I am also a contributor over at the MARCOM blog, which was started by Robert French at Auburn University to put professionals and student together to dialogue about marketing and communication topics.
Today, I reported to the students that the University of Georgia's James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research's Annual Survey of Journalism and Mass Communication Graduates for 2006, found that the job recovery that started two years ago for communication and journalism positions has now stalled (pdf of survey results).
“Graduates of U.S. journalism and mass communication programs confronted a weakened job market in 2006 and early 2007,” according to Lee B. Becker, director of the Cox Center and professor of journalism in UGA's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
But it isn't all bad news, while benefits are in decline (for all workers), salaries for graduates with full-time jobs increased and even outpaced inflation slightly.
What I thought was interesting about the survey was some of the skills that employed grads reported using in their jobs:
|Write, report and edit for print
|Write, report and edit for broadcast
|Designing and creating computer graphics
|Produce content for mobile device
I told the students that in my experience they should make sure they have the non-negotiable skills, like writing and editing, down cold. However, I think that the real opportunity lies in developing the skills that make them stand out from the crowd and win the job.
Most communication professionals are looking for ways to include these new skill sets and many don't have them. An entry-level employee with these skills looks attractive. I know this because in my consulting business I am often hired by these same senior managers to do the jobs for which they haven't developed the skill sets in house. New graduates with these skills can save their company a lot of money (hiring people like me) by bringing these skills with them.
I would love to hear what the MARCOM professionals who read this blog think about that advice, and if you have any insight for the students looking to navigate a stagnant marketplace.