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How to Become a Multimedia Specialist

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Multimedia is the result of combining different content forms such as text, audio, images, animations, video, among others to create meaningful communication. Smartphones, personal computers, interactive boards, and television stations have now become intricate parts of our lives and unsurprisingly, we often pay attention to the techie aspects of these invaluable innovations.  But the truth is, we owe a huge part of our fondness to multimedia. Continuous development and innovation in creating multimedia are the primary reasons we stay glued to our screens for many hours and enjoy every bit of it. In this guide, I’ll take you through a step by step guide on how you can become a specialist in the multimedia sector and create more amusing experiences for us all.

Who is a Multimedia Specialist?

A Multimedia Specialist is a professional who produces creatives,  presentations, and other media-related projects using sound, video, and multimedia tools. They use multimedia tools to combine different content forms that end-users interact with. If designing and creating are activities you enjoy doing,  you may want to consider multimedia creation as a career option. Here is a list of duties you will perform regularly.

Responsibilities of a Multimedia Specialist

  • You will meet and liaise with clients to discuss briefs, project requirements, and project progress.
  • You will have to create ideas and design them with tools such as Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, After Effects, Dreamweaver, Flash Player, and 3D Flash Animator, Apple Final Cut Pro X and Avid audio production software.
  • You will also receive feedback on your ideas and designs.
  • After creating multimedia content, you must test it to correct errors before sharing it with the public.
  • On many occasions, you will collaborate with other creatives like writers, animators, video producers, etc.
  • You will create scripts and guides for multimedia content.

Multimedia Specialist

Skills of a Multimedia Specialist

  • To work as a Multimedia Specialist, you must be creative and have a good understanding of technical activities.
  • Multimedia Specialists are competent in using relevant software applications.
  • As a Multimedia Specialist, you must have good interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills. This is because you will need to communicate ideas to clients and other staff, regularly.
  • The ability to listen is also as important as responding appropriately.
  • You must possess good organizational skills as a Multimedia Specialist. You will have to plan projects and meet tight deadlines.
  • As explained in the responsibilities, you will be working with other teams and creatives. This requires excellent teamwork skills and a willingness to share knowledge and expertise to reach common goals.
  • As a Multimedia Specialist, you must have time-management and project-management skills.

Educational Requirements for Aspiring Multimedia Specialists

To build a proper foundation towards becoming a Multimedia Specialist, you need at least, a bachelor’s degree in Art, Multimedia Design, or Software Engineering. Below are some reputable schools you can earn globally accepted qualifications in these fields.

  1. Worcester University in the United Kingdom: Offers a Creative Media and Graphic Design BA (Hons) The program covers a broad combination of creative areas. You will learn how to design and create across a range of traditional and digital platforms that transform concepts into reality. The program exposes students to traditional and digital media, tailoring them to suit their career aspirations. The degree can be studied full-time or part-time. The tuition for international students is £12,700 per year.
  2. The University of Tasmania in Australia: Offers a Bachelor of Design degree. The program is very flexible and allows you to customize your learning experience to suit your desired career path. You will learn the language and processes of design; the conceptual, experimental, and critical skills that are vital for any design career. You will have opportunities to solve unique real-world problems by developing, testing, and applying your design skills with the use of IT tools. You will also get to collaborate with internationally renowned designers and local industry partners. The total course fee for international students is AUD 93,031.
  3. The University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom: Offers a BSc Computer Graphics, Imaging, and Multimedia degree. The program is designed for individuals who wish to push beyond the boundaries already set in the field by developing state-of-the-art software solutions and are interested in design, film, music, art, etc. The program will give you a solid foundation in computer programming, computer graphics, and software engineering. The course is studied full-time. The tuition for international students is £20,000.

Career Prospects and Job Outlook for a Multimedia Specialist

Your growth as a Multimedia Specialist will depend on your employer. Larger organizations will give opportunities for promotions to supervisory and managerial positions, while smaller firms give greater responsibilities at an early stage in the career.

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of Multimedia Specialists and animators is projected to grow 4% from 2018 to 2028, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. The projected growth will be a result of the increase in demand for animation and visual effects in video games, movies, and television.

Typical Employers of a Multimedia Specialist

Multimedia Specialists can find employment across all sectors as most companies need advertising and marketing materials to promote whatever product they are selling or providing. For instance, a good number of companies place flash banners on their websites, emails, and social media pages to advertise. Still, typical employers of Multimedia Specialists are:

  • Retailers
  • Software/multimedia houses
  • Central government
  • Charities
  • Telecommunications firms
  • Advertising agencies
  • Local authorities
  • Engineering firms
  • IT consultancies
  • Computer games companies and manufacturers
  • Insurance brokers
  • Manufacturers
  • Publishers
  • Educational organizations
  • Internet service providers

Salary of a Multimedia Specialist

The average salary for Multimedia Specialists in the United Kingdom ranges from £21,000 to £24,000, rising to £28,000 with experience. Senior-level Multimedia Specialists earn around £32,000 to £50,000.

