To understand what careers may lie ahead for me in the near future, I sometimes surf Linkedin to see people’s current professions and how they got there. There’s nothing noteworthy to me most of the time, though one career path always catches my eye: Social/New Media Producer.
New media is an umbrella term relating to mass communication in the current internet age, whether its blogs, online stores or video streaming services. Social media is a subset of new media, strictly focusing on networking services Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
On each of the profiles I visited of people working in new media, the overwhelming majority listed their skills in outreach through social media, strong communication and an understanding of contemporary pop culture.
In this current new media age, the millennial and generation Z demographic are interested in entertainment exploring the ordinary, such as everyday tasks, the latest viral video or popular meme.
As a result, new media jobs are in demand — both in-and-out of traditional job environments.
CNN indicates a 9 percent job growth in the field over the past 10 years with people working as a new media specialist averaging over $48,000 yearly. New media skills can also be put to use in other professions like public relations specialist, promotions manager and market research analyst.
Freelance entertainment creators can also sustain a living producing content on platforms like Vimeo and YouTube. Both these services also provide monetization services to users.
Other websites like Patreon allow fans of creators — whether they’re writers, animators or musicians — to pay an optional subscription fee to support their favorite entertainers.
Adam Johnston of the YouTube channel YourMovieSucksDOTorg, which currently has over 750,000 subscribers, makes over $3,700 a month through Patreon by reviewing and analyzing films full-time.
While content by new media creators are often written off as unimportant, they supply fans with content that hold significance to everyday life.
Robert “James” Rallison of the channel TheOdd1sOut vlogs about his daily life through animation, with his two most popular videos being about the time he worked at Subway. Both videos have over 25 million views each.
Through animated blog-inspired storytelling, James draws out the underlying anxieties of social interaction and gives people a sense of understanding and human connection in scenarios like shopping for clothes and initiating conversations.
Similarly, the Wisecrack webseries “The Philosophy of Everything” strives to derive deeper meaning from popular culture, with videos focusing on the philosophies of Black Mirror, Shia LaBeouf and The Boss Baby. Their most viewed video, “The Philosophy of Rick and Morty,” has almost 6 million views.
Similar to how people build an indirect connection with social media accounts, new media creators accomplish the same sense of community through their content, as well as their online presence.
As a way to express their gratitude, creators can offer exclusive content to paid subscribers. Some incentives film reviewer Adam Johnston provides viewers through his Patreon include a ticket stub from a film showing he attended, a personal thank you note and access to a monthly Google Hangout with him.
Adam Johnston also moderates the YourMovieSucks subreddit, which sits at over 19,000 readers. The subreddit exists to continue conversations present in Johnston’s videos long after they’re published.
As someone interested in a career path in new media, I’m delighted that it’s possible to find a job where my technology-based communication skills are needed. From being a company’s new media specialist to the possibility of sustaining a living as a YouTube content creator, my fear of not finding a job after college has now decreased, if only slightly.