Despite traditional institutions, such as the University of Arts, nowadays in Albania there are dozens of private universities and course centers that provide training in design or communication sciences.

This increasing offer is not unjustified. Every new academic year finds these institutions off guard from the high flow of applications.

The fields of design, marketing and social media have become an appealing alternative training for thousands of youths.

As a matter of fact, it is a global trend which is also reflected in our local reality. The new technologies and platforms of communication have increased the flow of informative or promotional contents in an unprecedented way. It is precisely the need for quality content that pushes these industries to seek for new creators.

The latter have to have a rich background of knowledge and be incredibly technically capable. Are universities, academies and vocational courses meeting the labor market’s request for trained individuals?

Gerton Bejo

“We are experiencing a paradoxical situation,” states Gerton at his office in the heart of Tirana, “the more university courses there are, the more we are obliged to train postgraduate candidates out of our own expenses.”

Gerton Bejo is the founder and Executive Director of “Vatra Agency”. With over 20 years of experience as Project Creative Leader, Gerton is also known as “Vatra’s Gerti”, one of the few characters of the capital who with his continuous contribute has maintained a stable profile in the creative industry.

All this thanks to the talent he has cultivated, but also bequeathed through the continuously increasing creativity of “Vatra Agency”.

Gerti, alongside many talented individuals of the Vatra team, has designed and developed dozens of new brands. It is a complex process which includes the concept, care to every detail and brand promotion.

Even though it has been almost 20 years since the brands of many successful companies have been designed or curated by Gerti, they continue to stimulate or appeal to the minds of many consumers.

“Inconsistency of university training with our requests as design and communication agencies is becoming a harder gap to overcome. New technologies and communication channels with which we operate are constantly and very rapidly evolving.

Sometimes the types of contents and the way we convincingly approach consumers changes from day to day. There are several education institutions in Albania which provide good design or marketing bases, but unfortunately, they don’t stay up to date.

The marketing and communication market does not expect university courses to update their curricula or labs. We, the agencies like Vatra have turned into design and communication academies. There are dozens of professionals who basically come to us fresh off school benches as design aspirants and they have received full training by getting their hands dirty on the first line. When I speak of training, I mean beyond methodology or labor market requests. Under our guide, the youth at Vatra have had the opportunity to cultivate their own style and enrich their inner world. The acquisition of the latest software or techniques in design and new technologies is indisputable; inevitable.” – Gerton states as he takes us on a brief tour on Vatra’s premises, on the fifth floor of a business center.

At Vatra, Gerton alongside his staff has conceived marketing campaigns. They have proposed rebranding and image improvement or have responded to various creative needs. Part of these collaborations includes companies in the largest markets in the Balkans, such as Kosovo, North Macedonia or Serbia.

Schooling in Design and Communication in the United Kingdom has consolidated Gerton’s talent, which he has exercised by working since his early teenage years. Having been involved in the development of the design industry early on, he has a holistic creative and artistic background which has become a vocational guide for his staff at Vatra.

Thus, that warm hearth of creativity is a small design academy, where Gerton and his creative staff not only make the right choices for every need they clients might have, but they are also an inspiration for new designers. Thus, Gerton’s Vatra is not just a place where a profession is exercised or a business, but it is a way of living.

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