You’d be forgiven for thinking the latest reports for graduates aren’t great. As a recent example, graduate info website milkround.com, stated that 2009 will likely see a 5.4 decrease in available graduate jobs compared to last year. That said, there are certainly industries and business sectors which are growing, and many students are viewing the current financial crisis as an excuse to become self-employed once they leave college. So why are graduates with writing skills becoming more and more sought after?

In regards to the current economic crisis and the subsequent decline of print journalism, it might seem churlish to use this article to praise the opportunities available in the journalism sector. Yet, whilst print is said to be on the downturn, online news sources are being forced to adapt, and each have to find their respective unique selling point for competing on the internet. Consequently, we are currently seeing sufficient growth with online journalism, and the need to be adaptable – not just in what you can write about and how (i.e. 1000 word articles, blog posts, data presentation), but also how you conduct your research.

As a result of the growth in social media and the shift in the journalism industry, an increasing number of companies and businesses are discovering the importance and worth of online visibility – a realization that is all the more pertinent at a time of economic change and a need for cheaper modes of promotion. Digital marketing and PR, therefore, is growing – and an increasing amount of graduates with writing skills and a natural knowledge of social networks and online trends are being called upon to write optimised press releases and distributing them to the relevant places.

Additionally, professional and business writers are increasingly being employed by companies who are moving online (or who are improving their online presence) in order to produce quality web content on a regular basis. These employees are becoming more and more important as companies compete to make their own websites more appealing and user friendly to increase traffic – and subsequently, to increase conversions.

The thing to take from this shift of writing jobs from offline to online is that, along with being able to prove you can communicate well via the written word (to a variety of audiences, at times), graduates must be prepared to be flexible. Whether you’re needed to communicate with people via micro-blogging services such as twitter, or being called upon to produce more traditional articles – the formats and media might be changing, but your tools will always be the same.


Sarah Maple writing about graduate jobs and the state of the job search market

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Filed under: Career

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