Why It Pays To Be “A Jack Of All Trades” In Digital In 2013

By Amy @BubbleJobs

For the last 15 months, since I’ve been blogging for Bubble, I’ve been banging on about how you should choose one particular niche within the digital industry, stick with it and make yourself an expert in that area… but today I’m going to change tack completely. Why? Because quite simply that’s not the best advice at the moment if you’re looking to get a job in the digital industry.

Working for a digital jobs board, I’m pretty much surrounded by job adverts and job specifications on a daily basis (I even write some of them!) so it’s fair to say I notice when things change in terms of what employers are looking for when it comes to particular roles. And just lately, things have definitely changed – and not just in one particular area but right across the board.

Once upon a time employers were looking for digital employees with a very niche skillset but these days, the picture couldn’t be more different. Yes, specialists and experts are still needed – but in 2013, employers are now increasingly searching for candidates who have not just one ‘digital’ skill – but three, four or even five on their CV!

new jobThese days employers don’t necessarily want a ‘master’ of one particular thing – but they do want a ‘Jack Of All Trades’. OK, so that last statement might not be entirely true – they don’t want a ‘Jack Of All Trades’ (they’re not looking for someone who can do a bit of SEO, teaching, plumbing and accounting!) – but they do want someone who’s pretty proficient in a number of different disciplines across the sector.

An example? Well, as I mentioned in a blog a few months ago, thanks to the most recent Google updates, SEO, Social & Content are now more aligned than ever – and it shows in the candidates employers are looking for when it comes to recruiting for a role in any of these sectors. Take a look at any of the SEO jobs, Content jobs and Social Media jobs we’ve currently got advertised on Bubble and you’ll see that employers want candidates who are not just adept at SEO but blogging and social media strategy too – and vice versa.

Similarly we’re seeing more and more roles with the title “Website Producer” or “Web Manager” that call for candidates to come with… well, pretty much everything but the kitchen sink these days. What kind of skills do these kinds of jobs call for? Like I said – they want experience in pretty much everything – from analytics and eCommerce knowledge to SEO, product launches, UX and programming experience.

At the moment, employers want great all-rounders. Someone who’s great at SEO but is also pretty proficient in PPC and Social too – and someone who can not only project manage but also knows the value of great UX design and is a bit of a dab hand (what does that even mean?!) at HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Why? Because as the digital industry moves forward, everything’s started to become much more converged which means that the lines between traditional niche areas are becoming more blurred by the day!

So is the answer to digital success being a great all-rounder rather than a master in one area? Possibly. Of course, if you’re ama-zing in one particular niche and you’re really passionate (and already pretty successful!), it makes sense to stick with your niche, however if you’re struggling to move up the career ladder, or even to get your foot in the door in the first place, it might be time to diversify a little bit – after all, having things like PPC, analytics and UX design experience on your CV is never going to hurt when it comes to getting a new digital job (as this blog on the digital skills shortage proves!).

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