Interested in a career in design – where do you start?

Creative & Cultural Skills
Creative & Cultural Skills is the sector skills council for design, craft, cultural heritage, music, literature, performing and visual arts. Creative & Cultural Skills alongside the Design Council facilitates the UK Design Alliance.

One of the great things about being a designer is that every day is different. Working as a designer involves creativity, project management, teamwork, problem solving, meeting deadlines and the ability to work with a diversity of clients.

There are many disciplines within the design industry including ; graphic, product, textile , industrial and interior design. This enables a variety of career pathways and also a host of related job roles in areas such as project management, account handling, public relations, teaching and research.
If you are interested in pursuing a career in design there are a number of good resources online which are worth checking out to give you a flavour of what is involved.

Creative Choices° has excellent short films with designers talking about different aspects of their work and offering career advice on a career. It also has examples of job profiles within the design industry.

The Design Council website has some great case studies across different design disciplines information of different types of design.

Getting qualified

Education is important. Two thirds of people working in the sector hold at least a level 4 qualification, whilst half have qualifications higher than level 4 (higher national diplomas, foundation degrees, degrees and above).

Both the University of Ulster and Queens University Belfast offer undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in design. All 6 of the Further Education Colleges in Northern Ireland also offer courses in Design across a range of disciplines (product, interior, furniture, 3D and graphic) and at different levels.

Belfast Metropolitan College
South Eastern Regional College
Northern Regional College
North West Regional College
South West College
Southern Regional College

If you are interested in pursuing a qualification in design, the Northern Ireland Careers Service hosts a course search tool which anyone can access to explore the courses available in Northern Ireland. Creative Choices° also has a course search for across the rest of the UK.

Getting a job

There are more students leaving design education than there are jobs to receive them. This means, that in addition to gaining a qualification; a designer’s industry experience, skills, and creative ability are critical in securing a job or client work. Where possible, a student should try and gain experience working with a design consultancy before they graduate. This will not only provide experience of client work, but a better understanding of the typical business skills required in managing projects and running a successful design studio.

Share your thoughts
  • net curtains

    Interior design and decorating careers conjure up beautiful colors, funky design stylings and reality based TV shows featuring perky hosts.

  • dementedmum444

    are there apprenticeships?

  • saloni shah

    this is Saloni from India. i have completed a 3 years diploma in interior designing and i am working past 1.5 years with a interior designing firm. i am looking for a specialization course in the same stream. please help me with the institutes offering courses in interior designing.


    Thanks for sharing this blog with us. These Jackets are really amazing. Online College of Business and Finance depict that we provides one of the best and an unique style Jackets at an affordable cost. Must visit us !!
    Best Regards