Multimedia specialists blend technological skill with creativity in order to develop a tremendous array of computer-based products intended for entertainment or for use by educators, retailers and employers. Products include DVDs, CD-ROMs and websites that feature video games or other interactive activities that teach, train or inform. Proficiency with design and production software for video and audio ranks among the most important multimedia specialist qualifications.
Some multimedia specialists are self-employed individuals who work as independent contractors with clients that may include businesses, nonprofit organizations or governments. Many multimedia specialists are employed by media design or production companies, and they may work together in teams. The popular video game industry, in particular, seeks imaginative multimedia specialists who are skilled in three-dimensional animation and design.
Specialization is common in the multimedia field. Some multimedia specialists are experts in the application of computer languages to projects while others find their niche in laying out the overall framework on which to build new projects. Still others work on website or database design, both of which may require interactivity to enjoy full functionality.
Multimedia specialist jobs may include positions with television and film companies that incorporate digitally-generated video and sound into their productions. Companies that disseminate digitally-based, interactive educational material also employ multimedia specialists. Other types of firms that hire multimedia specialists include Internet service providers, publishers and special effects production houses.
Working with clients is a crucial part of being a multimedia specialist, whether the specialist works individually or as part of a team. A multimedia specialist must be capable of conveying to clients what, in terms of money, time and resources, various projects will cost. In addition, a multimedia specialist must also keep clients apprised as to the status and progress of any given project and be willing to work with other experts such as programmers and engineers to see that a project is not only completed on time but is also well-documented for a client's future use.
Multimedia specialists must be proficient with computer hardware and software and possess a flair for design and strong attention to detail. They must be comfortable with programming languages and web authoring and editing code. Excellent writing skills are important, too, since many multimedia projects include the integration of text.
The outlook for multimedia specialist careers is good, particularly for people who are flexible and adaptable to change. People who are interested in the field of multimedia must accept from the outset that technology and the means by which creativity may manifest in a digital fashion are always evolving. Some aspiring multimedia specialists may wish to be on the cutting edge of such developments.