One of the engaging benefits of a career in digital is the ability to navigate across different industry verticals. This is possible because the core capability within each of the various digital disciplines is standard or industry agnostic and so is easily transferable.
There is of course, a degree of customisation to or for a specific industry.
Not everyone shares the above view. When developing digital capability within businesses, there can be internal business reservations regarding hiring someone outside of their industry. I’ll encourage recruiters to broaden their search parameters during the briefing process and look beyond the same industry.
I agree there are roles that require industry specific knowledge and experience, however, the majority of digital roles I believe, can transverse different industry verticals.
When reviewing digital job ads for this blog, I found some ads clearly state ‘must have a specific industry experience.’ Many refer to industry experience as a ’nice to have’ and not mandatory. However, the job ads are very specific about the required digital skills and experience.
To help support my opinion, I refer to the 70:20:10 model for Learning and Development developed by McCall, Lombardo and Exchanger’s. It summarised that “Lessons learned by successful and effective managers are roughly”:
- 70% from challenging assignments.
- 20% from developmental relationships.
- 10% from coursework and training.
Google’s Eric Schmit in 2005 used the 70:20:10 Model for Business Innovation and described how employees should utilize their time using the ratio:
- 70% of time should be dedicated to core business tasks.
- 20% of time should be dedicated to projects related to the core business.
- 10% of time should be dedicated to projects unrelated to the core business.
Using the 70:20:10 Model to support my opinion that digital skills, knowledge and experience are easily transferrable across different industry verticals, I note that:
- 70% of experience relates to using your core digital skills, experience and knowledge.
- 20% of experience relates to overlaying specific industry requirements working with business specialists.
- 10% of experience relates to keeping informed of new digital technologies, techniques, consumer trends, innovation, etc.
An example in real or digital terms is SEO.
- 70% relates to core tasks including correct SEO page set up, reporting software, keyword/phrase tracking, writing content, link building, technical reporting, competitive reviews etc.
- 20% relates to customising SEO to a specific industry with industry specific keywords and phrases and customer organic search behavior.
- 10% relates to keeping up with industry changes and Google’s regular organic search algorithm updates are good example of this.
Working in digital provides the ability to have industry diversity and it is great for building a broad skill set and knowledge base.