As Industry 4.0 looms ever closer, certain skills will be increasingly valued by employers. Among others, these skills include creative thinking, problem-solving and innovation.
A study by Nesta surveyed 35 million UK job adverts from 2013-2017, uncovering that “employers require creativity in jobs that are particularly likely to grow in importance in the future workforce.”
“Looking at 39 transferable skills, creativity is consistently identified as the most significant predictor for the likelihood of growth for an occupation between now and 2030.”
While once, STEM education was the holy grail for developing important skills, schools today are embedding the arts in educational models.
This is to foster creative thinking and develop innovative thinking skills so students can adapt to new working environments.
Studying design is a sure-fire way to build creative thinking, as well as other highly valued skills such as collaboration, problem-solving, critical thinking, innovation and teamwork.
According to FastCompany, “Design has matured from a largely stylistic endeavor to a field tasked with solving thorny technological and social problems, an evolution that will accelerate as companies enlist designers for increasingly complex opportunities, from self-driving cars to human biology.”
All things considered, designers are set to become essential across diverse industries, using the latest software as a medium to channel their creativity.
Design education today has evolved to develop leaders in emerging design fields and niches. Here are four universities that are preparing design students for a future where they can excel in several different sectors:
At this renowned design school with multiple campuses globally, deep industry connections along with leading edge facilities and experienced faculty, are developing leaders in design that become experts in their respective fields.
Cutting-edge facilities include a new Swanston Academic Building and the Digital Design Precinct which promotes collaborative learning.
Core disciplines include Communication Design, shaping communication across commercial, entertainment, education, environmental and cultural sectors; Industrial Design where students investigate the contemporary, cultural and environmental aspects of design and technology; and Digital Design, which is the study of digital content, animation, games, artificial intelligence, interactive and sound design.
Besides undergraduate programmes which provide the ideal foundation in contemporary design education across these disciplines, the school also offers innovative graduate programmes such as Master of Animation, Games and Interactivity, Master of Communication Design, Master of Design Futures, and Master of Design Innovation and Technology. There is also a comprehensive PhD program with students located across the RMIT locations in Melbourne, Europe and Asia.
Here, education is based on industry-informed courses and industry connections so students gain the latest knowledge in their fields, learning through practical experience and enjoying strong employment prospects.
Students are offered a range of internships, placements and work opportunities during their education so they can put theory into practice effectively and build strong network connections.
At this leading US design school under the comprehensive university, The New School, students learn from innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to education.
Education here is built on the fact that industries today are often merged and integrated. As such, design students must be adequately prepared to work across a range of different disciplines.
The facilities, such as the integrative studios, seminars and projects, familiarise students with tools and techniques from across the creative spectrum so they can explore their creativity alongside their peers from other degree programmes.
There’s a wide range of design programmes for students with different interests in the field, such as Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architectural Design, Art Media and Technology and Communication Design; as well as graduate programmes in Design and Technology, Design and Urban Ecologies, Fashion Design and Society, and more.
Throughout their education, design students are challenged to think innovatively and learn how to use their knowledge in environmental and social contexts.
Here, there are also opportunities to work directly with local non-profit, government and commercial partners through internships and the classroom curriculum.
Located in the UK, this world-renowned arts and design college under the University of the Arts London is a hub of practices that hone creativity and prepare design students to tackle global challenges where their skills are highly essential.
The college offers programmes in the following fields: Art, Culture and Expertise, Fashion, Performance, Graphic Communication Design, Spatial Practices, Product, Ceramic and Industrial Design, Jewellery, Textiles and Materials, and such.
Under these fields, students learn through courses that prepare them for industry trends such as Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Fine Art, Master of Arts in Art and Science, Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Culture, Criticism, and Curation, Master of Arts Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries, and plenty more.
Students frequently work alongside industry partners through creative projects that deliver solutions for their businesses.
Graduate students work on diverse and challenging briefs under a creative director and project manager, creating innovative projects and developing real-world experience and industry connections.
*Some of the schools featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International