Media Architect Is the Next Evolution of the Print Professional
The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has for decades been regarded as the worldwide authority on print education and research. However, as the printing industry continues to change fundamentally, we face a new vision of how to define our industry and educate the future workforce. I am here to reflect on transformational changes that RIT has made and to provide you with my personal opinion on where I think our industry is headed.
In 2009, I was a freshman at RIT’s School of Print Media with a major titled “New Media Publishing.” During that time, the curriculum was adapted towards the new cutting edge forms of media that were being used to publish content in additional to the traditional form of print.
By 2011, these forms of “New Media” were no longer new and were very much continuing to grow and expand as the major was changed to “Media Arts and Technology.” It was very clear that the emergence of Web 2.0 and social media, in addition to eReaders, iPads and mobile, was a prevalent factor in how we decide to publish and distribute content.
This fall, RIT took a revolutionary leap and changed the historical School of Print Media into the School of Media Sciences. To many, this change was a wakeup call into the reality of where our industry is headed.
The program is focused on developing students to provide innovative solutions to transform and manage content in order to reach the right people, at the right place, at the right time. The curriculum that has been introduced in the program includes cross-media workflow, digital asset management and database publishing.
As a graduating senior this spring, I could not be more excited to enter the industry as a media architect. The name of the game is and always has been to effectively manage content so that it reaches the right audience, and the industry now needs a new generation to lead the way in finding the right balance. With print, Web, mobile and social media, we have a much wider pallet to effectively target the right audience.
There is no doubt that this transition has had a strong effect on print. Even among the declining print volumes, I still shake my head whenever I hear someone say print is dead and ready to disappear. As a millennial that fully embraces new media, I still firmly believe print will always be a large component in how content is distributed. However, I cannot hide the fact that it will no longer be the prominent solution that we were so used to in the past.
My advice for printers is to embrace the “marketing service provider” mindset and look to invest in areas of unique value added services. Solely offering ink on paper is no longer a feasible business strategy in today’s day and age if you want to compete and survive. I welcome and encourage your comments and feel free to share your opinion on where you view our industry is headed.