4-6 years experience req'd... for Junior Designer position!

OK, that’s two so I’m bringing this up. I just saw the Junior Designer position at, a midwestern company…, requesting 4-6yrs of experience. I’m thinking that

a: someone with that much experience is not going to want to take a junior des. position, and

b: not going to want to be paid that salary

Basically you shouldn’t need that much experience to get a basically entry level gig, this is an extreme of what I think is a systemic problem in this field, and I’ve seen other less extreme versions of this same example.

If there is that much of a disconnect between where you are when you graduate and where you need to be to get a Junior position, that’s a big problem.

I never listened to that stuff.

When I had 1 year experience, I applied to several places that required more, and I even got an interview/got the job sometimes.

Know that you are going to be going up against designers with 4-6 years experience in the interview though.

Actually, I already have a job, I was thinking that this is a larger problem.

Very hard to understand when designers with 6 years experience I know are senior designers…

Its not just design - I see all kinds of entry level stuff, from professional to basic retail or similar, requiring years of experience for rather low salaries.

Perhaps it is just the economy, or employers’ perception of the job market, that makes those needing to hire think there are a number of job seekers with significant experience that will be willing to start back at the bottom of the ladder for terrible pay…

I have also seen this for many of the junior positions floating around. Maybe they will start looking for interns with 20 or 30 products on the market and a PHD.

That sounds ridiculous to me…4-6 years for a junior?! Let me guess Chicago area?

I’ve been seeing ads posted in my school searching for someone that’s looking for their “big break”. It’s a company that has a “high profile” corporate client and they want you to work for them for free providing illustrations, etc… and you MAY receive some compensation if the client goes ahead with the project.
I’ll try that next time with my plumber.

This I ABSOLUTLY DO NOT agree with and it happens way too often. Taking advantage of students is the oldest trick in the book. We do multiple student projects with multiple schools, but we either turn it into a contest so they can work towards a pay check or we pay all of the students. NO ONE should have to work for free unless you are an intern, but doing freelance work as a student pro-bono is wrong.

I just love how it is portrayed as if they are doing the kid a favor… why not just be honest:

“Kid, we don’t have any cash, but we could use some help, and you could use a resume builder. If the relationship works out, and we start making some coins, we would be more than happy to see this transition into a paid relationship, but no promises”

I’d even say a unpaid internship is out of the question. A company I know had always given paid internships, until this year they said they couldn’t afford one…Now since someone took it, the company thinks they won’t have to pay for a ID intern anymore…

My first gig began as a freelance “internship”. It was easier for the department manger to budget outside help, than it was to justify hiring another designer.

It worked out well for eleven months; paid more than my “employed” friends were making in their engineering related jobs; I could wrangle an occasional day off, or two, pretty much when I needed/wanted one, and I got “loaned” to several other departments which broadened my experience.

And then, the whole thing came to an abrupt end, when they hired me (for less per hour than I had been working for as an “intern”). Which was fine by me.

In the present economic situation, showing an understanding of the mechanics of how business works might be a way to sell yourself into an organization.

But don’t work for free.

Yeah, I would have to agree with Yo!. I am blunt, but I do care what I say and how it comes across. I just hate it when people BS about anything. But to get an entry level design job I would have to say where you live is one of the biggest factors. If you got that Chicago, NYC, Portland, Other City address then you can live with the 'rents and get paid squat.

Ok, question, is that 4 to 6 years WITH a degree or not? I’ve seen junior level positions posted requiring 4 to 6 years OR a 4 year degree, but you mean to tell me 4+ years of school and 4-6 years in the field equals a junior level position? No, not unless it’s only a title and the pay is in line with that level of experience.

in all honesty, mid-west is cheap to begin with and probably the firm does not know what they are doing. It could be they have an idea of a job position for the FY2010-2011 and they want to test it out this year… so it is risky but for those out there that does not have a job or the experience, yeah it is stupid but networking is the way to get a job, not applying online…

you many not get the job with that company but if they design the responsibilities to allowing you to met more people, then do it. and X on the years of experience, that is BS, if you have a killer portfolio, experience is out the window really.

I think this is a pretty common in all fields. Especially knowing there are tons and tons of recently unemployed people with lots of experience. And those people might be willing to take a “junior” design position while the economy turns around. So if you’re a company looking for a junior designer, I guess why not shoot for the stars. Unfortunately for the kids right out of school, this is what they are dealing with now. I was lucky and graduated last june and got a job right away but a few more months and I would have been out of luck.
Apply for those jobs anyway, if your work is great, it might not matter you dont have 4-6 years of experience.

funny, this is exactly the shit thats keeping me in my place. I have a job now but I am ready to try again at design but I’ve been hesitant to try after reading a few posts.

Unpaid internships aren’t exactly a bad idea. I’m currently working in an unpaid internship due grant timing, but I couldn’t be happier. The few hours I’ll work spanned over a year will allow me to say I have experience using Pro-E/FEA/CNC/etc for a full calendar year. The other benefit is that I’m actually designing the models and having them manufactured, and can prove it with my name on grant proposals. Compared to lets say a paper shuffling internship at something haphazardly related to my field (mechanical) the benefits out weight the lack of pay. Being able to go into an interview and have knowledge of the work environment, deadlines, and the process itself is invaluable. This shouldn’t, however, be abused by companies to gain access to cheap labor, but it is in many other fields such as business, medical, and a substantial amount of web design internships I’ve seen. If the choice is ONLY between no internship and an unpaid internship, I’d say no pay + experience is better than no pay + no experience.

Mr. Banks,

It is nice that you are happy with your situation. However, I do not agree with unpaid internships. I feel that taking an unpaid internship opens the gate for employers to continually abuse creative talent, thus watering down the respect for our field. NO-SPEC.COM

I agree in that if the internship CAN be paid it SHOULD be paid, and unless there are outside factors, an unpaid internship should be shied away from. Just like everything else, there are certain situations where different rules apply, however I have a feeling that a lot of companies are going to be abusing the “economy” excuse and offering unpaid internships, if they remain filled, than they will most likely stay unpaid which I don’t agree with. Similar to UPS’s fuel surcharge that remained even after fuel prices went back down.