The Digital Talent Gap Series: Getting a Job in Marketing


The article discusses the vast gap marketing execs and agencies are finding between the talent pool and the talent needed. Our first response will be from Shay Ruggles, Creative Producer at Carbon8. Shay has worked with Carbon8 from the start, and worked with founder Mark Mitton at the previous agency he co-founded.

At Carbon8, we're always circulating our fun finds from the web and sometimes they spark a real conversation (read: heated discussion). That is exactly what happened when we found the infographic posted on AdWeek, There Is a Digital Talent Gap by Lucia Moses.

This infographic resonated with me in many ways. I felt completely lost when it came to job hunting after college. I had done one internship at the Chamber of Commerce in the small town I went to college in, which I quickly left to spend the summer guiding at a Boy Scout camp in the Florida Keys (I mean, which would you choose at 20?). I also had the unfortunate timing to graduate right when the economy tanked (in 2007) so none of my college professors knew the challenges we would face when we would take our first steps in the job market.

Not only did I have no concept of the job opportunities appropriate for me - I quickly learned that the "real-world" of marketing was completely missing from my major's curriculum. I had no idea there were agencies and in-house marketing departments, I had no idea how a marketing department was structured and no idea what I was doing. I remember looking at the job descriptions and wondering "How in the hell am I going to get 3-5 years of experience when there are no entry level jobs available??"

I knew I could be great; I just needed the chance to learn. After a year in Colorado, I found myself laid-off from the job I had found at Outward Bound and diving back into the unknown.

I was insanely lucky to be found by Carbon8 founder Mark, at his previous agency through a bio I had painfully paid $10 to post of myself on Andrew Hudson's PR Job List. I was one of the lucky ones to be given the opportunity to learn through mentorship. I was able to observe and assist as well as thrown into the fire from now and then to see what I was made of.

I was TAUGHT that I needed to go the extra mile to be deemed acceptable and that only hard work over time would get me promoted to a higher-level position.

The only way to shrink the talent gap is through education and someone needs to take ownership. People need to be given the chance to learn, through internships and mentoring. People need to be taught how to be a good worker and be told what is expected of them to have their entitlement put into perspective. This world is changing at a rate faster than the education system could possibly be expected to keep up. It is in the hands of the employers to create good employees and shrink the gap.

Shay Ruggles
written by SHAY RUGGLES

Shay Ruggles is the Director of UX at Carbon8 who ensures we are creating compelling experiences that balance user intent, clients’ business needs and site performance. A former Account Manager, Video Producer and Carbon8’s first employee, Shay leveraged her years of experience, education and research to transition to the creative team of Carbon8 in 2012.

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