But while I may not be an economist, I am a recruiter in a very specialised area – and I do see things to be positive about in the field of European content and communications. Below are just three areas for optimism.
Firstly, digital content and technical communication are two growth areas that are experiencing a rise in demand as commerce continues to embrace the internet. Yes, that’s right. The need for content and tech comm skills is not going away; the first is exploding and the second is morphing.
On the supply side, the number of digitally skilled workers hasn’t caught up yet. We recently posted about an Econsulancy survey which highlighted a ticking timebomb in digital talent. The truth is, there is simply not enough talent to supply our growing field. That’s good news for job candidates in digital and communication – and good news for us as Europe’s market leaders in content and comms recruitment.
Kristina Mausser is the owner of Digital Word, a content strategy consultancy based in Ottowa, Ontario, and one of Firehead’s favourite people. She sees growing trends, demand and opportunities in these areas:
- Mobile & e-commerce content strategy
- Content strategy apps and tools
- ‘Information overload’ will go mainstream – content strategy will be the solution
- Curation will become not just needed but necessary – content strategy again
- Content strategy will become a business process
We’ve been covering the rise of content strategy here on the Firehead blog for two years now so it’s good to see its progression as a field and a rise in the number of content strategist jobs being posted. We’ve also seen plenty of overlap with the tech comm sector and how technical writers and editors are extending their skills into content strategy.
Tech comm salaries have experienced a gradual increase over the last five years. To use more readily available American figures, the profession was rated 92nd of all professions in the US in a US Bureau of Labor Statistics report covering work conditions, growth, pay, future prospects and general worker satisfaction. This is a profession in transition and the greatest increases went to these areas of growth: ‘tech-to-technical’ and specialist domain knowledge.
The future of tech comm lies in its ability to adapt to new forms of instruction: web, video, embedded instruction and so on. The biggest growth is in Software as a Service – or SaaS – for example, mobile apps (also read our interview with software content strategist Ray Gallon). There are also new opportunities in wikis and CMS work, as well as other applications of structured content.
- The semantic web
- Embedded instructions – even in things so ubiquitous, we don’t believe they need instructions (until we’re stuck and need somewhere to go for help)
- Augmented reality – my personal favourite (probably because the name is such fun)
The possiblities are endless; the question about tech comm’s growth and relevance lies in our ability to adapt to the supersonic speed of the growth in applied technology. Hardcopy documents are done and buried.
Where is the talent?
Firehead is at the centre of European recruitment in this industry so we have great employer connections and an enormous bank of skilled talent. If you’re looking for a new job in content or comms, you can register as a candidate with Firehead. And if you’re a hirer tasked with filling a job role or contract, you’ll find more information and contact details on our client services page.
We look forward to hearing from you and creating some good economic headlines for a change!