The Dawn of a New Era

This week has been a significant time in the Manchester Masters programme as the Tangerine PR team matched up the 2010 recruits with their four placement companies for the year ahead. An exciting time for the ten graduates, these placements could open doors and help these fresh faced students begin their careers in the creative sector.

For other students currently finishing university however, the future isn’t quite so rosy. Last week in Manchester Evening News it was reported that just a third of graduates expect to find a job after leaving university. Once upon a time, a university education almost guaranteed a well paid, high flying first job, but as this recent report suggests, the job and education market are both changing rapidly.

Today, employers expect so much more from graduates than just a good degree. Work and life experience are a must and, increasingly, sound IT skills are becoming a prerequisite. Indeed, when potential Manchester Masters companies were asked to rank the skills desired in an employee, many rated digital skills as high as academic prowess and the ability to write well.

So, as the shift towards digital infiltrates education as it has done PR and Marketing, how is the sector responding? A story by BESA published yesterday revealed that nurseries in the UK are abandoning traditional play in favour of more ‘technological’ methods. Computers and interactive whiteboards for example, are quickly becoming an integral part of the early years environment, helping to develop a new generation of digitally savvy learners.

As more young people go to university than in years gone by this begs the question, is digital ability becoming the key differentiator when it comes to getting that dream job?

Jo Hart
Junior Account Manager
Tangerine PR, a PR agency in Manchester