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What Is The Demand For Graphic Designers
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So I looked at 100+ job postings to find out what skills they wanted a graphic designer to have.
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If you’re confident about the skills you have as a designer, maybe you need help getting through all these interviews you’ve been getting? You can check out this guide on common graphic design interview questions, and how to best answer them!
But if you’re a fresh graduate just starting out, or an experienced designer looking to improve your skill set, here are 12 things you should consider!
If you’re not proficient (or plan to become) in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, you should probably start now.
It is an essential skill to create your own graphic design and there is no way to avoid it either.
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Of the 100 jobs I studied, 76 required Photoshop, 74 required Illustrator, and 74 required InDesign.
However, none of those skills passed the 40% mark, confirming our impression that Adobe skills are essential if you want to be a designer in 2017 and beyond.
And by that I mean outside of 2017, Adobe has dominated this space for the last 20 years or so, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon.
I found that companies with more than 1000 employees, the demand for the three Adobe programs decreased slightly. I think it’s relatable to most big companies assuming you already have these skills.
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Even outside sources seem to confirm our findings, with GDUSA stating that all three programs are requested by most employers. Which is always good.
And if you plan to become a graphic designer in the future, I would recommend learning the basics of each of them.
These are basic graphic design skills and if your portfolio doesn’t show your skills in each, I wouldn’t even try to apply.
HTML was one of the most popular skills in my study of marketing skills from earlier this year.
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Both my data and the experts I consult agree that to survive in 2017 and beyond, familiarity with HTML is essential.
In marketing jobs only about 20% of companies want HTML, but in design jobs, more than 30% do.
So almost a third of all graphic design jobs require you to know the basics of HTML. If not more.
Now you don’t have to build an entire website from scratch. But if you know how to make small corrections online, this can be huge. And help your resume stand out.
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What is quite surprising is that the demand for HTML as a graphic design skill is not limited to companies and small teams.
Even though you may never use HTML in your next job, I’ll still explain the basics of the job search process.
The little things can really help you stand out when a hundred other applications with the same graphic design skills cross the hiring manager’s desk.
Now, if you’re looking for graphic design skills to focus on that will pay off in the end, I’d recommend UI/UX design.
Are Graphic Designers In Demand?
I mean, Business Insider gave it one of the spots on their list of the top skills to have in 2017.
Only 13% of job postings want graphic designers with UI/UX experience. It barely made it into the top 20 most popular graphic design skills from the entire study.
If this is another skill, I’d say avoid learning it because the demand seems pretty low.
But if you want to be able to apply for these high paying jobs, I would say you should start learning about it.
Is Graphic Designer An In Demand And Well Paid Career?
When I looked at the average salary for each skill, I found that jobs that wanted UI/UX skills had a salary of $58k!
When you compare it to other popular graphic design skills based on salary, UI/UX skills blow the rest out of the water.
Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator all hover around $51k, as well as HTML and Adobe CS. Microsoft Office is down to around $49k.
So if you want to learn graphic design skills that will help you make more money, UI/UX design is perfect.
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Now that we’ve gotten to the most in-demand graphic design skills, I’ll point out some other highly in-demand skills.
Remember that this does not include the skills I discussed above, such as HTML, UI/UX Design and the three Adobe programs.
I think it’s safe to say that your resume or portfolio should include examples of each skill from above.
Additionally, it is important to remember to pursue some graphic design skills that are in lesser demand. Like Photography, which is claimed by 16% of companies.
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In my marketing skills study, some skills barely crossed the 20% demand threshold but were still very important. Even hiring managers don’t know how to communicate this properly.
It can be quite difficult to get hiring managers on the same page as team managers when it comes to what the ideal graphic designer, or really any employee, looks like.
In fact, there are about 56 graphic design skills that are only mentioned once because of that disconnect.
That’s why I still recommend that you show that you can use your branding or photography skills in your portfolio.
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I mean, I think everyone who has used a computer in the last 20 years has had experience with this.
But if you’re one of the few people who haven’t, it doesn’t hurt to brush up on all the programs before you apply. Also, the amazing thing about learning all these graphic design skills is the different types of design-related jobs you can get.
If you are looking for a career pivot then maybe becoming a graphic designer right away is not for you. Unless you have previous experience. If not, you better come back when you have it!
Because almost every company I’ve studied requires some real-world experience in graphic design, in addition to the many graphic design skills listed.
Will The Demand For Graphic Designers Diminish In The Near Future…
According to the data, 83% of all job positions require at least one year of experience, with the rest either requiring no experience, or leaving it out of the text.
Although the most requested is a minimum of three years, about 50% of companies want between two and three years of experience.
The average amount of experience required is around 2.33 years across company sizes. And it follows an almost linear pattern as company size increases.
This gradual increase starts at 1.8 years for companies with less than 200 employees and finally ends at 2.6 years for companies with more than 1000 employees.
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This type of experience is not seen in other jobs, with the majority of marketing jobs I’ve studied in the past looking for people with minimal experience.
But the good news is that the smaller the company, the better your chances of getting hired with some experience. Because about half of all companies that don’t explicitly say they need experience are under 200 employees.
So, even if you have little experience, but have an excellent portfolio, you can find a job!
There are several online platforms that can help you start your design portfolio. You can consider graphic design work for print-on-demand products such as t-shirt prints, blankets and even watches. Print on Demand, in case you’re not familiar, is a booming industry where designers work with third-party suppliers who can print their designs on white label products when someone buys them online.
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For example, Teespring allows designers to upload their own designs and make money when someone buys them from their site. Since it’s profitable, it becomes a side hustle that also develops your portfolio. An added bonus (besides the passive income) is that you can show potential employers your skills for creating designs that people love.
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