News Articles

The Industry's Most Sought-After Skills: A Job Seeker's Guide

6/07/2010 12:00:00 AM Eastern

Hot Jobs

In just three years, the number of jobs covered in CTHRA's Annual Compensation Surveys has increased from 153 to 204. That figure includes the following new job families.

2010
1. Technical Recruiting
2. Technical Training
3. Technology / IT Management
4. Government Relations
5. Regional Sports Programming / Production
6. Regional News Programming / Production
7. Customer Care Telephone Administration

2009
1. Customer Care-Traffic and Scheduling
2. Customer Care-Quality
3. Carrier Commercial Sales
4. Outbound Telesales

2008
1. Construction Technicians
2. Customer Retention
3. MDU Sales

Only a few years ago, any job seeker who had a resume boasting expertise in "video, voice and data" was all but guaranteed to land a plum job in the telecommunications industry. Now that triple combo is a basic requirement for just about every position in the business. The shift in status from feather-in-the-cap to standard skill set is indicative of the tumultuous change taking place in our industry-and the constant shift in the value of particular job skills.

Pamela Williams, CTHRATo give us an idea of where the emphasis is today, I've asked two experts, Hali Croner, President and CEO of The Croner Company, and Lisa Kaye, President & CEO of greenlightjobs, to share their insights on the skills and experience most in demand by industry employers including broadcast and cable networks, media and entertainment companies, manufacturers, technology developers and multiple systems operators (MSOs).

Technology
It should come as no surprise that technological expertise looms larger than ever on the radar screens of employers throughout the industry. In fact, of the seven new "job families" The Croner Company included in CTHRA's 2010 Compensation Surveys, three fall under the technology umbrella: technical recruiting, technical training, and technology/IT management.

Ms. Croner shared some insight, "A further indication of the speed and spread of technological change is the introduction of new top-level job categories such as chief strategy officer and chief technology officer who are now in charge of "traditional" technologies as well as IT"

Ms. Kaye added, "Technology, digital media, and any specialty area involving IT, engineering, project management and the ability to leverage across multi-platforms are considered growth areas in the media and entertainment industry and represent a significant percentage of the jobs we see posted on our career site."

In the current economic climate, project managers are in particular demand as companies look to consolidate and optimize their resources, increase efficiency and save money. Other skills that lend themselves well to jobs in the technology category include finance, human resources, IT, business development and administration.

Going Green
"Green" jobs, including engineering positions with an environmental slant also rank high on the growth list, as employers in all industry sectors seek ways to make their physical facilities and work practices more earth-friendly. To fill "green" positions, employers look for experience in such fields as conservation, environmental affairs, renewable energy and facilities management.

Sales and Marketing
The scope of positions queried in CTHRA's 2010 Compensation Surveys and greenlightjobs' career listings show an ever-increasing focus on sales and marketing at all levels. Ms. Kaye explained, "Companies are looking to leverage talent with skills that will help produce revenue and immediately increase their profitability."

Sought-after skills in this arena run the gamut from inbound and outbound telesales to market research, online advertising sales, account planning, sales engineering, B2B sales, and relevant managerial experience in sales and marketing.

Other Growth Areas
Two areas offer growing opportunities for job seekers who have or can develop the appropriate skills: customer care and government relations, which is now considered a function in its own right, separate from regulatory affairs.

Working Both Sides
Traditionally, programmers and MSOs tended to hire job seekers from their respective environments. That trend has shifted toward candidates in all job categories who offer solid working knowledge of both sides of the business. Two factors are contributing to the escalating value of well-rounded employees: the continued consolidation of the industry and an increase in production of content by MSOs.

Room at the Top
Although in most functional categories, senior level positions are still less plentiful than those lower on the ladder, there are exceptions. In particular, Ms. Kaye, "Jobs at the vice president level and above are on the rise in finance, sales and IT as more companies place internal emphasis and financial resources behind these areas."




Hot Jobs

In just three years, the number of jobs covered in CTHRA's Annual Compensation Surveys has increased from 153 to 204. That figure includes the following new job families.

2010
1. Technical Recruiting
2. Technical Training
3. Technology / IT Management
4. Government Relations
5. Regional Sports Programming / Production
6. Regional News Programming / Production
7. Customer Care Telephone Administration

2009
1. Customer Care-Traffic and Scheduling
2. Customer Care-Quality
3. Carrier Commercial Sales
4. Outbound Telesales

2008
1. Construction Technicians
2. Customer Retention
3. MDU Sales

March