Design, Illustration, Animation... What's Expected of Today's Creative Employees

A lot is expected of today's creative workforce. In the past, we could specialize in one thing; improving and developing skills in order to enhance that focus and increase our expertise. But now? Sure, you have to specialize in one area, but you're also expected to do a heck of a lot more for today's businesses.

I'll admit, when I first started attending Parsons The New School For Design, I was stubborn and ignorant. I thought that I could just practice my skills with traditional media and become more like a fine artist. Parsons taught me so much by requiring their students to take a wide variety of courses - especially ones that taught us digital software.

Between 2008 and 2012, I was introduced to Adobe Creative Suite. We got to dabble in Illustrator, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, After Effects, InDesign... you get the gist. I didn't realize it then, but I'd eventually use Adobe Illustrator on a daily basis for creating my illustrations, graphics, and more.

But as I entered the workforce and started actively applying to positions that I thought I was qualified for, I realized that I needed to pick up more skills. In general creative descriptions that list the key responsibilities expected of a new recruit, companies often ask for the following:

  • Proficiency in Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Sometimes knowledge of other software like CorelDraw
  • Web Design - at least a basic understanding of HTML/CSS
  • WordPress
  • Motion Graphics
  • An understanding of good UI/UX
  • Knowledge of 3D software is generally a plus (SketchUp, Rhino, 3DMax, Autodesk Maya, etc.)

And get this - the list keeps expanding! So, some people might direct you towards specializing in one thing and being amazing at that one thing. Others might suggest you specialize in one area, but continually add new skillsets down the road. Me? I believe specializing in one thing, but having a "Jack of All Trades," mentality will help you stand out from your competition. Thoughts?