Graphic Designer Wanted: A Document Analysis of the Described Skill Set of Graphic Designers in Job Advertisements from the United Kingdom
Paulo Roberto Nicoletti Dziobczenski, Oscar Person


The present study investigates what skill set employers expect from graphic designers, based on a document analysis of 1,406 job advertisements from the United Kingdom. In organising the statements made in the advertisements, we describe the skill set of graphic designers in three main areas: (1) what graphic designers are expected to deliver (competence areas), (2) what graphic designers are expected to know (knowledge and skills), and (3) what personal characteristics graphic designers are expected to have. In analysing advertisements for different types of positions, we compared how employers articulate their interests at different levels of seniority (junior, middle, and senior) and for different types of positions (internal and external to a company). The results of our study suggest that employers seek a varied skill set from graphic designers and that the relevance of different skills partly depends on the position advertised. Based on our findings, we discuss implications for design education and practice in terms of how expertise in graphic design is articulated, studied and taught.

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