Con.text

Journalist Turns Page on Career by Learning Web Design

Mark Nonkes in Laos
Mark Nonkes in Laos

If Mark Nonkes thought his career in journalism made life exciting, he was in for a big surprise.

Working full-time at a community newspaper in rural Ontario, Mark was enjoying a creative career alongside a dynamic team of writers, editors, photographers and graphic designers. But continual cuts in the newspaper industry meant increased workloads and mounting pressure to hit ever tougher deadlines.

By 2006, digital trends were clearly taking over the news industry, and Mark started to read the writing on the wall. He needed to adapt his working skills to a quickly shifting industry. Mark decided to enhance his skills by studying web design at Mount Royal University’s Continuing Education.

“For me, the choice to study web design wasn’t easy,” said Mark. “I researched widely before choosing Mount Royal and decided to move to Calgary because of the course’s jam-packed, three-month duration that offered an in-depth way to grow professionally. At Mount Royal, I learned a lot about design, grabbed a basic understanding of programming and started to think creatively — through a digital lens.”

After graduating from the program, Mark applied his new-found knowledge in roles within the non-profit communication realm. And he’s never looked back. Mark secured an exciting job working for a non-governmental relief and advocacy organization in Laos.

“I’ve been fortunate to work in Toronto, southern Africa and, now, southeast Asia,” said Mark. “The course gave my career a huge boost.”

His advice for others looking to branch out from their careers is to embrace change, and learn to adapt. “Never stop learning. Continue to challenge yourself. Observe the way your industry is moving in relation to technology. Get the skills you need to stay relevant in your field. Adapt, adapt, adapt.”

To keep up with changing industries, Mount Royal University’s Continuing Education offers a solid lineup of courses to empower workers looking to expand employable skill sets.

This fall, Continuing Education is offering both Web Designer and Digital Graphic Design programs to set workers up for success.

— by Sherri Zickefoose

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