Creative and Design Jobs of the Future Pushing Graphic and Web Design Aside

Posted By Terri Williams on June 7, 2016 at 9:15 am
Creative and Design Jobs of the Future Pushing Graphic and Web Design Aside

Technology continues to determine the jobs of the future. And that includes the creative and design industry. Not long ago, almost every company needed the services of a graphic designer or a web designer. And now, those are just two of the once-thriving professions experiencing stagnant or declining growth.

Amy Webb, futurist and Founder of the Future Today Institute, was a presenter at the HOW Design Live Conference 2016, and shared her predictions on the future of the creative industry. Below are the design jobs she predicted are on their way out the door followed by the creative jobs that will reign in the not-so-distant future.

Design jobs that are out

Webb predicts that the following 7 creative/design jobs are on the decline:

Art Director
Creative Director
Brand Identity Designer
Layout Artist
Multimedia Designer
Web Designer
Graphic Designer


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides job outlook data for three of the jobs and projects slow growth rates: through 2024, the BLS only projects a 1% growth rate for graphic designers, a 2% growth rate for art directors, and a 6% growth rate for multimedia designers. As a point of comparison, the BLS projects a 19% growth rate for market research analysts.

Design jobs that are in

Webb also predicts that these are the 10 creative/design jobs of the future:

Chief Experience Officer
Chief Design Officer
Automation Experience Designer
Augmented Reality Designer
Real-time 3D Designer
Human-Machine Persona Designer
Drone Experience Designer
Gesture Control Designer
Neural Virtual Experience Designer
Human Tissue and Organ Designer


User experience and digital skills

GoodCall spoke with two experts regarding these changes and how they affect college students majoring in or considering design and creative fields. According to David Hayes, president of HireMinds in Cambridge, Massachusetts, “Design has definitely changed over the years, and the current trend is toward ‘user experience’ – focused design vs. pure artistic design.”

In fact, Hayes tells GoodCall that demand for roles that focus on user experience is growing rapidly. “We have had a 40% increase in requests for user experience designers over the past 3 years, and see the trend continuing as more companies look to increase the effectiveness of their product offerings.”

It’s a sentiment shared by Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “As consumers seek more customized products and personalized experiences, jobs tied to user and customer experience will become increasingly prominent.” And she adds three more jobs to the list of design and creative jobs of the future:

  • Creative Technologist
  • Customer Experience Designer
  • Marketing Automation Manager

Domeyer also tells GoodCall that digital skills are now a prerequisite for many traditional design roles. “For example, graphic designers now need to be familiar with web layouts or social media, and copywriters must have knowledge of search engine optimization – as such, print-only roles are becoming obsolete.”

For college students studying design and creative majors, Domeyer warns that the demand for both creative and technical skills will continue to grow. “No matter what specialty you’re thinking of pursuing, gaining digital skills will increase your marketability and open doors to more opportunities.”

Other hiring trends

The Creative Group also identifies 7 overall hiring trends in the design and creative industry:

  1. Job seekers are in command. A shortage of qualified talent gives them the upper hand.
  1. Digital reigns supreme. Employees who specialize in mobile and responsive design continue to be in strong demand.
  1. Perks have come into season. Besides salaries and signing bonuses, companies are offering perks like flextime, remote working options, and generous paid time off.
  1. Companies are sharpening employee skills. Businesses are investing in training and focusing on career development.
  1. Job-hopping and counteroffers are on the rise. Companies are making counteroffers in the hopes of keeping their employees, but they’re also questioning the employee’s loyalty.
  1. Full-time and contract-to-hire employment is heating up. Marketing budgets are increasing and companies are hiring various types of employees to keep up with the workload.
  1. Indie creatives are in demand. Agencies and in-house departments are bringing in freelancers with specialized skills that don’t exist internally.


Terri Williams
Terri Williams graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her education, career, and business articles have been featured on Yahoo! Education, U.S. News & World Report, The Houston Chronicle, and in the print edition of USA Today Special Edition. Terri is also a contributing author to "A Practical Guide to Digital Journalism Ethics," a book published by the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago.

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