Demand For Designers Doubled In Five Years

25 Feb 2021 | 10.46 am

Demand For Designers Doubled In Five Years

Report highlights looming shortage of design skills

25 Feb 2021 | 10.46 am

A report on the state of design in Ireland has highlighted a rapidly-growing sector and underlines that there’s urgent demand for designers and design skills in every field.

The report from Design Skillnet, part of Skillnet Ireland, shows an industry undergoing significant challenges, including a changing definition of design and increased reach across industry. “Technology has rapidly reframed the definition of design, and has affected design capabilities within design SMEs,” the report states. 

The research also shows design permeating every industry, with an emerging cohort of designers working in-house in a broad range of sectors and organisations, from finance to food, to health and pharmaceuticals.

Paul Healy (pictured), chief executive at Skillnet Ireland, commented: “Design is essential for every business and sector – and it’s increasingly vital for driving innovation and business change. As the sector evolves, having this clear understanding of the condition of Ireland’s design practice will help us to address the challenges the sector faces, particularly in delivering a new CPD framework that equips the industry to deal with rapid technological and workplace change.”

Design Skillnet steering group chair Dominic Southgate said: “This report is the foundation block for the work of Design Skillnet, setting out a clear set of actions as well as an urgency for the industry to engage with learning and development like never before. I encourage all design businesses, educators and practitioners to understand the report and work with us to build the design talent of the future.”

The number of design roles has doubled in the past five years and are expected to increase to between 65,000 and 70,000 by 2025. With Ireland generating just 1,300 design graduates each year, a significant shortage of designers is imminent, the report says.

The increased reach of design has also seen designers immersed in solving complex business problems and playing a more influential role in industry as design thinking becomes an established approach in business strategy, consultancy, and research, further fuelling demand for designers.

Design Skillnet is the Continuous Professional Development arm of the Institute of Designers in Ireland and part of the SI network. 

The full report is available here.

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