The need for professional graphic designers may be fading. Their value may not hold up over time. Soon longstanding skills such as photo manipulation, color combination, and logo generation will instead be accomplished with the click of a button by anyone with internet access. Because of this, educators, students, and professionals must ask what should be done to maintain or increase their value regardless of what the future holds? Furthermore, what skills and characteristics can be identified as being most valuable, timeless, and effective for the success of a designer, not just upon entering the field, but throughout their entire career? The following study seeks answers to these questions by examining input and responses from 43 experienced professional designers and instructors from across the United States. The results of this study identify six key skills participants believe to be central for long, successful careers in the design field. These are: * Creativity * Collaboration * Adaptability * Communication Skills * Productivity * Curiosity. This study seeks to identify why each skill is important; what possibilities exist for integrating skills training into current design curricula, and what would a new curriculum built around specific skills look like? Ultimately, this study seeks to share possible solutions that add to the value of designers so that they will continue to be sought after and future-proof.
Sigman, Purdue University.
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