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AdNews Investigation: Educators And Students Have Their Say

This was first published in the April issue of AdNews Magazine.

University education is lagging behind the commercial realities of media and marketing leaving graduates ill–equipped for working life. This two-part AdNews investigation takes a look at why education is lagging, where there are education gaps and how the industry is responding.

The role of private colleges

University education provides a good foundation knowledge of traditional marketing theory, but is lagging in newer areas of media and marketing practice. An AdNews investigation into tertiary education found gaps in digital media, media planning and practical experience to help produce graduates that are job ready for media and marketing roles. 

These gaps in skills and education are often being filled by smaller, private colleges such as ADMA, Miami Ad School and Macleay College. About 10% of Macleay’s students are university graduates from across a range of degrees that want to sharpen their skills for media and marketing careers.

Ian Thomson, who runs the college’s faculty of advertising and media, pointed out its courses are designed to be much more practical, with a strong focus on digital skills and competencies that allow graduates to “hit the ground running”.

“The feedback we get from industry is to make sure these graduates understand marketing theory and marketing strategy, but also make sure they have digital skills,” Thomson said.

“Make sure that they know how to use Adobe Creative Suite, that they know how to use an Excel table, that they can put together a presentation, in InDesign.

“That’s where we position ourselves, at that intersection. If you look at the sandstone universities as being disseminators and bastions of knowledge, and TAFE colleges being a place where people are trained with skills, at Macleay we really look at the application of knowledge and skill.” 
– Ian Thomson, Head of Macleay Advertising & Digital Media 

Another area that Thomson and senior marketer Makedonka Del–Ben would like to see is a greater focus on developing interpersonal communication skills, such as empathetic listening, presentation skills and the ability to work collaboratively as a team.

Video Production-2Macleay students working on a digital marketing project with video production lecturer, Cisco Corea

Ian W Thomson. Head of Faculty, Advertising & Digital Media, Macleay College.

Read the full article on AdNews 

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