How many ID kids actually get ID jobs once they graduate?

What is the percentage? How competitive is this job market?

I heard somewhere that it was only about 10-20%. Are there any articles, etc to confirm this?


I don’t know if theres any absolute percentage but the way my teacher broke it down when I was still in school seems pretty accurate. Of course given how bad the economy is, the ratio has probably shifted against your favor.

Typically the top 30% (or less, depending on your viewpoint) will land some type of design related job.

The mid-tier kids land related jobs, but not necessarily ID.

Then theres the rest who will walk away from design after graduation. Either because it’s not what they wanted to do (move on to masters degrees in other areas), or because they just can’t land a design job.

At the end of the day - you need to constantly strive to be your best, and if you actually take that to heart and love design, you’ll find a job. The markets just really rough right now - so the jobs that ARE available are going to be even more hotly competed for.

at UIUC which historically has been a reputable, but maybe not BIG name school would generally have 5-7 students from each undergrad class getting “ID” jobs, with some other getting related work and etc. as Cyberdemon mentioned. Class sizes were generally between 20-30, but have recentlly increased to I think 40 with similar numbers to my knowledge. Speaking to a lot of co-workers this doesn’t sound uncommon, give or take 2-3.

  • this was in relatively better economic times, again as Cyberdemon pointed out, you can expect it to be atleast a little worse in the short term

My sophomore studio professor, Alex Fekete, asked us very early on if we thought we were the best in our studio > class, then told us, that these were not even the people we were competing against informing us of the big scope, and I subsequently tried to have a similar freak out speach to sophomores my junior and senior years as I found it very helpful to get that heavy dose of reality early.

Sounds like I have to step it up. :open_mouth:

Depends a lot on what you mean by “design job.”

if you think you Won’t get a design job after school… you won’t.

if you think you Might get a design job after school… you won’t.

if you think you Will get a design job after school… you might.

its nothing about being a cocky jerk, but you have to Know that you will. and there are a few pieces to that puzzle. talent, work ethic, lack of sleep, portfolio, who you know, etc. if you consistently look around at your peer’s work and its fairly obvious you fall around the ‘average’ or lower- you need to step it up, or you won’t be going anywhere.

its a competition out there.

treat it like one.

How many students start their own company? or intend to after graduating…

there were two types of students that wanted to start their own firm immediately after graduation

the guys that were really good, and brought together other guys that were really good. these individuals were the best, had established industry connections already, and already had projects. it isn’t easy for these guys either. its a tough road, and one that I highly highly suggest you DON’T take, especially right after college, you know nothing yet. if you’re a God amongst your peers, maybe think about it, but thats all, just think about it.

then there were the guys that were really bad. it was their plan after realizing they were not up to par, and their work could not land them a full-time ID job, so it was their last effort to get into ID. I suppose they figured that if they were criticizing their own work, no one could tell them it was bad. if they were in control, nothing could go wrong. these pipe dreams lasted maybe a month or three. occasionally they thought the size of the group mattered. if there are enough bad designers working professionally together under the umbrella of a design firm, maybe we can all be good or make good results? nope.

this has been a major issue of concern for me too. I just posted something similar to this in the design employment section. so what are these “non-design but design related” jobs that everyone speaks of? i need to know where to look for employment because it does not look like i will be a practical designer.

well how do i know if my skills are up to par on the “nation-wide” scale?

I am above average in my class in the college that I’m at. My drawing skills are above average, my photoshop skills are very above average, and my modeling skills are above average. But once again, that’s only at my specific school. Big fish in a small pond syndrome, one might say.

How do I know where I’m at compared to other juniors on a state-wide or nation-wide scale? (just finished my sophomore year, will be entering my junior year).

i REALLY want to be an industrial designer. While at school I work very hard on my projects. Now that my school is done for the summer, I draw every single day to improve my skills. I’ve been entering competition(s) and doing photoshop renderings on the side to build up my portfolio. I’ve been working to get freelance gigs (but that can be hard since i have no experience)

What would you guys advise me to do to improve further?

A few years ago I read a statistic that less than 10% ID grad will find an ID related job within 2 years of graduation. If I count the more serious classmates that do personal projects throughout the semesters and uses the workshop to fine tune skills and not just to finish school projects, that’s about 10% of the class. Coincidence?

My unofficial motto: My expectations of myself is above what my school’s expectation of myself.

