Your career options after graduation aren’t as cut and dry as you think. The world is changing at such a rapid pace that for every type of job that becomes near-obsolete, there are two or three types of jobs to replace it. Sure, there’s not really a high demand for fax machine manufacturers anymore, but luckily, you probably aren’t majoring in fax machine production. You do have qualifications to work in this brave new world if you’re willing to look farther than the tradition, almost to the impossible.

And this is career advice that goes well beyond advice for freelance writers.

One of the things that frustrates me most about English programs in schools is that I don’t believe students are being prepared for new media. Frankly, it just doesn’t make sense to teach 99% of your courses with magazines and newspapers in mind. These forms of media are by no means dead yet, but they certainly aren’t thriving industries. Yet few schools are teaching students to write for industries that are thriving, like online writing.

The more I examine this problem, the more I realize that it isn’t just college English departments that are getting this wrong. People are, in general, ignoring the changes new media is bringing to the world. In most fields of business, Twitter is extremely relevant, so much so that it deserves one or two classes devoted to it, especially for marketing students. I don’t know a single college that offers a class devoted to Twitter. In most fields of music, YouTube is extremely relevant…same problem. Universities should offer courses on podcasting and social media and blogging and hell, even Facebook. Yet they don’t.

And you’re the one suffering.

You don’t have to, though, if you have a little more foresight than your professors. Yes, you can still get a traditional job as a teacher or nurse or whatever. Just realize that no matter what the “traditional” positions may be in your career, these are never your only options. If you want to be a teacher, do it - just also realize that there are online tutoring options. If you want to be a nurse, do it - just also realize there are informatics and mobile nursing technology options. No one is going to throw these career options in your face, simply because the people in power to do so (namely, your professors) are, for the most part, uninformed, scared, or dismissive about new media.

I’m a freelance writer, but no thanks to my professors. I may be a good freelancer because of some of the skills they taught me, but they did not show me this career course. Regardless of your major, realize that there are career paths out there that you had no idea existed. Find them. Explore them. Consider taking one of those routes. Ultimately, you may grow to love new media as much as I do.

  1. It‘s quiet in here! Why not leave a response?

              General Career
              Job Hunting
              Tips and Tricks
              Site News

    Escaping the 9 to 5 Maren Kate's site is all about leaving the rat race to own your own business. She talks a lot about gaining freedom from the traditional work atmosphere and using virtual workers to achieve your entrepreneurship goals.

    Kommein An important part of job-hunting in most industries is social networking. Deb Ng's site is my favorite resource for learning more about using Twitter, Facebook, and other sites for more than telling people what you had for lunch and sharing party pictures.

    JobMonkey If you're at a loss when it comes to knowing what you want to do in life, JobMonkey is a great site to learn about career options. Their guides cover everything from truck driving to banking. They also have info about the training you'll need to work in these fields.

    Brass Tack Thinking At Brass Tack Thinking, Amber and Tamsen walk you through the process of making things happen, from developing your personal philosophy and brainstorming ideas to implementing those ideas to see real results in your life.

    Lifebeat Lifebeat is a weekly podcast from Nathan Hangen with music by Oleg Mokhov. Every Tuesday, you can listen to some energizing music along with motivational conversation and debate/discussion about concepts applicable to entrepreneurs and employees alike.