Ask 100 digital designers how they landed their first job in the industry, and you’re likely to get 100 different answers. In today’s increasingly digital world, the concept of a well-trodden career path is becoming something of the past.
In its place is a range of different avenues that young and old are able to take in the hope of fulfilling their career ambitions. To celebrate this, we’ve rounded up seven ways to help get your career as a digital designer up and running, below:
- Study at a Specialist Institution
The most logical path into a design career is to study the subject at a specialist university such as JMC Academy. These higher education institutions that specialize in the creative industries often have better equipment, software and industry links than normal universities. That can all come in handy both when studying and trying to land a job after you graduate.
- Invest in the Best Equipment
Which Mac/PC you choose can have a big impact on the type of digital design career you’ll be able to pursue.
Creative software, such as the Adobe Suite, not only costs a lot of money but also requires a lot of processing power. If you want to create motion graphics, those requirements only become greater.
That makes equipment an area where you can’t skimp on cost. As the saying goes, a workman is only as good as his tools.
- Choose One Specialist Area
Developing a greater knowledge of a specific skill set is likely to give you the upper hand when applying for jobs.
No one can tell you which area to focus on, but choosing an area which is currently undergoing growth, such as app design, is a sensible starting point.
Once you do start to focus on one specific area, you’ll find it easier to start developing your own personal style. It’s at that point when your productivity is also likely to improve, therefore helping your earning potential.
- Perfect Your Copywriting Skills
Any design that you do create will pack a far greater punch when complemented with effective copy.
You can learn basic copywriting skills by taking free online courses, reading various blog posts, or even by purchasing a good-ole-fashioned text book.
Always make sure you explain how a product or service will benefit the user/reader. Take a “less is more” approach in most scenarios, particularly when it comes to copy for apps.
Finally, don’t worry if writing isn’t your strongest skill. Any copy, whether it’s great or mediocre, will look better than placeholder text.
- Build an Online Portfolio
An online portfolio is now a must-have for any digital designer. Nearly every prospective employer will ask to see one.
If you haven’t got much experience producing work for clients, feel free to post anything you’ve produced for fun. As long as it looks good and you can clearly explain the rationale behind it, it can still act as a tool in helping to find employment.
- Attend Industry Events
Speaking to people face-to-face is still one of the most effective ways to promote. Large industry events, such as Hackathon, are attended by both large businesses and individual freelancers, giving you the perfect platform to get your name out there.
Another side benefit of attending such an event is that it’s a demonstrable example of your interest in the industry, something that is likely to impress potential employers.
- Try Freelancing
Online freelancing has made it easier than ever for people looking for a career in digital design to dip their toes into the market.
The competition is fierce, so you’ll have to dampen down your financial expectations whilst you build your reputation.
Once you’re up and running, however, the world will be your oyster.