Graduates who studied a Design-related discipline such as Illustration, Graphic Design, or Textile Design have a collection of finely tuned and impressive skills. They have the choice to pursue a career in Design or to apply their experience to new ventures.
Graduates who want to continue on to work in Design should look first to the Arts & Design sector, as that is where they are most likely to find employment opportunities in graphic design, illustration or online design.
Design graduates will also find many opportunities open to them in sectors such as Buying and Merchandising, where employees with an eye for detail and an interest in products or fashion are highly prized. Depending on the specifics of the Design degree, some graduates, such as those from Textile Design and Product Design, will find their specific skills directly relevant to the work. Advertising & PR and Media employers often look for Design graduates to assist with graphic and print work. These positions could be in-house, or with an agency.
Source HECSU - What do graduates do? 2013.
Taking Stock of Skills
Many employers find the way Design graduates approach problems or tasks to be extremely valuable. The ability to solve problems creatively and pay close attention to detail are highly valued by employers and can take graduates a long way.
Attention to detail - Attention to detail is essential to Design, no matter which specific discipline. A Design graduate has been trained to work scrupulously and attentively, and they can apply this skill to virtually any field.
Creativity - Design graduates have spent years nurturing their creative drive, which means they are able to bring a fresh perspective to tasks and processes, not to mention producing innovative ideas for design.
Customer focus - Design graduates have learned to work according to briefs or specifications in order to produce their work. They are able to maintain a customer focus and keep the client's wishes in mind as they work towards an end design.
Commercial awareness - Designers need to understand what customers want, what is on trend and what is going to be the next big thing. Employers looking for innovations to help revitalise their business know they can expect fresh ideas from a graduate in Design.
Independent work - Much of a Design degree is completed on personal and independent projects. Employers recognise this self-motivation and appreciate that Design graduates can get the work done without micro-management.
Problem solving - Part of being creative is the ability to effectively and competently solve problems. Design graduates are able to do this with panache and flair, and employers are always in need of this key skill.
Technical skill - Design graduates are trained in a variety of computer programmes which are in use in many sectors, such as Photoshop or InDesign. They will also be familiar with general components of both computers and design, which is in demand in many industries.