Thursday, July 26, 2012

To Market, To Market, We Will Go!

Trisha Beausart

DIG is the ideal place to start and advance a career. Between the industry and schools exhibiting, DIG showcases a growing industry that is in demand. Experts, amateurs, and students can network and explore opportunities and advances in their respective fields.

The digital interactive industry is full of “research and Innovation jobs.” A recent report by Toronto Region Research Alliance, “Research & Innovation Jobs: Opportunities and Challenges in the Toronto Region Labour Market,” outlines the definition for a research and innovation job as:

“[an occupation] that incorporate elements of either research or innovation . . . in science and technology fields, and require university or college studies. R&I jobs fall within the broader scope of ‘knowledge economy’ jobs, which can be identified as those jobs requiring higher levels of knowledge and/or training and a broadly based skill set.”

According to TRRA’s report, DIG industries are one of the technologically-advanced industries experiencing a growing demand for skilled and talented workers. The report proves that it is not your grandparents’ job market. Rewind to a generation or two ago, and DIG industries barely existed. Now, specialized degrees are the standard, as is a passion and drive to succeed in the chosen field against amplified competition. In addition to the new standards, is how social media has changed the way the younger population approach employment. Employees find fulfillment and inspiration through social engagement. Work and leisure have become inextricably linked, and what we do in our “off-hours” affects and shapes what we do while we are “on the clock.”

Knowledge-based are now about fulfilment and interest, rather than about just about “bringing home the bacon.” However, in the IT industry, the bacon is a nice addition. According to a recent article run by the Globe and Mail, “Six Jobs with Six-Figure Salariesin Tech and Digital Worlds,” “[the] 2012 Salary Guide, by Robert Half Technology and the Creative Group, found that information architects, data-security analysts and user-experience (UX) designers often enjoy compensation of $100,000 or more. “ As well, “[the] high pay reflects the high demand for workers with these skills, as companies invest more in information technology and the digital world.” It is no wonder that the research-and-innovation job market is booming. Between increased access to specialized-post secondary education and the Ontario Media Development Corporation’s (OMDC) investment in the industry, the talent for the sector is in high demand as job opportunities are plentiful.

It is because of the industry growth, partiality, and availability of R&I jobs in Canada that the DIG conference is relevant, and growing every year. With the focus on the various branches of the digital interactive development sector, DIG is the ideal event to attend. The conference supports information-sharing, networking, and a collaborative experience as individuals at all stages and levels in the industry can discuss and show what they’re passionate about. As well, job-seekers can have their questions answered in-person about what it takes to break into the market, and how to succeed once there. All participants at the conference are keenly aware of the significance of their professions in the growing and changing entertainment and business worlds, especially at a time when other professions are not as stable moving forward. Taking into consideration the market and demand for tech-centric jobs, DIG is the best career move you’ll make this year. 

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

DIG and the Olympic Athlete Symbiosis

With the hype around the London 2012 summer Olympics abounding I had a Eureka moment recently: Olympic athletes and digital interactive professionals are extremely similar performers. Farfetched you say? Then read on young computer jockey.

Specialization and the Mere Mortal
Each position in the digital production world suits a different individual, just like each sport suits a different athlete.

A runner is not going to do gymnast training, and an artist is typically not going to be proficient in programming. Of course there is the occasional cross-over, but that person is a machine and a god among mortals. If you are one of these people, let us know because we’d all like to praise you

Trying to do it all usually results in the infamous burnout. The metrics of trying to do 4 things at once delineates to 25% of your effort to each thing.  Specialization is a good thing and will have you playing with the big dogs at expert level eventually, with some help from our next point...

Focus and dedication: uncompromised, unconditional and uncanny. As Dr. Marco Cardinale, head of sports science and research of the British Olympic Association puts it, “What separates Olympic athletes from the rest of us is their mind set and dedication.” And really, what other professional has no problem staying up for 24+ hours working on a project?  We are amazing.

A clear mind accompanied with hours of training and fine tuning to the industry skills creates a gold medal winner, hence why DIG pulls the best of the best to coach and share their knowledge.

Stay Fuelled
This just in: without proper nourishment the body and the mind cannot perform at optimum levels. Both Olympians and desktop athletes are versed in this principle. A level of fitness is required to do any task no matter how small, and being free of injury permits the creation of the good stuff. A balanced diet, fitness regimen and adequate rest will go a long way in making sure that you are running at full speed: keep your head in the game!

The feeling of scoring a goal in any sport is the adrenaline rush that a completed website or game creates in digital interactive gurus everywhere. The ultimate score and the end goal is to improve performance, that may mean honing skills and earning some medals before levelling up or just becoming stronger in general within a defined field. 

To be the best, you gotta train with the best and ally yourself with the people who have scored game winning goals and are giving out the medals.  At the DIG arena, we put our attendees through rigorous training and hours of physical and mental activity that is currently unmatched in this country. Just kidding, it’s not that rigorous, it’s just plain fun and that’s why we have the best jobs in the world.

So when you are watching the 2012 Summer Olympics this July I hope you have the same eureka moment as I did and realize, “hey bud, we aren’t so different you and me.” While the Olympians may have the bodies of Adonis’s  the strength of Hercules we can stand to learn something and affiliate ourselves with the key points that keep us all close to the flame.

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 Katie Wilhelm is a Marketing and Communications Coordinator at the London Economic Development Corporation. In her spare time, she enjoys producing electronic music and working on her tan. Follow her on twitter today: @KatieWilhelm
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