September 26, 2021
Given the change of course that has happened in the world, we wanted to provide expert opinions on what aspiring graduates can do to start off their careers in an uncertain economic climate. We wanted to know what skills will be more important, where the economy is doing relatively well, and if there will be any lasting effects on the job market.
Companies are looking for candidates that can handle the new responsibilities of the job market. Recent graduates actually have an advantage because they are comfortable using newer technologies and have been communicating virtually their whole lives. They can take what they've learned and apply it immediately.
We spoke to professors and experts from several universities and companies to get their opinions on where the job market for recent graduates is heading, as well as how young graduates entering the industry can be adequately prepared. Here are their thoughts.
University of San Francisco
USF Advertising Program
Marthinus JC van Loggerenberg: -Objective observation towards problem-solving and building tangible value
-Conceptual thinking and planning towards practical implementation
-Specialist skills in a very particular area of an advertising discipline landing credibility
Marthinus JC van Loggerenberg: -Excellence in communication
-Empathy and collaboration
-Holistic (or systemic) as well as analytical thinking
-Organizational skills that include prioritization and time management
-Confidence, charisma, showing ambition, and leadership
3. What hard/technical skills are most important?
Marthinus JC van Loggerenberg: It really depends on the individual's field of expertise, but in general, I would say:
-Strategic planning skills that include sales strategy
-Market research and analysis, in particular, consumer behavior analysis
-Marketing expertise (or excellent understanding) in areas like SEO, lead generation, PPC, content creation, social media, etc.
-Value and process improvement, especially in the digital media space
-Computer skills to create marketing reports, ad mockups, and presentations (includes likes of MS Office, Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, etc.)
Marthinus JC van Loggerenberg: -Brand identity design
-Strategic brand communication planning that includes interpreting data towards viable insights and setting meticulous metrics
Consumer journey mapping
-Mastery of crafting strategies and creating content for multi-platform digital media advertising
... quite in demand at present is the ability to create brand community and influencer strategies
Mollie Rosen: In today's world, in some ways, character traits are more important than specific lessons or skills learned. The creative nature of our industry necessitates having people who are insatiably curious, demonstrate a passion for the industry, and have the ability to adapt in a fast-paced, constantly evolving industry. We need people who can embrace change and find opportunities.
Mollie Rosen: We've often told grads to "get in wherever you can get in" as there are great agencies everywhere, and any opportunity is a valid one where you can learn. In today's environment, though, that still holds true, but the barriers of geography are falling as many agencies adapt to include remote working as part of their model moving forward.
Mollie Rosen: Our industry, like many others, is increasingly leveraging technology, and some reports predict as much as 10-30% of roles being automated over the next ten years. This can be an opportunity, though, as people move out of the more rote aspects of our industry and can use technology to enhance the work they do to drive better creativity and better consumer experiences. This reinforces the idea that adaptability is a key quality for ongoing success in our industry. Today's students may have a leg up, likely being more tech-savvy than their predecessors. But leveraging their understanding and use of technology to provide creative solutions that grow a client's business is what will be needed.