Wide field of experience versus Specialisation

Hi everybody,
I just joined the website today. I recently moved into New York city from India and have been pretty confused with the design job scenes out here.

Back in India, I have about 6 yrs of experience in the digital design field (and a plus 2 yrs in the field of interior design). I have had experience by working as a 3d Animator, Web Designer, Graphic Designer and Interior Designer. I am a self -taugh artist and a designer and have no formal design/art education.

I am pretty confused on how the job market here looks at me:

  1. As a fresh designer as I am from a new country?
  2. A designer who is confused as I have put my hands into different fields of design ? Are they looking for specialisation?
  3. Still inexperienced as I don’t hold a formal design degree?

I apply to a print industry and they say I need to have more print experience. I apply to a web design company and they say they want to see more online work (when most of the sites I designed for companies were intranets).

-Don’t companies/ design studios look at your enthusiasm to learn and produce good work?
-Don’t they look at your wide work experiece and take it as a point of good qualification?
-Is all this experince working as a disqualification for me?

How am I to market myself? Pick up a line to specialise in and start as a fresher?

Awaiting your valuable inputs & advices.

Employers, head hunters, and agencies are very single minded when looking to fill positions. They want someone who has an exact skill set and has worked in the same field before. They take this to an extreme sometimes. I was called to a print production gig by an agency once and they wanted to know if I had ever done an annual report before – mind you this was a production job, not a design job – someone else would be calling the shots in terms of desing. I think it is sort of comic that they felt they had to have someone that had done specifically an annual report. Anyone with basic print skills could have done it, there is nothing unusual about an annual report.

In my experience I found it necessary to kind of stereotype myself and speak in sound bytes. I was dealing mostly with agencies and they had to be able to quickly categorize you in their mind or they didn’t know what to do with you.

maybe its jusy that you have applied for jobs that have specific qualifications.

also depending on the size of the company that you are going to be working it might be a plus or not not as important to be so diverse experienced.

From my experience-I have found out that in larger companies they have more employees that can do all these jobs and be specific to those jobs-where as in smaller companies they need someone that can do the jobs of like 3 people. in the larger companies they want something specific. They need you to fill a role not roles. I think if with your broad skills a smaller company (less employees) might be a better fit.

Or work on one specific thing that you want to do-and try and find a job with it and build up experience in that area.

New York City is a hard place to be doing this because there are thousands of poeple doing the same thing-also I have found out that in New York its alot about who you know-and who knows you. so networking-work on that also.

in the graphic design field it is great what you can do-If you can do print and web that is a head start from alot of the crowd. and depending on your portfolio that could get you a job at a design firm or agency-and there are alot of those in the city.

But you don’t have a design degree???

Thanks Ian and mark. yeah I don’t have a professional design degree…always believe that you can get the aesthetics through practise and self-study. But looks like the market here needs it. Are you aware of any real good design schools in NYC where I can work and earn a professional degrees (pref MA)? Or how good is taking credit courses like those given in Columbia University? Would this hold good in my resume? NYU have some good courses but they are non-creadit ones.

Again awaiting your responses.