Let’s all agree; being a designer is one of the coolest professions in the market today. You get to transform your passion into a career, doing what you love the most, with those who share your zeal and for those who appreciate your talent. But only a very few are lucky enough to do that every day.
A career in design comes with a bunch of opportunities, especially in the digital era. Unlike many other majors, design students can spend their time focusing on improving the craft itself, rather than the theory. And should you need to complete any academic paper, you can always approach the expert writers at Essay Pro. This will allow you to devote all the time to work on your skills.
However, as exciting as the profession might seem, to become a successful designer, you need more than just a creative flare. There is no single way of achieving recognition. If you are already on this career path as a student, here are some areas that you can pursue in preparation.
1. Understand the Professional Landscape
What you might learn in school about designing is only a fraction of what comprises the real world. To begin with, a student has to identify which kind of creative artist to be. There are many roles, varying from fashion to graphic design, along with specializations in each category. While you might think it’s good to be the jack of all trades, if you want to stand out from the rest, you need to choose a niche to major in.
On the other hand, the lines between these roles are blurring every day. You might want to take a look at the market as well if you are more focused on the career perspective. The career opportunities are not limited to your design area alone. Graphic designers working in computer systems design and related fields are expected to increase by 20% by 2026. If you find it challenging to make a choice as a student, do not hesitate to try out a variety of creative challenges to see where you land.
2. Keep Upskilling
Designers also face their version of creativity block. It might seem challenging to find inspiration every day to work and learn. However, it is crucial in this field. Fortunately, today there are numerous resources online to learn from. Tutorials and other platforms will help you to try out and work on new design concepts. Soon, you will find yourself thinking like a designer in every way.
However, skills such as understanding mental models, recognizing design patterns, and interaction flows are built with practice and over time. The more you immerse yourself in design, the more you become knowledgeable on the subject as well as its scope to set up a career.
3. Cultivate Relationships with Designers
In any profession, networking could open doors for you in many ways. In the creative fields, where an increasing number of professionals are self-employed, mingling with other designers could only help you get more opportunities. You are not going to lose anything by reaching out to designers you admire, be it alumni or world renowned artists. If you get lucky, you might even be able to discuss your projects and get recommendations.
Talking to other designers will also help to broaden your awareness of the industry and its strings. You will gain insight into the competition in the business and new products as well as find chances to collaborate with other talented artists.
4. Showcase your Work
The most crucial arsenal in your career is your portfolio. It speaks the powerful language of your creativity through your works. As students, you might be used to get your work critiqued by professors and fellow designers. However, regardless of their input, do not shy away from showing your work to the world. As they say, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. If you don’t show your work, there is no way you can get criticized, but no one will notice you either.
Reach out to the alumni community or other groups who can give you feedback. You will find out what to improve and at which parts you already shine. While doing that, keep building your portfolio with your work samples to show your evolution as a designer. The number of works is not what matters, but how they represent your journey and the different styles of your approach.
5. Take up Projects
It might be extremely challenging at the beginning to get projects and clients that you actually want to work with. Unfortunately, that’s a part of the design profession. However, taking up projects, even if they do not pay well, will help to get you exposed and build a clientele.
Use your digital platforms wisely to find freelancing gigs on your design interest. There are plenty of online jobs for logo designs, app prototypes, and illustrations. Do not forget the power of social media to draw attention to your portfolio as well. The more you get such commissions, the more encouraged you would be.
6. Apply for Internships while in School
Your university might require you to apply for an internship at the end of the program. However, if you get the opportunity, make time during the semester breaks to land an internship in a creative studio. It would help you gain invaluable experience in the design process as well as the industry environment.
No matter how you perform in the design school, the workflow of a firm might be entirely different. You would be working with different platforms and tools, including the type of work involved. You will learn about the operation and expectations. Not to mention, these internships would also shine well in your resume when you apply for jobs after graduating.
To Sum Up
While there are hundreds of design programs offered for students in every country, not every course offers the best opportunities to produce industry-ready graduates. In most cases, it is mostly up to the students to equip themselves for the job market and its changing demands. In this era of design, the industry has a tremendous potential to be a driving force in many markets.
Strive for constant improvement, not only in your design skills but for your interpersonal skills as well. It is best to plan your education with the future in mind and have the ammunition ready for a killing resume and portfolio.