The future of media jobs – like the future as a whole – is currently unwritten: no one can say for certain what it will bring. Nevertheless, there are certain assumptions that can be made with a degree of certainty. Whatever tomorrow – and the decade after that – may bring, media jobs will be dictated by a number of opposing forces, including the growth of technology and the contraction of the global economy. While the recession has impacted upon the jobs market as a whole, the demand for new technology has fuelled the publics thirst for digital media across multiple platforms. So just what does the future hold for the industry?
First, it is worth considering the changing nature of media jobs in recent years. Media careers are no longer confined to the newsroom, nor indeed to any room. The ecumenical proliferation of technology has revolutionised media jobs, many of which are now offered on a freelance basis, with writers commissioned to blog, review and edit on an ad hoc basis, all from the comfort of their own home.
The creation of such casual media jobs is essential to satisfy the growing demand for content to populate devices such as iPads and smartphones, on which many of us now rely for information and entertainment. No longer must we buy a newspaper to read a film review or find out whats happening in the world; we can browse reviews for free online, watch the interview on YouTube via our smartphones and peruse the blogosphere using any number of web-enabled devices.
The means by which well distribute media in the future is already here, but how many job vacancies will there be in ten years, in twenty? Will traditional media be supplanted by its digital counterpart, and will journalistic jobs be killed off by auto-generated copy? The truth is that there is no ready-made answer.
One trend that shows no signs of diminishing is the growth of SEO, with both online and offline companies now hiring media experts to take care of all their blogging and social media requirements. Make no mistake, Google is big business. From hairdressers to electricians, every trade in every industry is fuelling a demand for journalists, writers and editors to sharpen their identities and improve SEO ranking. The boundary between media, journalism and marketing is blurring. In this vein, e-commerce giants are hiring experienced print and broadcast journalists to bolster their online content and create unique copy that is SEO-friendly.
The media industry as a whole is changing; if you want to survive and prosper, you dont have to change what you essentially do, but you may have to change tack. Refine and readjust the skills you offer to ensure that youre attuned to the technological developments that are shaping the industry. If youre good at what you do in the present, theres no reason to fear the future – whatever it may bring.