Digital agents may work for themselves, for traditional job placement agencies, or for agencies that specialize in working with technical or creative professionals. In the past few years, traditional placement agencies have come to realize that there is a market in placing highly skilled technical and creative workers with companies who need this expertise. They are also discovering that more and more companies need temporary or permanent Internet-related personnel but lack the time, resources, or Web savvy to find good people on their own.
While those working at traditional placement agencies may not be known as "digital agents," they may be able to specialize in working in the high-tech sector. Placement services are found across the country, but major cities with a high concentration of Internet and technology specialists can provide the most opportunities. Agents interested in representing creative professionals will find more opportunities in Los Angeles (television and motion picture industries) and in California, Texas, Washington, New York, and Massachusetts (software publishing, including video game design).
The field is still too new for there to be any set career path for those interested. However, a combination of human resource, business, and computer experience seems to be the most logical route to this field. Talent and initiative are key attributes for success. A good strategy is to start out as a commissioned recruiter in a traditional placement agency or by working in the human resources department of a company to obtain experience, and then transition to a career at an agency that represents technical workers.
A college internship or summer job with a tech company may also give you contacts in the field. Use these contacts as well as your school's career services office when you are looking for work. People you meet through computer user groups, at computer trade shows, and at association conferences may also know of job openings. Classified ads, employment agencies, and Internet job listings can also provide some possible employment leads.
Major cities with a high concentration of Internet and technology companies may provide the best opportunities for employment.
Because the career of digital agent is new, advancement opportunities aren't clearly defined and may also depend on the individual agent's goals. One agent may decide he wants to go into Web design or animation himself. Another may decide she wants to start her own agency. However, the beginning digital agent may advance by simply establishing a reputation for good placements and increasing his or her clientele base. As with almost any career, agents who excel at their jobs can generally expect to move up to executive managerial or supervisory positions.
Tips for Entry
Participate in internships or part-time jobs at digital agencies that are arranged by your college’s career services office.
Land an entry-level job at an agency to learn about the field and make valuable industry contacts.
Conduct information interviews with agents and ask them for advice on preparing for and entering the field.