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Considering a career in design? Here are 5 things you should know

If you’re in your mid to late teens, chances are you will be considering what you want to do in the future. If you’re creative, a career in design is attractive for a number of reasons, not least because it covers a wide variety of industries and allows you to use your talent. If you have artistic flair and want to make the most of it, here are five basic things you need to know:

What is design?

Design is found in a wide range of different business sectors, each of which has its own requirements when it comes to skill sets and knowledge. Should you dream of being a graphic designer, for example, you’ll need a different set of qualifications than if you want to be an architect. Likewise, being an interior designer of cars is a lot different to being an interior designer of buildings.

The central focus that binds all these professions together is that you are designing something to be made/created/built, usually from the ground up – and you, as the designer, are the starting point.

What’s so great about design?

In short, design is creative and rewarding, two things many people look for in a career. You’ll be able to use your imagination, challenge yourself to solve problems using form and function, change the way people look at the world, develop something meaningful and memorable, and create something that’s beautiful in some way.

Designers can also work for companies, hire themselves out as freelancers or start their own businesses, all of which gives you a great deal of options and flexibility.

Where can I work?

Speaking of options, virtually every industry has some form of design element associated with it – which means there are a lot of jobs, in lots of sectors, in lots of locations. Get the right qualifications and a good portfolio, and you could travel the world as a designer… or you could find your perfect job in your home town!

You can also work in different ways – you could design things that are functional and specialist, or that are largely aesthetic and that allow you much more creative freedom, or you could tap into the brave new world of design technology, which is both lucrative and fast-moving.

How do I get noticed?

Once you have your design degree it will be time to take the first step on the ladder of your career and get a job! It’s essential to have a portfolio that shows what you can do for any prospective employer – it will show them what you’ve learnt during your degree, how you develop concepts, your technical skills and your creative talent. If you’ve managed to do any paid or voluntary work too, so much the better as you will have demonstrated to a prospective employer that you already have professional experience – a far cry from the university studio!

Your portfolio can be both as a physical one that you take to interviews and something that you have online on your website or social media accounts, which you can use to market yourself. You should already be collating your best work in a portfolio, especially on social media where you can create a brilliant timeline of your development.

Does practice make perfect?

Finally, any creative will know that design is an ongoing process – that you never stop learning, growing or improving. Who wouldn’t want to be a better designer in five, 10, 15 years? You should always be trying to improve and keeping up to date with the latest developments. After all, any additional skills that set you apart from the competition will give you a better chance of landing that dream job.

If you want to know more about what a degree and career in design would be like, sign up to our summer school course! Design Academy’s central aim is to help people like you make an informed and empowered decision about their future – giving you a taster of four key design disciplines and invaluable insight into what the degrees and careers in those disciplines are like. We are the only design summer school in the UK to do this – so if you want get the low down on what a future as a designer could be like for you, get in touch, or book your space now for an Early-Bird discount.


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