Pros and Cons of a Being a Digital Media Producer
A digital media producer career entails many different functions varying by employer. You may create animation, special effects, visual images and other media for games, Web sites, movies, videos, commercials or music on the computer. Read on for more pros and cons to see if a digital media producer career is right for you.
|Pros of Being a Digital Media Producer|
|More jobs than qualified applicants in occupation*|
|Higher than average pay ($69,410 mean annual wage)*|
|Opportunities for freelance work and self-employment*|
|Job growth projected due to increased need for visual effects in video games, TV and movies*|
|Cons of Being a Digital Media Producer|
|Strong competition is expected*|
|Typically need training and education to enter the field*|
|May see some decline in opportunities as print media reduces staff and publications*|
|Some jobs are being off-shored, such as those of animators, reducing number of opportunities*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Essential Career Info
In your career as a digital media producer, you will use your knowledge to create many different digital products for your employer. You may use images to create a video or commercial. You could also be responsible for special effects on video game production. You will use electronic tools and computer programs to produce quality media used in different creations.
Salary and Career Information
In May 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the mean annual wage for multimedia artists and animators was $69,410 and there were about 29,000 employed in the occupation (www.bls.gov). The motion picture and video industry was the highest employing industry at that time, and the top employing state was California, reported the BLS. Job growth for multimedia artists and animators was expected to be slower than the average for all occupations at just 6% between 2012 and 2022, according to the BLS.
What Are the Requirements?
A digital media producer needs to have communications and media skills with up-to-date methods of production. You will also benefit from having design and fine arts skills used in media production. You can expect to use your oral and reading comprehension, critical thinking, decision-making, listening and time management skills in your career as a digital media producer.
You can hone your skills with several types of educational programs in multimedia production. Many colleges offer both certificate and degree programs related to the skills needed for employment. These educational programs equip you with knowledge in computer programs used in the industry, as well as artistic abilities using Web graphics, illustration, computer images and other state-of-the-art multimedia tools.
What Employers Are Looking for
Employers have a variety of requirements for digital media producer candidates, including experience and training in their particular specialty. You may need specific software or program knowledge and artistic skill sets. Below are some examples of job postings in March 2012:
- A company in New York is hiring a digital media producer to work with its editorial director, art director and site manager in development. The position includes handling production, promotion, development and maintenance of all websites. You must have four years of Web experience with at least two years of Web production. Project management experience is also required, along with a college degree or equivalent field experience. Social networking experience is desired.
- An advertising firm in Florida is hiring a digital media supervisor to oversee its media for digital clientele. To be considered for the position, you must have a bachelor's degree in a related discipline or equivalent experience in areas like marketing, communications, advertising and media. You must also have five years of experience in buying and online media planning. Other skills needed include management, market research, communication, negotiation, presentation, time management and organizational skills.
How to Make Your Skills Stand Out in the Field
Get your Certificate or Degree
Many colleges offer a variety of certificate and degree programs related to a career as a digital multimedia producer. You could pursue a technical certificate in areas like Web graphics and multimedia, Web programming or Web technologies. You could also go on to pursue a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in interactive media or a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree in digital media production. Any education will help you gain an advantage when pursuing employment.
Voluntary certifications are available related to the digital multimedia field. One example is a web graphics and multimedia certificate through the International Webmasters Association. This certificate can provide you a leg up over other applicants and it provides further training using images, Web buttons and programs like Flash. No examination is required.
Other Career Paths to Consider
If you're looking for other careers that requires both technical and artistic skills, perhaps a career as a Web developer is right for you. Web developers compose websites, which means they design the look as well as troubleshoot technical issues. Developers also work closely with clients to develop a website that meets their needs. As of May 2011 the median annual pay is $78,000.
If you would rather pursue a more artistic occupation, consider a career as a graphic designer. This career has a median annual wage of $44,000 as of May 2011, reported the BLS. Graphic designers use both hand and computer tools to create visual communication productions that meet their clients needs. In a company, they work closely with marketing and advertising team members.