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What are some relevant skills to stay competitive in the 21st century?

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Would coding, trilingualism, graphic design, etc be relevant for marketing/PR/branding interns? Would this be something interns/students need to adopt in their skill set in order to stay competitive? If so, what kind of skills would you recommend, and why?

#recruiting #communication-skills #marketing #branding #public-relations

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5 answers

Steven Chang-Hsun’s Answer

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Hi Tanya,

All the skills you listed are very valuable and important to career. For PR/marketing/branding perspective, I think being multi-lingual will be very helpful because when ones learn or be familiar with certain languages, they will also get to know the culture or think like locals. This will make your career more internationally and get into the global market. That is my two cents. Help this helps :) 

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Aime’s Answer

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At this point in time, I believe any skill that allows you to expand your horizons is important. Learn another language, expand your career by acquiring a certification such as a PMP, ITL, etc. Anything you can learn that can allow you to transfer or approach your current job from a global perspective will be relevant.

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Ian’s Answer

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Hi Tanya!


Of the three skill groups you listed above, I would say all three would be greatly beneficial to any marketing firm. I'm not in the marketing / PR space, so I can't comment directly, but I'll break out each one quickly below and why they could be a benefit:

  • Coding: This is the one I would stress most for anyone moving out of school and into the job market. Development skills will absolutely always be of benefit. The ability to manipulate a machine to quickly make edits to a website, or application cannot be stressed enough. You don't need to be proficient in 15 languages, but if you have a core base level knowledge in base languages (C++, Java, Python, etc..) you could potentially make necessary changes yourself or at least go into negotiations with a contractor on a more educated footing.
  • Trilingualism: Awesome. Exposure and familiarity with different cultures and languages is always a plus. Marketing / PR firms with international presences would love this ability.
  • Graphic Design: Another great skill set that can be supported by a development background as well. Same as above, being able to quickly make adjustments yourself allows you and your company to be more agile and save funding for other purposes rather than needing additional talent.

When you're applying for jobs, coming to the table with a breadth of experiences like this is a huge plus. Anytime you can develop your portfolio (GitHub / CodeCloud for coding, examples of Graphic design you've done), will benefit you in these discussions. As lead interviewer within AT&T, I love to see examples of what candidates have done outside of course work to see what they are most passionate about and observe examples of how they have gone above and beyond.

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Vicky’s Answer

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Hi Tanya! I think all the skills you mentioned will set you apart on a resume, but it is very important in today's work culture to be versed in soft skills, such as having great communication and networking skills. When writing out your experiences on your resume, be sure to site examples of how you handled certain situations by communicating well, or using negotiating skills to manage a problem. Employers look for this type of skill in jobs that entail a lot of collaborative work, like marketing. Another good skill to be able to show an example of is networking, which can be demonstrated by listing diverse references from work relationships from your internships. Having these soft skills will show that you have the ability to use the knowledge you have to get results. In my experience, these types of "people" skills are very valuable in any career! Hope this helps!

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Matthew’s Answer

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Of those, the one that stands out clearly to me is the coding skill. Specifically having expertise with SQL, R, JSON are all valuable. Why? Because when it comes to insightful analysis and effectiveness studies the better able you are to work with datasets the more impactful you can be. Secondly, with so much digital advertising and the integration of online platforms in brands, you need to be able to work with all of that data to understand what consumers want and the behaviors they take.

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