I am often struck by the thought that the job I do today didn’t exist when I was leaving high school. NO, I am NOT that old! But I matriculated in 2002, and Facebook was only launched on February 4th, 2004. Twitter only hit the scene in March 2006. Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, who are major contenders in today’s digital era, have only been around since 2010.
So as a Social Media marketing manager and Digital copywriter, I could not have planned or trained for my job in matric any more than an air traffic controller could have dreamed of his job before the Wright brothers (for those millennials reading this NO, I was NOT present at the first flighting).
Which is why continued education is non-negotiable in this digital era. In our ever-changing environment, it has become essential to keep relearning not only the rules, but the playing field. If my job didn’t exist just a few short years ago (when I finished school) can you just imagine what our kids will be doing for a living? Or even what we will be doing ourselves five years from now?
Staying sharp in the digital era – Everyone has something to learn
It’s not just for those of us directly connected with the digital industry that continued education, online courses, and regular seminars are essential. The entire marketplace has changed. Even those industries traditionally considered to be non-tech are now reliant on Social Media and IoT. Factions such as government, municipalities, tourism, industry, marketing and even education and basic health care, require an online presence. Why? Because that is where the community is interacting.
It’s accessible to almost everyone and it has taken the place of the old corner store soapbox. The thing that makes it really interesting is that it’s changing almost constantly. You have to adapt to survive and the world wide web is a survivor. It puts us in a unique position, where society is evolving at a hugely accelerated rate.
What that means is that we have to be constantly re-educating ourselves. Some people feel they’ve done their time at college and they shouldn’t have to learn new-fangled things. For others, it’s good news. Because, whether we like to talk about it or not, not everyone had the opportunity to go to college. Fortunately, there are now hundreds of well-respected and highly applicable courses available online. What better place to learn about a digital industry than through a digital platform?
Thanks to Webinars and online courses through respected institutions like Hubspot, Shaw Academy and Red and Yellow, there is now accessibly education available at reasonable rates to any intelligent person who wants to learn. The best thing is you don’t have to be a kid straight out of high school or an adult in night classes to do it. You can study when it suits you, regardless of whether you are qualified or not, young or old, rich or poor, or still figuring out what you want to do with your life. Just another great thing about the digital era: The world of education is open to anyone with enough savvy to grab it.
In a constantly evolving environment you have to evolve. It’s that simple.
Any businessman or woman worth their salt should be hitting a couple of courses every year. Any person who thinks they’ve learned everything they need to know is fooling themselves.
More than just Digital Know How
We live in the information age. And it’s so much more than just learning about what’s going on in digital space. I have used YouTube videos to learn how to do everything from curl hair with a flat iron to play the piano (I’m not very good but I can play a mean jingle bell rock). For those of you who didn’t learn to knit and bake when you were kids (like us generation X kids) there are tutorials for all of that too. The only excuse for not knowing how to do something in this day and age is that you don’t really want to know (or maybe you live in South Africa and the internet connection sucks). Except for ride a bike, that is. I have watched countless YouTube videos and I still can’t ride a bike.
Remember it’s about getting more out of life. It’s about how the digital era can maximize your potential so that you will have more time to spend out of doors, living.