The twenty-first century has seen industries across the globe transition from the information age and the rise of the internet through to the digital age. One particularly promising result of this monumental digital revolution is a substantial transformation of the design sector and other creative industries.
There are now more opportunities than ever before for creative professionals to work with technology and in high-tech industries, simply because virtually all industries have had to start investing in their own digital branding, digital footprints, and the way they generally present themselves and engage with their target demographics online. Simply put, the demand for tech-savvy designers is growing with every passing year, making now the perfect time for those looking to start a career in digital design.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in digital design, then our deep-dive into this flourishing modern industry is sure to help provide you with a little preliminary insight and guidance.
What digital design disciplines are available to you?
When commencing on any new career pathway, it’s always important to get a good gauge of salary expectations. Just a quick look at a detailed graphic design salary comparison will reveal that graphic design salaries can vary widely, depending on experience, location, and other factors. Generally speaking, however, digital designers like graphic designers are in high demand and tend to earn good salaries. With the right skills and experience, it’s actually possible to earn a six-figure salary as a digital designer.
Of course, even though there are more professional opportunities for digital designers than ever before, it’s still certainly worth noting that ‘digital design’ actually encompasses a wide range of different design disciplines. For example, both graphic designers and UX designers are considered to be ‘digital designers’, although the earning potential of UX designers can be comparatively higher than the earning potential of even senior graphic design professionals.
Salaries are also likely to vary depending on industries and their design needs. A good example here is the increased technical proficiency required for user experience designers working in the gaming industry in comparison to the more two-dimensional designs required from graphic designers working in advertising. For this reason, it’s well worth considering what industries you may like to work with alongside which design disciplines are most appealing to you.
The benefits of commencing a career in UX design
UX design tends to be a far more popular career pathway amongst the digital designers of today, due especially in part for its higher earning potential. But it’s important to note that there are countless other notable advantages to starting a career in UX design.
For starters, there is projected to be no shortage of professional opportunities As we, as consumers, increasingly turn to digital alternatives to shopping, studying, and managing their day-to-day lives online, companies operating out of all industries are also continuing to invest in strengthening their brand’s presence online and fleshing out their own digital products and services. As a result, the demand for designers is projected to continue to grow right alongside global digital transformation trends.
Similarly, UX design is a fantastic career pathway for those who feel passionately about reexamining and redefining the ways that humans interact with technology. As UX designers are tasked with designing user-centric digital experiences, creative professionals with a passion for problem-solving will be sure to find a career in UX design to be incredibly fulfilling. And given that we’re still in the early days of the digital age, the UX designers of today in particular have the unique opportunity of laying the groundwork for the future of user interfaces.
Another major benefit for families is that UX designers can typically maintain a hybrid work schedule or perhaps even work entirely remotely, making it a great career pathway for creative professionals looking to cultivate a strong work-life balance. And who knows? Your career as a UX designer may even see you living and working abroad, as this global industry delivers an abundance of opportunities to work with both national and international clients alike.
How to kickstart your UX design career
Although it is possible to be a self-taught UX designer, industry leaders recommend taking on at least some focused short UX courses to ensure that budding UX designers equip themselves with the best possible foundation upon which their careers can take shape. As UX design is a highly technical discipline by its nature, utilising an array of different design theories and UX laws, developing a working understanding of these theories and principles prior to seeking out professional opportunities will help you hit the ground running once it does come time to build up your portfolio.
Yes, it’s always difficult making a dedication to study in between career changes. But thankfully, unlike other tech disciplines, you don’t necessarily need to have a specialised bachelor’s degree in order to work as a UX designer. In fact, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised by just how much you can learn from a short course in UX design. Even something as quick and simple as a six week course can see you taking on your first professional UX design projects in next to no time, be it as a full-time employee or as a freelance designer.
Once you’ve attained your UX qualifications and taken on some design internships or freelance projects, all that’s left to do is really build up your portfolio and flesh out your UX skills on the job. As UX design is a technical discipline, you’ll naturally need to stay in the loop with industry and tech developments. UX designers that are passionate about studying up and improving their skills on a regular basis will be able to present themselves as highly experienced UX design professionals.
Ultimately, regardless of whether you opt to venture into graphic design or work to build yourself up as a highly capable UX designer, engaging with digital design is sure to provide you with a rewarding and highly dynamic career pathway that can offer both creative fulfilment as well as financial security for you and your family.
Further reading: What to think about before making a career move.