New and rapidly evolving digital technologies are having an enormous impact on the publishing industry and have created the need for educational publishing programs to adapt, innovate, and keep pace in order to produce better-prepared graduates. Anne Willkomm, director of the graduate publishing program at Rosemont College, was recently featured and interviewed about these changes and the challenges they pose in an article appearing in Publisher’s Weekly.
In his PW article, Preparing for the Future, reporter Gabe Habash looked at eight highly-regarded publishing education programs across the country, including Rosemont’s, and explored how these new and fast-changing digital technologies have forced programs to substantially and quickly retailor their curricula in order to stay on the cutting edge.
As pointed out in the article, one of the many exciting things Rosemont College has done to respond to the challenges posed by digital is to have students learn about and create book trailers for soon-to-be released books at the nearby WHYY TV studios in Center City Philadelphia.
Individuals who are looking to embark upon or enhance their career in publishing must look at the current trends in the marketplace and find the best program to fit current industry needs. That’s why leading publishing programs are revamping their offerings to give their students the new skills and experience that publishers are increasingly demanding when hiring employees – including IT, social media, web design, electronic content management, mobile technology, and video production.
According to Willkomm, while the publishers with whom she has spoken are talking digital, “most still don’t have specific requirements for potential employees,” though, Willkomm says, “no doubt that will come.” And while digital advances are pushing publishing programs to incorporate these technologies more and more into their curricula, she and other educators stress the importance of sticking to the fundamentals and not losing sight of the basics: including good old-fashioned writing skills.
“I think the thing I am seeing the most is a need for students to slow down,” she says in the article. “In this age of instant gratification and need for content, there are so many errors. Now there is the added benefit of being able to quickly correct a typo, a misspelled name, or flat-out incorrect information, but I am trying to pass onto my students that accuracy is still important. We can’t simply rush to post content and worry later about accuracy, both at a mechanical level and at a content level.”
Willkomm and the other publishing educators surveyed in the PW article concur that digital technology will only continue to affect how books are published and distributed. “I loved the PW piece because Habash really dove in to look at how educators are preparing future publishing professionals for this kind of continued change,” says Willkomm.
And does all this technological change mean the death of books as we know them? Willkomm doesn’t think so.
“There is such rapid change going on in publishing, (but) books are not going to disappear,” said Willkomm. “As Stephen Fry said, ‘Books are no more threatened by a Kindle than stairs are by an elevator.’ Still, digital is the wave of the future and I do believe a balance will be found.”
Rosemont College’s Master of Arts in publishing program is prepared for this exciting new era in publishing by offering the perfect balance of the innovative and the traditional. Rosemont’s new graduate ePublishing certificate provides the tools needed for students to master today’s rapidly changing technologies and succeed in a variety of ePublishing sectors. The graduate certificate in ePublishing can be earned in addition to the M.A. in publishing or as a stand-alone certificate.
Interested in learning more about Rosemont College's graduate publishing program? Join us March 2 for a program-specific information sesion.
Read the full Publisher's Weekly article.