The Designer Career Path

Various studies have shown that designers usually only parts of their professional work really do as designers. That fact alone gives a lot of possibilities to develop a career for designers and design managers alike.

I mentioned in the post The scope of design management that design management is evident across a range of disciplines, from fashion to advertising or games design. Although design management is not a clearly defined vocation (Best, 2006), we are though able to see that it has developed enormously in the last decades. There is also the possibility to present a career path from a designer to a strategic design manager (de Mozota, 2003, p. 73), shown in the table below.

The designer career path


Various studies have shown that designers usually only do parts of theirs professional work really do as designers (Vervaeke in de Mozota, 2003, p. 73). And it could be a possible career life cycle for a designer to be developed into a strategic design manager (Haerle in de Mozota, 2003, p. 73). We mentioned already that design managers are coming from various profiles. Therefore we think that it would be good for the whole economy in every state and for a design as an industry to have Chief Executive Officers who are strategic design managers or a Chief Design Officers who are members of the board or board consultants.

Best, Kathryn. 2006. Design Management: Managing Design Strategy, Process and Implementation. AVA Publishing SA. 215 p.
Borja de Mozota, Brigitte. 2003. Design management: using design to build brand value and corporate innovation. Allworth Press. 281 p.

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