image of students sketching

Do you love art or visual communications?

If your passion and interest is in these areas, a professional qualification in an art or design offers you a rewarding future.

 New design techniques and specialisations are emerging all the time, often combining ideas or technologies, or focusing on a particular new speciality.

Why be a designer?

Design skills and qualifications make you highly employable. You’ll develop practical, transferable skills in general design and then specialise in design areas that most interest you for your chosen career.

Design professionals find work opportunities in a range of professional disciplines around the world. Australian design professionals are highly regarded overseas. 

Where can a design qualification take me?

If your passion and interest is in any of these areas, an art or design profession offers you a rewarding future. New design techniques and specialisations are emerging all the time, often combining ideas or technologies, or focusing on a particular new speciality.

Where you will go as a designer depends largely on the design specialty you choose. Some areas of design require the use of technical knowledge, such as industrial engineering; others, like graphic design, use image and text to communicate visually.

image of architectural model and drawings

The people you might deal with as a designer will also depend on your design specialty. An architect, for instance, might deal with builders and town planners while exhibit designers will deal with museum curators and artists.

In most design careers, you’ll move up the ranks based on your ability and experience. For example:

  • intern or junior-level designer
  • senior-level designer
  • art director
  • creative director

Most designers start with routine work and gain more responsibility as they gain experience. Careers can advance within the design department of an agency or company, but many designers find their own work, known as freelance, or start their own design business.

What is the design profession all about?

A world without designers would be a boring, often inefficient and uncomfortable world. Every day, we are surrounded by the influences and creative efforts of designers :

  • From the labelling on your breakfast juice or cereal carton to the bowl and glass you put them in;
  • From the bike, car, bus, tram or train that gets you to school and back home, to the roads, tram stops and stations they travel through;
  • From the buildings you live and learn in, and the sports and entertainment venues you play or watch in, to the clothes and furniture you feel comfy in and the uniforms of the players;
  • From the coolness of your mobile phone, its apps and widgets, right through to the content you see on the screen, or on TV, at a concert, a music festival or the cinema;
  • And at the end of your day, to falling asleep on your favourite pillow.

You’ll be surprised at the diversity of careers a design qualification can open up to you in these areas: 

  • Architecture or Environmental Design 
  • Visual Communications or Graphic Design
  • Industrial or Product Design
  • Art and Creative Industries

These different areas of design offer careers across a broad landscape of technical, industrial, visual and creative fields. 

For more detail about these and the professional roles in each, go to the Find out more and glossary-design pages.

Design profession snapshot - facts and figures

You can investigate more about a selection of Design professions by using our Design Infographic 2017 resource (PDF 698Kb).

Compare the figures in this infographic, based on latest (2015) data, to the current data on the Job Outlook website to see what's changed since 2015.  

Download and print PDF at A3 or A4 size - do not print from your browser.

Find out more

Find out more about the wide range of design careers and roles you can pursue. Then remember to review your Career Action Plan with your teacher or careers teacher.

Get in touch

To enquire about LEAP activities for your school
please contact one of LEAP's participating Universities