Due to globalisation, the requirements of media and communications graduates and professionals continues to change. More then 3.7 million students have studied internationally in the past 20 years, with higher education studies no longer being restricted by national boundaries. As technology emerges and media continues to converge to improve capabilities, opportunities for tertiary students increase.

Living in Australia allows home grown students an advantage when engaging with Western cultures, and discussing business relations. Approximately 95% of potential consumers reside outside of the US. Diversity, therefore, is the key to success for graduates and future employees. A number of skills and professional developments are required to ensure employees can communicate effectively on a global scale. Language and cultural proficiency, paired with agility, are characterising leaders, and allowing them to function across national boundaries. This skillset is particularly necessary in media and communications students. This student base have been identified as the most globalised with 22.9% working and studying internationally. The ability to work and thrive in a global climate is longer only optional, it is essential.

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The phenomenon of media convergence and emerging technologies are allowing professional development to occur, separate to industry experience.

Duolingo is a global language education application that allows users to learn, read and speak another language. With 28 languages for English speakers to choose from, this free technology provides users the ability to learn and engage with the modules at their own pace. In lesson grading, hearts and streak counts contribute to the gamification that makes Duolingo so addictive.

Cultural Intelligence can be evolved in conjunction with GlobeSmart. A number of online learning tools including e-Learning modules and webcasts, allow cross-cultural learning to take place. More then 95 nations have participated in the development of this tool to ensure participants are receiving a well-rounded understanding of cultures, to improve cultural intelligence. Technology and marketing professionals are among the top 5 industry professionals who are currently utilising this.

Cultural Navigator is an impressive tool that personalises online learning to provide users with a competitive advantage. By undergoing a number of modules, participants receive their Cultural Orientations Indicator (COI). This provides an understanding of the user’s cultural preferences and potential cultural challenges they will encounter. The Cultural Navigator then utilises this information to personalise learning through interactive content for the user.

As media and communications organisations continue to evolve due to globalisation, so must the professionals working in this industry. Skills such as language and cultural proficiency have never been more valued in a professional climate. This skillset can be developed through a number of online tools, facilitated by media convergence. Therefore, graduates and future professionals are able to take steps to improve their professional development and separate themselves from competitors, to succeed in a globalised industry.

by Georgina Fleming