Following my two previous posts, where I looked who was hiring and for what skills in February and March, I’ve decided to play a little bit more with some analysis techniques to give valuable information for those looking to pursue a design career. Or, if you are already working as a , you’ll benefit in learning more about the job market for designers in , and why not, anywhere else.

About the data

I wrote the previous posts based on an analysis of job posts for designers in Finland published in February and March. For this post, I added the posts published in April as well. As my Finnish skills are not great, I only looked at those written in English. Suomea ei ole helppo 🙂

Across these 90 days, there were 74 open jobs for designers: 30 in February, 22 in March and 22 in April. If we count those posted in Finnish, then we would have more than 1 open job per day.

About the job titles

Companies are looking for a range of job titles when looking for designers. The UI/UX fields were the most frequently found in the job posts: UX designer showed 19 times, UI/UX Designer and UI Designer 9 times each. Service Designer as an emerging/trendy profession appeared 11 times. Interesting to note that some more ‘Traditional’ job titles seem to be less valued by companies nowadays: Visual Designer only appeared 5 times, Graphic Designer appeared 4 times and Web Designer only 2 times.

I also noted that companies are looking for different levels of seniority across the job posts. From the 74 positions that I looked, 20 were for Senior positions, such as ‘Lead Visual Designer’, ‘Senior Designer’, ‘Senior Service Designer’ and so on.

About the requirements — the skills required

Companies looking to recruit designers are seeking for a diverse number of skills, such as knowledge about User experience and Interface, Service design, Coding, Communication for working with teams and the ability to conduct Research for testing ideas. In the figure above I present the frequency in which each skill appeared across de 74 job posts.

These diverse skill set sought for companies might point to an important fact: design is evolving from ‘form-giving’ to a more strategic role, where research, business and communication among different professionals are more and more part of a designers’ routine.

How about a degree/formal education? Well, it only appeared in 26 (35.1%) job posts. I don’t think that companies see a degree as something irrelevant. Certainly if I had asked recruiters, they would agree that degree is a valuable asset. But as in this post I only looked the job posts, I can just count what is written there.

Interesting to note that around one-third of the job posts were mentioning the Software required, which ranged from the most traditional Adobe family (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign) to more recent ones such as Sketch, Axure, InVision, etc. On top of that, of course I don’t believe that the other two thirds of the positions do not require any Software, but again, I can only analyse what is written in the job posts.

About the requirements — Which skills go together?

In looking what companies seek, I started noting that some skills would go ‘hand-in-hand’ with others. Then, I decided to test the significance of these links by running a Pearson correlation test. In a few words, the correlation test tells us which skills repeatedly (and statistically significant) appear together.

In the figure above, the dotted lines indicate the connection between the skills. The statistical significant correlations resulted in 4 groups of skills that goes together:

  • A designer who knows about Agile methods should also know about User experience/User Interface, and Research. Working in teams also had a positive correlation with Research.
  • A designer who knows about Service design also needs to know about Business, which correlated positively with Willingness to learn and improve.
  • A designer who knows about Coding also needs to know Finnish language.
  • A designer who knows Visual design also needs to know Software. That’s maybe a not so interesting one, as I commented before that most positions require the ability to work with software, but in the sake of transparency in the analysis, I’ve decided to report it here.

About the requirements — Which skills DO NOT go together?

The Pearson correlation test also gave me information about the skills that correlate negatively. In other words, when a company is asking for X most likely it will not ask for Y.

In the analysis of the job posts, a couple of negative correlations were statistically significant:

  • A designer who knows Service design does not need to know about Visual design and User Interface/User experience (there is room for debate here, but this what the data is telling)
  • A designer who knows about Business does not need to know about User Interface/User experience (again, it might be questioned).

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