
Top tips to finding a job
- Many large organisations post opportunities on Twitter and on their Facebook and LinkedIn pages so it is worth using social media to keep an eye on your chosen sector.
- Search on LinkedIn to find companies in your region and sector.
- Talk to your tutor – lecturers may already have access to a wide potential network of contacts that you could approach.
- Remember to think outside the box. Read the job descriptions to see what kind of jobs your skills might qualify you for rather than looking for a job title
As mentioned above the industry is very entrepreneurial so you might be thinking about freelancing or starting your own business. Below is a list of websites to help you find out more.
The Careers and Employability Service offers support to students throughout their studies and provision for graduates up to five years after graduation, with advice and guidance on:
- Career options
- Further study
- CV and covering letters
- Application forms
- Job search
We have an online jobs board advertising a variety of graduate jobs across different sectors and locations. We also have a dedicated in-house Graduate Recruitment Consultancy that delivers a personalised job matching service.