Internet and Digital Media is a fast-growing sector, vital to many fields. There are two halves of the sector which require different skills and experience. The first, the technical side, requires specific training in computer programming and includes areas such as web development, cyber security and data analysis. Graduates going into this side of the field must have excellent knowledge of how computers and the internet work, as well as an understanding of the concepts and practicalities behind them. Candidates must understand what makes websites function and look great, as well as the security threats posed to big companies by the digital medium.
The second side of the sector is the creative side. It includes positions in web development, but focuses more on digital marketing, search engine optimisation and harnessing social media. These roles do not always require experience working with HTML and java script, though IT skills can be beneficial. Graduates wanting to work in this side of the sector should show an understanding of how they can utilise the internet to advance a company's online presence and reception.
How to Get a Job in Internet
Although this sector shares elements with Computing and IT, work in this area has its own unique set of requirements::
1. Technical skills
2. Ability to process information on a large scale
Many of the positions available in this sector revolve around cyber security and data analysis. Candidates should display an ability to process and make sense of large amounts of complex information. Problem-solving skills are beneficial, and degrees such as Maths, Physics and other conceptual degrees can put graduates in a good position.
How to Get a Job in Digital Media
Digital Media centres largely around online marketing, and while there is cross-over with the Marketing and Media sectors, the digital side offers different career paths and requires a different skill set:
Digital and online marketing is a competitive field. While skills learned during a degree are appreciated, graduates who have gone the extra mile to develop marketing skills outside of university will be more likely to get noticed. This experience can come from work placements or internships, or even from marketing campaigns for events or university societies. Graduates should show evidence of marketing skills learned outside of their degree.
2. Technical skills
Digital Media requires knowledge of search engine optimisation (SEO) and other technical skills which can help improve a website's visibility and readability. Computer programming and web development skills are all beneficial, and graduates should make sure to highlight any experience in university marketing, student media promotion or the promotion of a personal blog.
3. Writing skills
Content production is becoming more important for web-based companies, and many positions in Digital Media require producing written content for websites, social media and other types of copy. Graduates should provide examples of their writing skills, and would do well to go beyond the writing done for their degree and include samples of work such as articles for student newspapers or magazines, copywriting or writing for a blog.
Internet Case Studies
See each move as an opportunity to learn and develop. Use it as an opportunity to build new networks, improve and gain skills
The Employer - Kiera Lawrence (Emerging Talent Recruitment Manager - BAE Systems Detica)
Name: Kiera Lawrence
Job Title: Emerging Talent Recruitment Manager - BAE Systems Detica
University: University of Southampton
Course: Management Sciences
What competencies do you like to see in candidates?
When we review a candidate's application there a few things that we are keen on seeing. One of main competencies we like is an attention to detail. This works well with the roles we offer and can make them be a success here at BAE Detica. They need an appetite to learn because the role can be demanding and although they get the necessary training it is good if they are able to pick things quickly. Also evidence of being a team player really adds to an attractive application.
Can you talk us through the application process?
Our application process is really simple. We ask candidates to simply upload their CV and a cover letter via our website and then answer a few short questions.
What is the most common mistake you see in an application, which leads to candidates being rejected?
There are two main reasons the majority of our candidates get rejected. The main one is we get a few applicants that do not meet our high academic criteria and standards so we cannot continue their application. Others get rejected because of spelling or grammatical errors. If candidates don't take the time to check through their applications it shows us a carelessness.
What is the main piece of advice you would give a graduate starting at BAE Systems Detica?
I think with any consultancy role, the main thing is to show that you are willing to be adaptable. Being a consultant means that you may get moved about in terms of location and project. See each move as an opportunity to learn and develop. Even if it is not quite the project or location you were hoping for, remember it is not forever, and you can use it as an opportunity to build new networks, improve and gain skills that might help you get on a different project in the future.
What's the main challenge graduates face when they start?
Due to the nature of consultancy, graduates may not know what they are doing until they have finished their initial induction. Don't worry about this - projects will typically be based near to the location that a company offers.
Where do you see the company in two years' time?
Due to the way that the company has expanded over the last few years internationally, I think we are going to be doing even more international work.
If you weren't a Emerging Talent Manager, what would you be?
I started off in training and sort of fell in to graduate and early careers recruitment. I love it, and to be honest I couldn't see myself doing anything else. It's cheesy but true!
The Employee - Matthew Shipton (Data Analyst - BAE Systems Detica)
Name: Matthew Shipton
Job Title: Consultant - BAE Systems Detica
University: Durham University
Course: Physics BSc
Graduation Year: 2012
How did you find your graduate job in the Internet security?
I was good at processing large amounts of information both on the computer and in my head. I wanted part of that in the jobs I was applying for. As part of the Detica interview I had to present a difficult to understand idea to employers. They knew nothing about what I was presenting on but I made a real effort to understand.
Why do you think you were successful at BAE Systems Detica?
The presentation was one of the components of my success. I did a lot of extracurricular activities while it university, such as orchestras, sports and I got involved with the student union. I had a little work experience in IT related fields, but not a great deal.
What do you actually do?
It largely depends on the client and the job. I've spent three to four months on client's site. You will get a task which is your own. It is up to you to come up with the best way of dealing with it, implementing it and working with different teams to review it.
In the systems and work we are doing we are protecting the core of their business. Depending on the area, fraud is a major loss of revenue and there have been cases where it has brought companies down.
What skills do you need?
When you start as a date analyst they take you on a six week training programme and teach you the foundation of everything you need to know. There are people here with IT backgrounds, but it tends to be people with numerical and conceptual backgrounds. The ability to absorb conceptual information is important. Fraud has been around for years and years. It is only now that data analytic skills are being used to combat it.
What is the best thing about your job?
The fraud side I find really interesting. I don't think there is a way to keep up with the crazy ways that feel come up with top commit fraud. At the same time part of what we do is try to build systems that detect strange things going on that are not indicators of fraud, but could be new modus operandi for fraud. Reading up about these different ways that fraudsters try is a fascinating part of the job.
And what is the worst thing about your job?
If you come from a non-computing back ground, a degree where you've not done that much programming, you might find it more challenging. Detica are interested in these degrees and the business is very supportive. .
What advice would you give to graduates applying to BAE Systems Detica?
I think people should really research what they are looking for and what they want to do. It is fine not to have much of an idea about what you want to do. What really makes you stand out is if you do a little bit of research before, tailor your application and make sure you know what you're letting yourself in for. Make sure you know what you can offer the company and what they can offer you.
If you want to find out more about graduate jobs with BAE Systems Detica, please take a look at their minisite.