Careers in Digital Design
Visually inventive and technically talented, digital designers are going to be more and more in demand over the next 10 years, according to government studies.
Design is a broad church, encompassing the skills and work that go into determining the “look” of…almost everything you see around you. And nowhere is that talent more important than the virtual world of digital interactive media, where the way a piece of information or entertainment is presented can mean the difference between engagement and being ignored.
The field is strong, with full-time positions accounting for 75.3% of design jobs, and less hours worked on average than other occupations. It’s a flexible and creative field that lends itself to setting work conditions that suit you.
Growing very strongly over the past five years, digital design shows no signs of slowing down as our society moves deeper into online interactions, and that space becomes more innovative and competitive.
There are plenty of opportunities for work, especially with a lot of major companies realising they need to upgrade their digital offerings with online brochures and interactive advertising campaigns, not to mention upgrading their web presence with a site that’s more likely to encourage repeat visits from potential customers. You might find yourself specialising in generating content for social media platforms, mocking up advertising campaigns for client approval or enriching digital content for internal consumption.
Beyond marketing, people with strong multimedia skills are more likely to be hired for related positions, as corporate decision-makers recognise the need for this kind of strategy without having the necessary talents themselves. In short, digital designers are trusted and relied upon by the people calling the shots in a variety of industries.
It isn’t simply a technical career, either. Designers frequently liaise with clients, copywriters and other stakeholders, so there’s often a strong interpersonal element in these kinds of roles. Balancing the needs and wants of various stakeholders, while solving problems and producing the most creative and beautiful work – these are the challenges a designer faces as much as selecting colours for a layout and archiving information for future use. In this sense, you can climb the ladder to become a creative director or other client-facing role, with a team to realise your vision.
Most digital designers work in fields such as Scientific and Technical Services, Manufacturing and Information Media, and Telecommunications, so it’s worth doing your research into those fields to see which will be the best fit for your skills and outlook. If you have a technical mind, you can make a great living by visually translating difficult-to-understand material for a general audience.
More than any other area of interactive digital media, design seems like the sector most likely to retain general principles as the tools and tastes change over time. As such, a strong base of artistic knowledge will help you tackle the increasing complexity of the technical side of the role, and being able to work both independently and as part of a team will definitely become more important as teleconferencing and remote access are mainstreamed within business.