From small businesses to large conglomerates, companies are looking to digital platforms to engage with their audiences. As technologies become more sophisticated and ubiquitous, creatives who work in the interactive and digital spaces are in high demand. For creative job seekers in this field, the market is promising, but there are a few other things to consider. If you're thinking about working for agencies that focus on digital, here are five things you should know:
1. Agencies are growing
Creatives who work on interactive and digital projects are in high demand, and interactive salaries are expected to grow by an average of 4.4 percent next year. That's because most interactive agencies are expanding, TCG assistant vice president Angela Vitzthum says.
Many start out small, often focusing on one specialty, such as creating apps. But as the agency expands its capabilities, perhaps branching out into digital strategy, the partners need professionals with more experience to manage the workload. It's not just programmers who are working for agencies. "Digital agencies are always onboarding designers and developers," Vitzthum says, "But now they're hiring more content strategists and product managers."
2. Teams are often bigger
What's the biggest difference between a digital-focused agency and one that focuses on print? According to Steve Taylor, who's working at advertising agencies across America in The Great Agency Adventure, it's the size of the team you work with. At a print-focused agency, a team usually includes a creative director, a designer and a writer. "At digital agencies, you see designers and coders sit in on brainstorming meetings," Taylor says. "More people are involved at the beginning, and they can give feedback on the technological possibilities."
3. Hours can be long
Working for agencies that focus on interactive can mean burning the midnight oil to finish deliverables or troubleshoot technical issues. "As you get close to a drop date, you might have to work around the clock to deliver on time," Vitzthum says. Plus, any time Apple or Android releases a software update, your team needs to evaluate and update any apps that are affected by the changes.
4. Dogs are often welcome
Interactive agencies often have a startup feel, and Vitzthum and Taylor both mention seeing more dog-friendly offices. Being around fuzzy friends can relieve stress and increase job loyalty, according to a study by Virginia Commonwealth University. So it's no wonder that more agencies are allowing dogs in the office.
5. Many agencies are community-minded
Agencies are often very involved with their local creative communities, Vitzthum says, hosting networking events or user groups and workshops. For example, Gaslight in Cincinnati holds regular Ruby on Rails workshops and invites people in the tech community to join them for coffee on Friday mornings for casual networking. Some other agencies host happy hours or short talks from experts. "They're nurturing people in the local professional community and also attracting talent and building their brand and reputation," Vitzthum says.
When you're considering working for agencies that specialize in interactive and digital projects, consider how their cultures and environments line up with your working style and career goals. You just might find your next great position in this growing industry.