What is the Employment Outlook for Graphic Designers?

If you are often found with a pen or pencil in your hand, doodling, you might have the makings of a graphic designer. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the job outlook for this position is expected to have little to no official growth between now and 2024, at only 1 percent a year. But this statistic doesn’t tell the whole story. Some types of graphic designers working in traditional industries like publishing and printing are expected to have fewer job opportunities. Graphic designers in computer and related fields are expected to have job growth of 24 to 26 percent in the next few years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Declining Job Categories

All graphic designing positions are not the same. Some involve traditional types of design work found in publishing and traditional media. Rapid changes in publishing and printing have already moved a lot of content online and onto mobile devices. Some traditional categories of graphic design, like illustration or book design, are over-saturated. There are expected to be at least 5 to 10 percent decline in these types of design and graphics over the next ten years.

Growing Job Categories

Some forms of graphic design such as mobile advertising and video editing and design, were very limited as recently as ten years ago. These types of design jobs are expected to grow up to 21 percent between now and 2024 according to industry experts. New and emerging types of design are also found in areas like user experience, instructional design, mobile advertising, and social media. Social media platforms, from traditional sites like Facebook and Twitter to more visually-oriented media like Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat, all use design and graphic skills.

Combine Skills for More Opportunities

Graphic designers that can also do web programming or other types of mobile design are expected to be in higher demand in the next 5 to 10 years. If you can also learn how to work with mobile programming platforms or design web pages and portals, especially using principles of universal design, you can expect to have increased job opportunities of up to 30% more than other related design fields over the next 7 to 10 years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects.

Specialized Skills

If you can work with 3-D graphics and have skills in animation software, these job categories are projected to have better than average growth between now and 2024. You can also find work that combines using graphic skills and teaching them. Many colleges and universities now offer graphic design classes. Specialized online portals offer tutorials in addition to YouTube and other video sites offering free tutorials and training. Some artists and designers have built successful businesses showing others tips, tricks and techniques to improve their own skills in design.

Graphic design, like many other jobs, is being impacted by increased automation, sophisticated new software, and online portals that allow people to make their own designs without any professional help. Other concepts, like user experience and universal design, require specialized training and education. They aren’t yet able to be adapted to DIY free or low-cost online services. While traditional types of graphic design aren’t expected to have much, if any job growth over the next ten years, specialized fields and emerging jobs for a good graphic designer, like combined web design and computer graphics, could grow up to 30 percent, depending on industry conditions.

See also: Top 8 Cheap Online Graphic Design Degree Programs