What Types of Skills Are Best for a Design Major?

Looking to major in design? Stellar art skills aren’t the only talents you’ll need to succeed in college. Here are five areas that are important for doing well as a design major and in your design career after college.

Creative skills

Obviously, having a keen eye and a feel for beautiful art is extremely important if you want to major in design. But going above your own creative skills, you’ll also have to learn about how others created their art and the thought processes that went into their pieces.

Part of creativity is knowing how and when to gain inspiration from others, and you’ll spend lots of time focusing on that as a design major.

Computer programming skills

Surprisingly enough, design majors need to be relatively tech-savvy nowadays, especially if they hope to pursue careers in design after college.

Knowing how to use programs like Adobe Creative Suite, HTML and CSS will propel you light-years ahead of everyone in the job market, and that begins with paying attention to honing these skills in college.

Organizational skills

Design majors are often juggling any number of projects at various stages of completion, so being able to keep yourself organized both in terms of logistics (for instance, knowing where all of your art supplies are) and creativity (like understanding what’s inspiring each particular piece) is extremely important.

Organization skills become more important if you begin getting paid for your work, even as a college student. Many design majors juggle freelance work on top of schoolwork, and it’s crucial for you to keep these different assignments straight and to also handle the business aspects of running your own side gig.

Ability to take criticism

Whether you’re working with peers, professors or clients, you’ll have to have a thick skin as a design major and know how to incorporate criticism and feedback from all sorts of people. Creative majors are definitely not for the weak-minded and often require a certain amount of resilience.

Interpersonal and communication skills

Being able to communicate effectively with people you’re working with as well as people who are critiquing your art is crucial if you want to succeed as a design major. Even more importantly, if you begin taking on clients as a design major, you’re going to have to flex your interpersonal skills to deal with client requests and handle them efficiently and effectively.

Next, learn more about this college major such as What is a Design Major and is it Right for Me? and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as What is an Internship?