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Digital education

2 min, 14 sec read
14:26 PM | 20 April 2011

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In a recent feature on Digital Recruitment published in new media age concerns were raised by industry heads about the way the current education system prepares students for work in the ‘real world of digital’.

Dan Pattern, director of digital media at MTV Networks UK & Ireland, highlighted that it is difficult for courses to remain up to date in the fast paced digital world. He said “I think that it’s often a real shock for graduates when they come to work at commercially driven media companies”. Tony Foggett, founder and CEO of Code Computerlove suggested that problems start even before college and university, “It’s hard enough for schools to get their head around advertising never mind disciplines and roles that are changing yearly”.

Melanie Sweet, global agency education lead at Google, suggested that there should be more collaboration between educational institutions, industry bodies and the industry itself to harness future digital talent.

I realise that these comments may not be comforting for students and graduates. However, the situation is not as bleak as it might appear. The fact the industry is raising these issues should be seen as a positive step. The industry is also starting to address these concerns and new media age has started to see increased industry action to help students at the start of their digital marketing careers.

Swedish social media school Hyper Island has joined forces with ad agencies, pure digital agencies, broadcasters and clients. This has resulted in a different type of educational model developed by the industry with no teachers, homework or textbooks. David McCall, director of Hyper Island, says that it was the industry that asked for the programme to be bought to the UK following its success in Sweden. Many experts are hopeful that successful models such as these will be widely replicated nationwide.

Here at new media age we also keen to help students get ahead in digital and have recently launched our own online Graduate resource on our website This offers information on getting into the digital industry as well as industry profiles. Our Student bloggers share their experiences each week, offering insights into their current work placements and how the latest developments within the sector affect them. We also offer those currently at university unrestricted access to the site until graduation. Register here with your university email address to read the Digital Education feature in full.

Young people should take comfort in the fact that the industry is realising the limitations within the current education system and is ready to offer help to educational institutions and students, ensuring that the graduates of today are ready to be their future candidates of tomorrow.

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