Whether it’s graphic design, illustration, interior design, or something else entirely, there is a huge variety of design qualifications out there. Some of these qualifications can focus on a specific discipline, whilst others are more general in scope. Regardless, a lot of the skills developed when studying design can be transferred to other specialisms.
Here we explore some alternative uses for your design qualification, opening the door to industries that you may not have considered viable career paths.
Set design is a highly varied field that can employ a lot of different creative, artistic, and design skills. Useful for television, film, theatre, and even music performances, set design is one of those careers that, as a society, we regularly forget exists but consistently enjoy the benefits of.
Alongside the varied work, set designers also benefit from very respectable salaries. According to Zippia, median set designer salaries are around $57,970 per year, far higher than the minimum wage and a great path to financial security. If you’re interested in entering the set design career path, the key to success is gaining work experience and, as with all creative industries, the key to getting work experience is networking and a professional portfolio. Consider attending relevant industry events and prep a great portfolio to put in front of people.
The video game industry is one of the fastest growing and most valuable markets in the world. Current estimates suggest that gaming is worth more than the music and film industries combined, which hints that if there’s a time to get into the video game industry, it’s now. Fortunately, game development requires a lot of visual design work, making it a perfect transition for individuals with design qualifications.
Most commonly, video games require lots of user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design work that design graduates can assist with. Additionally, for the development of 3D games, 3D modelling is also a highly sought-after skill that can bring in a healthy salary, too. If you like games and want to be involved in making them, joining a gem development studio can be a very viable option.
Medical illustration is definitely not the first career people consider when they complete design-related qualifications, but it remains one of the most important artistic careers available. Medical illustrations are consistently used to educate new doctors, as well as further medical science and help existing doctors do their jobs successfully, making this career surprisingly fulfilling as you have a very tangible social impact.
Medical illustration requires a level of scientific expertise or at least a penchant for learning and understanding complex biological topics. Supplementary biology qualifications can do a lot of work to access this career and if you are successful in entering it, salaries can get very high for more senior roles, exceeding $70,000 on average and reaching up to $173,000 in the US. If you are comfortable learning about and engaging in detailed biology, this is a great choice for exercising your design qualifications as medical illustration can encompass a host of skills from animation and 3D modelling to illustration and graphic design.
Whether it’s public parks, carefully maintained country house gardens, university campuses or children’s playgrounds, someone is responsible for ensuring these spaces are attractive and functional. This responsibility falls to landscape architects, who specialise in creating (usually public) environments that are nice to be in. This usually involves sketching example layouts, alongside planning and designing projects from ideation through to implementation.
Having a penchant for the outdoors and an eye for detail will help massively for this role and fortunately, due to the number of outdoor public spaces, this is a role that is almost always in demand. Some local government bodies will employ landscape architects, particularly when they are undergoing large projects, but much of the industry operates through contract work, with lots of wealthy individuals also serving as clients when getting their gardens redesigned.
Whatever your design qualifications, if you’re capable of visualising and creating a product, then you have skills that can be transferred to a host of other positions and disciplines. It’s just a matter of picking the right one for you!