UniSA Online degree to help prepare the digital stars of tomorrow

Associate Professor Jodie George says almost all employers require staff skilled in digital media. COMMUNITY
Associate Professor Jodie George says almost all employers require staff skilled in digital media.

Fuelled by new technological developments and a burgeoning digital workforce, Australia’s digital economy is forecast to grow from $79 billion in 2014 to $139 billion in 2020.

With the digital media landscape dramatically changing the way people work, learn, play and communicate, new digital roles are being created and existing roles are evolving.

There’s growing demand for people skilled in digital media.

Associate Dean: Online Education, Associate Professor Jodie George says although the profession is in demand, the labour market has been challenged to keep pace with the field and to neatly define their digital media needs in the way they advertise such roles.

“A lot of the time, digital media staff aren’t called digital media officers – they’re comms officers journalists or public relations officers – they’re covering a range of areas,” Assoc Prof George says.

With digital media becoming increasingly important across many industries, job roles are diverse. Sectors include some not typically associated with digital media, including health, government and education.

“Digital is an element of so many roles now that if you ask an organisation whether they’re a digital graduate destination, and you speak to them and get a sense of what they need, the answer would be yes every time,” Assoc Prof George says.

“The degree will give students a portfolio of work as well as the language to speak to prospective employers about the range of skills they bring and what they could do for that organisation.”

Students studying onlineThe Bachelor of Digital Media has been developed in recognition of growing demand for digital media professionals.

Designed for people who want to balance study with their lifestyle, UniSA Online’s Bachelor of Digital Media means students don’t need to go on campus for any part of their study.

“We know people who are doing digital media tend to be people who like to engage with the screen – as you can imagine,” Assoc Prof George says.

“UniSA Online is making possible the idea that you can engage with your studies at your leisure, in a space that is comfortable for you, that’s easier for you, at a time that’s convenient for you.”

With more than 25 years’ experience as a journalist, educator, digital media specialist and multi-media storyteller, Katrina McLachlan is the Online Course Facilitator for the Bachelor of Digital Media.

McLachlan says the degree has been developed to fill a growing demand for digital media professionals across a rapidly expanding range of industries and sectors, from large corporations to small businesses, government, not-for-profit and community organisations.

“Advancements in technology, most notably the Internet and the interactive nature of digital media communications, have transformed the way we create, consume and respond to information, news, marketing and entertainment content,” McLachlan says.

“All businesses need digital media specialists who not only know what it takes to achieve messaging outcomes but can plan and create exceptional digital media content across a range of platforms.

“With a diverse range of industry experience under their belts, the teaching team in this degree is firmly focused on preparing industry connected, job ready graduates who can apply innovative digital media design thinking across a range of industries or professions,” McLachlan says.

“Our students can also complete electives from a number of other disciplines including business, marketing, IT and data analytics, communications and journalism, thereby setting themselves up for a successful career in a growing digital media employment marketplace.”

UniSA Online study terms are in 10-week blocks allowing students to start their study four times throughout the year with small windows in between for breaks.

The Bachelor of Digital Media Online is structured to make it easier for students to integrate study into their lives and McLachlan says the cleverly scaffolded and interactive online learning in this degree has already facilitated some amazing digital media project outcomes.

“Our first cohort of students has just completed the introductory digital media course and the teaching team have been blown away by the quality of digital media assets created in the first 10 weeks,” McLachlan says.

“We know that rapidly evolving digital communications channels require practitioners who are technologically literate, adaptable, innovative and have digital media skills they can apply to achieve any communication outcome.

“That is exactly what is happening with the selection of courses and the range of skills our students are learning from day one.

“Across the degree our students then practice all these skills to develop a large portfolio of digital media assets that will not only support their employment aspirations, but will also clearly showcase their imaginative, synthetic and analytical capacities across diverse technological platforms.”

Completion of the Bachelor of Digital Media will prepare students to pursue entry level employment opportunities in areas including:

  • Social media

  • Digital storytelling and journalism

  • Video and audio production

  • Publishing

  • Photography

  • Animation

  • Web and graphic design

  • Digital advertising and marketing

  • Corporate and community communications

  • Education and training

  • Multimedia specialist

  • Content creation

  • App design.

Likely employers could include:

  • Government

  • Marketing/creative/advertising agencies

  • Media – newspapers/online/magazines

  • Museums/libraries/galleries

  • Interactive media design firms

  • Not-for-profits.

  • In fact, any business that communicates with an audience through digital channels.