Skills & Expertise

Here’s How to Game the Ad-Industry Skills Gap

Technology is evolving. Are you?

It may be hard to believe when you’re applying for job after job with no nibbles, but many industries are complaining of a skills gap: that is, a shortfall between job-seekers’ know-how and the skill sets open jobs require.

Digital advertising is not immune: The Interactive Advertising Bureau is predicting a talent shortfall. IAB says that the next four years will see the addition of 25,000 jobs across the advertising industry—in sales, ad operations, marketing, data analytics and management. But the trade group says employers may have difficulty finding candidates with the math, business, technology and programming skills to pay the bills.

How to take advantage of this predicted high-demand, low-supply of math and science chops? Beefing up your ability to gather, measure and interpret data can push you into hireable territory.

Taking a class in data analytics can show you understand your way around numbers. Mediabistro’s Social Media Analytics is a good break-in course; you’ll learn to identify your key performance indexes most relevant to a brand, measure the effectiveness of social media efforts and leverage the measurement tools of each social platform.

And once you’ve honed your analytical skills and landed a job offer, keep in mind: Some observers cast doubt on the whole notion of an American skills gap. “Show us the money,” writes Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman. “If employers are really crying out for certain skills, they should be willing to offer higher wages to attract workers with those skills.”

So when your next advertising job offer comes your way, make sure to negotiate as high a salary as the market will allow. After all, you’re a candidate that’s in short supply.

Looking for a digital advertising job? Check Mediabistro’s job board, where publishers, advertising agencies and marketing firms regularly post openings.

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