Technical experience is not prerequisite for many jobs in the IT industry and people should recognise their transferable skills, an IT company leader says.
Colin James, Chief Operating Officer at Traff1k D1g1tal, said that creativity was becoming more important these days.
“From my point of view, the creative sciences are really where the future lies,” he said.
“Although we might be driving our students towards computers science and the maths, from a creative point of view, online particularly, the ability to set yourself apart from everybody else through creative aspects is becoming more and more important.
“If a picture paints a thousand words, what does a video paint?”
Traff1k D1g1tal creates brand strategies and designs measurable digital touchpoints for companies like websites, social media, advertising and search engine optimisation.
Young people who use social media were also learning useful business skills at the same time, James said.
“The benefit of this medium is that Facebook and Snapchat and Twitter are all skills that are having to be utilised from a business point of view. And so, those life skills that you’re acquiring over time, can actually let you enter the technology space,” he said.
In other roles, business knowledge and organisational skills were most important, James said.
Leigh Austin, appointed general manager earlier this year, was a good example, he said.
“She didn’t come from a background in digital, but we identified in her skills sets that we didn’t have. She had great organisational skills, great business knowledge and a great work ethic.”
James said he first saw Austin’s skills in her volunteer work as IRONMAN run marshall director.
Austin said the race coordination skills were easily transferable.
“It’s organising people, coordinating them and answering calls when things go wrong. So it’s no different to putting yourself here and you’ve got calls from clients when things go wrong.”
Austin said young people and jobseekers should not be scared of trying a new industry.
“Once you’ve got your foot in the door, it’s up to you how much you want to learn.”
General Manager Leigh Austin, designer Tatiana Kuzilova and Chief Operating Officer Colin James at the Traff1k D1g1tal Taupo office. Photo credit Robert Steven.