A new career in IT

2011-11-15 00:00

SERIAL Facebook, MXit and Four Square users, as well as compulsive tweeters, might fancy a job as a social networking specialist, given the increasing popularity among companies of using these avenues as marketing tools.

The best part for us non-tech-speaking social media users is that you do not have to be an information technology (IT) geek to find a career in the IT or digital sector.

While most sectors, particularly traditional sources of employment such as manufacturing, mining and financial services, have struggled to sustain employment growth, the jobs outlook for the IT sector is apparently much more positive.

Tanja Lategan, the CEO of 365 Digital, told The Witness that the IT-digital industry is experiencing massive growth, adding that research conducted by PwC revealed that a growth rate of nine percent is predicted for the next four years.

She added that a number of careers are not well known and have only developed in recent years.

According to a recent digital media survey, companies in a number of sectors, including automotive, beverage, entertainment, financial services and telecommunications, plan to use social media platforms to market their businesses.

In terms of popularity for marketing purposes, most of the survey respondents rated Facebook first, followed by Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. The report stressed that social media platforms should be used as a supplement to traditional media.

“A lot of companies are hiring social media administrators, managers, experts and analysts. Employees are typically young and, of course, they know how to use the platforms to their full potential. Companies need to join in these conversations on social media about their products. They need to develop relationships with customers through social media platforms.”

To my mind, this point is critical, given the types of conversations that take place on social media platforms. Whether these conversations involve businesses, individuals or a combination of both parties, they are likely to be less formal. This presents companies with the opportunity to connect with consumers on a whole new level, perhaps a more natural level.

Lategan pointed to the rise of online journalism and content provision, as well as online advertising sales, as prime examples of new forms of career options for the less-tech savvy among us. Within the administration environment, career options in Internet-traffic monitoring have gained popularity. These include campaign managers and administrators.

On the mobile front, the popularity of mobi-sites offers scope for the development of mobi-sites as well as mobile applications, although these paths require more specific technical skills.

• kavith@witness.co.za

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