Courses and careers for creative people

In recent times, however, several new courses have emerged and have become popular due to their high demand in the industry.

With admissions underway for colleges and universities, many students may have already decided their career paths, with a majority of them opting for traditional courses. In recent times, however, several new courses have emerged and have become popular due to their high demand in the industry.

Design education is one such fast-emerging career option that students can explore. According to a recent report on ‘Skill Development for Industry 4.0’, the world is witnessing a decline in the mid-level, repetitive and rule-based jobs and an increase in demand for creative, design-oriented, higher-level skills. As per another report by the British Council on the ‘Future of Education in India’, the potential market for Industrial Design in the country is expected to grow to Rs 110 billion by 2020. Hence, a degree in design is now not just a mainstream career option, but a very lucrative one.

The design industry offers a plenty of opportunities for aspiring students from various fields and profiles. One of the most important clusters in this sector is that of industrial or product design. Other specialisations like toy design, accessory design, and transportation design are essentially a part of this cluster. This design discipline necessitates the understanding of multiple design domains; thus, it encourages a cross-functional team consisting of experts having different functional specialities or multidisciplinary skills who work together to shape the products.

Another well-known cluster is that of courses offered around the fashion industry — fashion design, textile design, knitwear or leather-wear design, and more recently, fashion art. A report released by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India in 2012 revealed that India’s designer wear industry is expected to cross Rs 11,000-crore mark by 2020. If you are creative, artistic and interested in consumer lifestyle, you should opt for a career in fashion design to gain practical experience in various sectors related to fashion, such as apparel production, fashion communication, fabric research and fabric development. With a degree in fashion design, you can become a fashion designer, fashion photographer, fashion journalist, retail manager etc., and find placements in boutiques, export houses, design studios, e-commerce firms, textile mills and fashion media.  

Interior Design offers another cluster of choices like spatial design, exhibition design, and sometimes, furniture design as well. Earlier offered as a side programme in architecture colleges, this stream has evolved into a highly creative design stream. The demand for interior designers is on the rise in India in real estate companies for designing various types of structures, both public and private. Interior design has a bright prospect in our country as India’s construction sector is likely to become the world’s third largest by 2030.

However, the most popular stream is that of Communication Design. If you are interested in animation, graphic designing, gaming, media, advertising, publication, app & website design, packaging and the whole industry connected with them, you may opt for communication design as your career. Communication design teaches you how to implement design practices for conveying brand messages in a compelling manner.  

There are many good design institutions in India offering four-year Bachelor of Design programmes. For those who want to pursue a course that stresses on self-expression, visual arts and applied arts offer a good option. The correct choice would then be a Bachelor’s programme in Visual Arts. Also on offer are one-year diploma programmes, which offer a quick route to placements after 12th. You can opt for a two-year Masters in Design or Master of Visual Arts or even an MBA in strategic design management. A number of one-year diploma courses are also available for those who want to do post-graduation in product design, fashion design and automotive modelling. 

Employment opportunities

Careers in the creative field are on an upswing. There is no dearth of job openings in both private and public sectors for competent design graduates. A study conducted by the British Council and International Disciplinary Centre revealed that financial services, retail, transportation, manufacturing, telecommunication, media, consumer goods and luxury segments are the principal sectors employing design graduates. Multinational corporations are hiring design graduates in large numbers and also offering lucrative salaries to deserving candidates. Similarly, government sector and renowned e-commerce companies are also offering higher entry-level pay packages to design graduates.

(The author is vice chancellor, World University of Design, Sonipat)

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