  • According to Indeed, the average salary for a Multimedia Specialist in the United States of America is $52,579 per year.
  • According to Payscale, the average salary for a Multimedia Specialist in Canada is C$55,135.
  • Mysalaryscale estimates the average salary for Multimedia Specialists in Nigeria as ₦200,000 per month.

Postgraduate options for a Multimedia Specialist

Master of Arts in Multimedia Arts and Design from Rome University of Fine Arts (RUFA). This program is designed to prepare design and art professionals who plan to join the art and culture, entertainment, interior design, and multimedia communication sectors where they will be designing and implementing projects such as multimedia installations, spaces, and fit-outs, interactive sound environments, audio-visual performances, virtual sets, video mapping, etc. It exposes students to the importance of digital technologies and techniques. The tuition for international students is EUR 6,200. The pace is full-time for 2 years.

Master in Computer Graphics and Multimedia from the Brno University of Technology. This program helps students to master procedures and skills in computer graphics as well as multimedia productions. It will help you understand the in-depth knowledge of image synthesis in computer graphics, speech processing and recognition, sound and video sequences algorithms for multimedia, and development of systems for human-computer interaction. The program is offered in English with tuition of EUR 3,000 for international students. The pace is full-time for 2 years.

MA in Design (Multimedia) from the University of Johannesburg. The primary goal of this program is to educate and train researchers who can contribute to the development of knowledge at an advanced level in Multimedia. The program is entirely in English and has both full-time and part-time options. It takes 1-2 years to complete it and the tuition for international students is $3,500.

Careers Similar to Multimedia Specialist

Software Engineer: A Software Engineer is a professional who applies the principles of software engineering for designing, development, maintenance, testing, and evaluation of computer software. They work in a dynamic environment; due to technological advances and the strategic direction of the organization they work for. Software Engineers create, maintain, review and improve systems to meet needs, often as advised by a systems analyst or architect, testing both hard and software systems to diagnose and resolve system faults.

Graphic Designer: Graphic designers create visual concepts with computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for applications such as advertisements, brochures, magazines, and reports. The job demands creativity, up-to-date knowledge of industry software, and a professional approach to time, costs, and deadlines.

Animator: An Animator designs images and turns them into frames. He then uses some software tools to create an illusion of movement. These movements are what we refer to as animation. Animators collaborate with other production team members to understand what clients need, revise scripts, create storyboards for videos, and edit projects when necessary. An Animator is an expert who uses special computer programs or software to build two dimensional (2D) and three dimensional (3D) images for websites, games, movies, and other multimedia platforms.

Famous Multimedia Specialists

Jessica Walsh: One of the co-owners of Sagmeister and Walsh in New York City. Jessica has A-list celebrity clients such as Jay-Z who employ her to design multimedia projects. Jessica designs things that are lively and retro as she draws inspiration from the ’50s. You can find her completed projects on her Instagram page.

Chuck Anderson: Chuck opened No Pattern Studio (his design studio) when he was 18 years old, and since then, he has had clients like ESPN, Vans, and Nike wanting to get their hands on his designs. His designs are modern and express vibrancy. See his work on his website or his Instagram page.

Leta Sobierajski: Leta is a graphic designer that never thinks inside the box. She is all about using quirks and unconventional illustrations to create unique designs. Her personality is eclectic and larger than life and all these are present in her works. She uses bizarre shapes and color combinations. You can check her website or her Instagram handle to see some of her works.

Professional Certifications for Multimedia Specialists

The CIW Multimedia Specialist Certification: This certification demonstrates the holder’s knowledge of the strategies and tactics involved in creating and publishing video files that are compatible with the web and mobile devices. This certification, though powered by Google, does not focus on creating pages or user interface design. Instead, instructors deliver advanced video and audio creation lessons. To get the certification, you must write and pass the CIW Multimedia Specialist exam. The program also explores advanced image editing techniques including scanning images, creating vector and raster-based images, applying metadata.

Certificate in Multimedia Skills from NIIT Lagos: This certification equips students with the basic skills that they need to gain meaningful employment as certified Multimedia Specialists in Nigeria.

Graduate Certificate in Multimedia Development from George Washington University –  Graduate School of Education and Human Development Online.

The certification proves that you have a hands-on understanding of the theories, principles, techniques, and technology that will help you to integrate text, audio, video, imagery, interactivity, and other multimedia content into your instructional projects. The program consists of 18-credit hours and can be completed in 1.5 years. Lessons are strictly online and each module provides a comprehensive explanation of the various media available to you for educational purposes and how to utilize them effectively.

Remember, you don’t have to complete all the levels of academic and professional requirements before securing your first role as a Multimedia Specialist. You only need your Bachelor’s degree and some hands-on experience to get started. You can then begin to consider postgraduate studies and professional certificates as you move up the career ladder. Should you need further guidance on how to pursue a Multimedia design career, do not hesitate to send me an email or indicate through the comments section.



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