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Take part in DMA Talent's Skills Survey

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A Marketing Week survey released earlier this year revealed that only 3% of students surveyed considered marketing as a valid career option, which seems to put us in a bit of a pickle when we look to fill entry level roles.

Our industry is one of the most innovative, creative spaces out there and the scope of opportunities available surely should be lit* to a younger tech-savvy generation. The issue isn’t in what we have to offer but the way in which it’s sold, which is ironic, really.

It’s not that we couldn’t pull something brilliant together to show the scope of opportunities available, it’s just that it’s never been done. And how would we go about doing it? Can we as an industry really say that we’re cohesive in our definitions of entry level marketing roles? With the changing landscape of job roles in data and marketing this is no easy task.

When you search sites associated with job searching, marketing loosely falls under business, hr, administration and sales (to name a few) all with varying definitions. I filled out a generic ‘what career should I go into’ survey and suggested job roles were: hypnotherapist, sports coach, conveyancer, nurse and writer. I can hear my p.e. teacher laughing from here.

After attending World Skills UK at the NEC last week and battling droves of teenagers along the way, selling our industry really is a case of go big or go home. We’ve got to stand out in what’s an extremely competitive market. And when I say competitive, I’m talking taking on a scuba diving soldier playing noughts and crosses with you through the tank.

We could go to events like this sure, but until we can demonstrate the types of jobs children could go into if they have particular skills, we’re a bit stuck really. And like I said, the nature of roles is changing so rapidly that we need to invoke a shift in industry in the way we discuss and promote opportunities for young talent.

If we can nail this, then we can go out and create these amazing, immersive stands to rival medicine, law, healthcare, construction, hospitality etc. at events like World Skills (which hosts 80,000 young people a year). We can begin to tackle schools, colleges and government in redefining their perceptions of working in our industry and demonstrate the importance of continuing to bring talent through. And, we can promote marketing as a valid career option to parents and carers who arguably, are the most important customers in changing perceptions.

DMA Talent’s skills survey asks you to delve deep into the opportunities your business provides for young people. From apprenticeships to work experience to graduate placements we want to know what your company does or doesn’t do, why, and how these processes could be made better. We want to know how businesses differ by size, location, region, sector, the skills you see as important for junior roles and how you could be supported to welcome young people into your organisation.

It’s our collective responsibility to address this issue so we continue to thrive as an industry where some of the best brains in the world collaborate to produce extraordinary things. The results collected from the survey will form the basis of what needs to be an ongoing campaign in continuing to portray a representative picture of working in data and marketing, and we can't do it without you.

You have until 10th December to make your mark.

* another way to say cool, according to my 18 year old cousin.
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