Earlier today I went to a panel from Future Media Fest because my Dad was serving on it. The prompt was quite simple:
This panel of educators, industry and technical leaders will focus on how graduating engineers and mid career professionals are tuning (or retuning) themselves in the era of digital, social, and mobile media communications.
All of the panelists were interesting. There was a Turner Executive, a game designer from SCAD, a Georgia Tech Professor of communication, and the president of the Technology Association of Georgia. To add to this mix, my Dad offered his knowledge both as a faculty member at Georgetown University and as an employer.
The session lasted an hour fifteen and there’s a lot to cover, so I’m going to focus on two ideas that these professionals are trying to communicate to millenials.
1. In employment, employers are more interested in smart people than in people with technical skills–they’d rather hire people who can adapt than have a large fundamental skill level. A good combination of the two is ideal for “smart” employers. It’s not good to specialize; be a generalist.
2. There is a huge generational gap between people who grew up using digital media (millenials) vs those who didn’t (everyone older than millenials). Managing millenials is difficult. They blur the line between social media for work and for play and work better under non-traditional management models (in other words, they don’t care for doing the same job from 9-5).
So what does this mean? The work force is changing, and companies are interested in folks who can roll with the punches as it transforms.
For the full talk, all of Future Media is online. My father’s lecture is available here under “Digital Media Skills – Panel.”