Why designers need soft skills more than ever to thrive

We live in an increasingly digitised world, where people who understand tech and can harness it creatively are becoming more and more sought after. So you just need to learn the appropriate technical skills, and you'll soon be earning the big bucks, right? Actually, wrong.

Image licensed via Adobe Stock

Image licensed via Adobe Stock

While skills such as motion design and UX design are much in demand, that's not the whole story. Employers are also looking for candidates who can complement those technical skills with so-called soft skills.

Read on to find out more, and how Created – the online academy offering hands-on courses in UX design, UI design, and motion design – can help you acquire the soft skills you need to thrive in the 2020s.

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are abilities that aren't core to the job itself but are broader skills – such as being a good communicator – that make it possible to harness your technical expertise in useful and productive ways.

The need for soft skills is highlighted in a recent report by McKinsey Global Institute, a business and economics research group. In the years leading up to 2030, it predicts, "The need for finely tuned social and emotional skills will rapidly grow. Accompanying the adoption of advanced technologies into the workplace will be an increase in the need for workers with finely tuned social and emotional skills."

The report specifies that between 2016 and 2030, demand for social and emotional skills will grow across all industries by 26 per cent in the US and by 22 per cent in Europe. And it points out that while some of these skills are innate, such as empathy, others can be taught and developed.

Why soft skills are important

The lesson is clear. Whatever area of digital design you wish to pursue, it's vital to recognise the need to upskill not just technically but personally.

As automation and AI takes over more of the technical side of creating digital products and services, more employers are placing importance on the skills that machines can't replicate, such as emotional intelligence, communication and collaboration.

Unfortunately, these skills aren't taught in standard primary and secondary education, and often not even at university level. So many students emerge from higher education with impressive-sounding degrees, apply to work at creative companies, but still find it difficult to get employed.

And that's not surprising. Because we're constantly hearing from the heads of design studios that they're keen to recruit new talent, but they're just not seeing the "right calibre" of applicants.

So what do they mean by that? In a nutshell, while applicants may be very proficient in, say, Photoshop and After Effects, employers aren't confident they'll be able to step up to the "real world of work" and interact with colleagues and clients in a way that's suitably productive and creative.

How to learn soft skills with Created

Created Academy was founded by creative professionals to address this exact problem. With existing university courses failing to meet either students' or employers' needs for soft skills, Created's short and intensive courses have been crafted to ensure you develop into a fully rounded professional.

You'll get the software knowledge and expertise you need, of course. But you'll also develop soft skills alongside that, in a way that the two complement and amplify each other.

After all, you can have the best conceptual ideas and sublime technical skills. But if you can't communicate your ideas, work effectively within a team and connect with people, especially within the more complex online world, you're never going to reach your full potential.

Created's industry-ready skillset

Created's industry-ready skillset

That's why on Created's courses, you work on practical briefs, which mirror exactly how commercial projects are developed in the real world. It's the perfect way to put all that theoretical and technical knowledge into practice, and along the way, hone and develop the communication and collaboration skills that are the key to delivering results that wow people.

You'll learn to be flexible and adaptable, which is vital for any creative – however experienced – who wishes to stay relevant in a fast-changing world. You'll learn to put your ego to one side and work as part of a team. You'll discover how listening to each other, and exchanging ideas can be the catalyst for extraordinary synergies and ground-breaking work. And you'll also learn how to write about and present your work and sell yourself – which is a superpower all on its own.

It's not surprising that so many creatives are flocking to Created, from recent graduates looking to improve their prospects to established creatives looking to learn new skills. To become one of them, visit Created Academy today.

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