Ways to see where you stack up to the competition:
+Check other student’s work on Coroflot
+Go to IDSA conferences
+other Internet resources
+I spent a lot of my time going to the other studio critiques as well.
+Post some work here and get feedback.

As far as improving, sounds like you’re on the right
track, but getting an internship or other work
experience in design or a related field may push you
further/faster with added direction and broadened
contextual understanding. Also practice talking
(and writing) about your work, this may be formal
interviews - informal portfolio reviews.

sounds about right

My junior year 3 of my classmates and I decided we didn’t want to
have an extra day off from our studio around Thanksgiving, long story
short, we drove to Kansas University where they had class one of the
one of the days we had off. We met up with Ron Kemnitzer who was the
head of the dept there at that time and attended 4 classes/crits and hung
out with students. All but one of us got “ID” jobs after graduation, and the
one that didn’t tranferred out of ID.

IDiot nailed it.

It’s easier than EVER to compare yourself and see what youre up against. EVERY student now has some type of an online portfolio. Some may be incomplete, some may be awful, but you can definately see the quality of work coming out even on these boards.

But if you don’t put yourself out there, IE don’t attend conferences (the regional IDSA conferences are cheap and a fun road trip), portfolio reviews, or any other activities you can to get yourself out there, you never will.

Just a note: I met 2 out of the ~8 designers in my group before EVER stepping into an interview through the IDSA. It’s a very small industry, and if you’re good at putting yourself out there you’ll land a job.

Exactly. I know plenty of “straight A” students that didn’t make it in the real world… It isn’t about appeasing your instructors, it is about kicking ass.

Yo notes,“Exactly. I know plenty of “straight A” students that didn’t make it in the real world… It isn’t about appeasing your instructors, it is about kicking ass.”

Response: My wife is a designer and I have worked with many designers in my business. Thus, I have some experience here.

Zig Ziegler , who is a well-known writer on marketing, once made a very well-known quote: “If you learn to give people want they want, you will get rich.”

If someone is savvy enough to be able to give the professor what they want so that they can get As, they should do well in the design field IF they can give their client/boss what they want. This seems to be the key. I don’t think that folks need fabulous design skills,although some talent is necessary. However, giving a client what they want, interspersed with proper advice in case the client is downright wrong, can make many people very successful.

If Kicking Ass= having a happy client then we are in agreement.

I have to respectfully disagree here. Designers who do what they are told are just pencils… they may be “successful” that way, but it is not the path to doing good design.

Put it this way Taxguy… if your clients all wanted you to cheat on for them on their taxes, would you make the client happy? People want to cheat good design all the time.
We are not being paid for a service, we are being paid for our knowledge, our experience, our know how and our opinion. We have to use those things in ways that equate to good design, while serving our client’s best interest.

In my experience, the “Straight A” kids don’t allays get that. Give me curious, optimistic, rebels, not capable sheep…

There is a lot of truth to this. If you want to be a designer learn how to give the buyer at Wal-mart what they want!

If you really want to be an Industrial Designer just start doing it. Then keep doing it until you are really good at it. Keep doing it until someone starts paying you for it and keep doing it until someone pays you ALOT of money for it. Then die complete and let your products out live you.

Yo notes,"Put it this way Taxguy… if your clients all wanted you to cheat on for them on their taxes, would you make the client happy? People want to cheat good design all the time. "

Response:Yo, I think we are saying the same thing although a bit differently.

You are quite right,which is why I also noted that the advice, “Has to be interspersed with proper advice in case you feel that the client is downright wrong.”

In school, the students would be wise to give the teacher what they want.It would certainly be foolhardy to assume that the teacher is an idiot and the student is all knowing.

In real life, however, as you noted, the client is paying you for your skills, knowledge and talent. However, in the end, don’t you think that they want to be happy with the final product?Admittedly, that might involve making some compromises for their wishes or doing a sales job on them about why your vision is correct because the client probably doesn’t know better.
By the way, I consider myself among the stupid clients, although I am getting better educated as time goes on.

However, when I hire designers for my business, I generally want what I want OR they better have a good, compelling reason why my opinion is wrong. I think for most clients, in the end, they want to be happy with their choice in design, right?

This reads so wrong in my opinion.
The client being wrong could be many things. I like the part of listening, giving advice and delivering what they want. This might sound extreme. Me as a designer i hope to never design/ build and take credit for something I’d be embarrassed of people knowing i built it.
What happened to vision?