The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

A Study of Competences and Skills for 21st Century Digital Media Professionals

Mathy Vanbuel, ATiT (Belgium)

Frauke Hein, ATiT/K.U.Leuven (Belgium)


The 2014 iProfessional survey with over 1100 participants from 8 EU countries collected data about the skills and competences of professionals working in digital media and arts. The rich and complex data that are the result of the survey are sufficient to search for meaningful conclusions, especially with regard to the impact of education on the worker in his professional environment including the effect of internship.
A number of conclusions can be drawn from the analysis. The survey has allowed us to make a quantitative and limited qualitative analysis of the profiles of media workers with regard to the competences, skills and attitudes they possess related to media businesses, such as artistic skills, technical skills, business processes knowledge, communication, project management, structuring of content, team work, problem solving, time management, etc. The survey resulted in a comprehensive list of transversal skills and competences that are required by the professional digital media and arts worker set off against those acquired in formal education as well as on the job.
The survey results provides indicators of what professionals expect from Higher Education: a clear, up to date and concrete link between studies and the profession, practice based learning, internships, up to date learning content, quality teachers and exposure to the professional environment (teachers from the professional domain, mentors…)
An important observation from the survey indicates that a very large portion of the target group never had any education in the area of digital media and arts at all and is entering into the profession from a Higher Education programme that is not related at all or even from a professional career in an entirely different domain. These people seem to be receiving formal training on the job, but from the survey it can be deducted that this does not meet their professional expectations (1 out of 3 professional workers is not satisfied with the theoretical preparation for his/her job). For this substantial group, specific training programmes may be required, and HEIs are a preferred option to provide these programmes (through CPD or other).
It emerges from the survey also that what the professional worker in this area expects to learn besides these highly specialised subject are: legal issues, regulation and IPR; accountancy; business competences (writing for business, marketing, understanding business processes, etc.); programming; managerial competences (change and people management, HRM, international collaboration and project management, etc.)
The conclusions of the survey can give the education community (Higher Education as well as VET and CPD) an opportunity to relate to the own learning, training and capacity building trajectory or curriculum.

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