Designing Career Paths in Graphic Design: A Document Analysis of Job Advertisements for Graphic Design Positions in Finland

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How to practically monitor what is sought from designers in practice forms a basic concern for educators in design. In this paper, we analyse what employers require from applicants in 230 job advertisements for graphic design positions from Finland. We structure the requests stated in the advertisements in terms of what graphic designers are expected (a) to deliver, (b) to know, and (c) to have. We compare the specific requirements listed for traditional and digital graphic design positions. The results of our analysis suggest that the skill set outlined in the advertisements for traditional graphic design positions suggests a more ‘generalist’ professional, whereas the skill set outlined for digital positions suggests a more ‘specialist’ professional. We end the paper by discussing the implications of our findings for graphic design education and how our research process could inform educational programme developments.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalThe Design Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • design education, design competences, graphic design, job advertisements, Finland

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