There are a few skills a designer needs in his or her repertoire in order to excel. Some of them can be taught and developed, whilst some you should be born with. Use this list to check if you have what it takes:
Passion & Curiosity: Do you have a strong desire to explore and understand? More often this will determine who makes an impact and who doesn't.
Imagination: You need to be able to picture things that are not yet in existence. You should bring ideas and opportunities together in ways that are not obvious to anyone else. It can be a powerful tool for a great designer.
Objectivity & Self Awareness: Assess yourself and your work, and view yourself through the eyes of others with a realistic understanding of your capabilities.
Communication: The language of design is very different from the language of business. The ability to effectively communicate across the disciplines is critical for a designer to influence people.
Presentation and Persuasion: Match your ideas to the priorities and goals of your client or organisation. You need the ability to sketch the picture and let others share you vision and dream.
Execution: Get things done flawlessly. Long gone are the days in which a designer handed work off to a project team to figure out. Today a designer has to work with teams to bring designs to life and guide them through to production - every step of the way.
Time management and Perfectionism: In order to compete, you need to strive for consistent professional service by delivering an outstanding and unique product/design within the agreed timeframe.
Business Skills: Designers need to add value to their markets. Effective designers need to understand how their designs can bring an advantage to their customers.
Global Awareness: There are two essential aspects when it comes to global awareness: understanding how changes around the world are affecting the customers and markets; and realising that the recourses for designers today are global.
Talent: Having a real talent for design is as critical as it has ever been. However, a talented designer with the complementing attributes as listed above will have the advantage over everyone else.
For interest sake and a touch of humour you can read the following articles about the personality types of designers:
personality types of designers today
types of designers
What should your design qualification include?
There is no such thing as someone who just sits around and thinks up cool ideas all day long, so be prepared to acquire knowledge in a lot of areas.
Writing ability (both technical and creative) usually tops the list, but employers are also looking for skills in design theory, computer knowledge, sketching/storyboarding, and an understanding of coding, as well as presentation, management and leadership skills.
Picking an education provider and the right course
It is very important to choose your academic institute carefully. The right institute will give you versa-tile skills for the widest range of job options. Also visit www.education.co.za for tips on choosing an academic institute.
Most high school graduates decide to study design because they love drawing or they have a passion for the arts. Few of them have strong ambitions or know exactly where they will apply themselves. Every designer, regardless of his or her field, has to work hard to succeed. There is no point searching for the easiest course. Instead, choose the subject you like the best or feel that you will do your best in. The right course will keep you motivated to work hard. Studying what you like is often the best motivator.
Consider aptitude tests and thorough career counselling before enrolling blindly. We recommend that you visit www.career-advice.co.za for more information on this topic. You are also welcome to follow the following link to do a free career test over here Career Test