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5 design jobs that won’t exist in the future (and 7 that will)

(BUSINESS NEWS) Graphic design is a huge and popular industry. However, as trends and times change, some jobs may become obsolete while others grow.

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Things change, things stay the same

The career world consists of staple jobs that will never disappear. Among these are: doctors, teachers, and firefighters.

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But, much like everything else, the career world is subject to trends. As a result, what is popular and in-demand now may be obsolete a few years down the road.

Five-to-seven

This is true of the now popular graphic design career. John Brownlee created a rundown of the five graphic design jobs that will disappear in the future, as well as seven related jobs that are expected to grow.

This information was gathered by Brownlee speaking with design leaders from Frog, Artefact, Ideo, and the like.

The timespan of the five-dead, seven-living jobs is over the next 15 years.

The final five

The five jobs expected to die out are: User experience designers, visual designers, design researchers, traditional industrial designers, and chief design officers.

Also known as UX designers, user experience designers are currently among the most in-demand graphic designers. However, the job has become rather broad over time and is expected to fizzle out because its components may be usurped by other, more defined positions.

Visual designers are primarily used to construct the way something (an app, for example) looks. This alone will begin to fade as visual design must begin to work in conjunction with programming and prototyping skills. The idea is to make the trade of visual design more diverse.

Design researchers, as a lone job, will eventually dwindle due to the fact that it will become imperative for anyone in the graphic design field to have the skills to research.

As time goes on, new technologies including virtual reality, are putting the kabash on design research.

Eventually, traditional aspects tend to go out the window and it is no different for traditional industrial designers. These guys and gals may be too focused on the sculptural look of a product; the problem is, it is becoming more software and technologically-based, so the industrial design will simply mold into something new.

Lastly, chief design officers are fading in a similar fashion to researchers. Everyone on an executive level should have the design skills that a chief would hold, so the necessity for a single person spearheading design could become unnecessary.

Seventh heaven

But, it’s not all bad news, as there are design jobs expected to flourish over the next 15 years. Among these are: Virtual interaction designers, specialist material designers, algorithmic/AI design specialists, post-industrial designers, design strategists, organization designers, and freelance designers.

Virtual interaction designers will find a boost in demand as virtual and augmented reality becomes a more lucrative industry.

More and more designers will be needed to create technologies such as chatbots and immersive tools.

Specialist material designers are people with skills on a specific material. One of these skills projected to become more popular is for people that know how to sew. Specifically, people who can sew structural soft goods in order to create wearable tech instruments.

Algorithmic/AI design specialists will be needed to further different technologies. While there has always been the fear of robots and machines taking over humans, there will always need to be a human element in order to successfully create certain tools.

Post-industrial designers are responsible for creating experiences that blend the physical and virtual worlds. Much like how a Fitbit tracks your physical motion through a virtual app, this trend will continue as everyday activities find their digital component.

Strategy is always a necessity in any career field. Because of this, design strategists will continue to be an integral element for any graphic design project requiring execution.

These strategists also act as PR reps for business by appropriately utilizing social media.

And, like strategy, organization will never stop being important. So, organization designers will always be needed in order to keep projects on task so they can come to fruition.

Finally, freelance designers, like many other freelance roles, will continue to boom. This is because it is now easier to find a freelancer who has an extraordinarily specialized skill set; and it is easier to get access to them working on their own than through a company.

So fret not, designers of 2016, your roles are evolving, not disappearing (sorry to disappoint you, robot conspiracy theorists).

#DesignJobs

Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

Business News

Bay Area co-living startup strands hundreds of renters at dire time

(BUSINESS NEWS) They’re blaming COVID for failing as a co-living space, but it looks like trouble was well established even before now.

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Person packed a bag and walking away from co-living space.

Over the last few years, “co-living” startups have become increasingly common in tech-rich cities like San Francisco. These companies lease large houses, then rent individual bedrooms for as much as $2,000 per month in hopes of attracting the young professionals who make up the tech industry. Many offer food, cleaning services, group activities, and hotel-quality accommodations to do so.

But the true value in co-living companies lies in their role as a third party: Smoothing over relations, providing hassle free income to homeowners and improved accountability to tenants… in theory, anyway. The reality has proved the opposite can just as easily be true.

In a September company email, Bay Area co-living startup HubHaus released a statement that claimed they were “unable to pay October rent” on their leased properties. Hubhaus also claimed to have “no funds available to pay any amounts that may be owed landlords, tenants, trade creditors, or contractors.”

This left hundreds of SF Bay Area renters scrambling to arrange shelter with little notice, with the start of a second major COVID-19 outbreak on the horizon.

HubHaus exhibited plenty of red flags leading up to this revelation. Employees complained of insufficient or late payment. The company stopped paying utilities during the spring, and they quietly discontinued cleaning services while tenants continued to pay for them.

Businesses like HubHaus charge prices that could rent a private home in most of the rest of the country, in exchange for a room in a house of 10 or more people. PodShare is a similar example: Another Bay Area-based co-living startup, whose offerings include “$1,200 bunk beds” in a shared, hostel-like environment.

As a former Bay Area resident, it’s hard not to be angry about these stories. But they have been the unfortunate reality since long before the pandemic. Many urbanites across the country cannot afford to opt out of a shared living situation, and these business models only exacerbate the race to the bottom of city living standards.

HubHaus capitalized on this situation and took advantage of their tenants, who were simply looking for an affordable place to live in a market where that’s increasingly hard to find.

They’ve tried to place the blame for their failure on COVID-19 — but all signs seem to indicate that they had it coming.

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Business News

Las Vegas’ largest dispensary gets massive Infinity Wall expansion

(BUSINESS NEWS) Las Vegas’s largest dispensary is getting a big, expensive makeover, thriving while other brick-and-mortar shops are struggling.

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Planet 13, Las Vegas's largest dispensary, set to get a huge expansion.

Have you ever heard of an Infinity Wall? If I were you, I’d check it out right now because it’s utterly mesmerizing.

An 80-foot version of this wall is just one of the new features that Planet 13 (or The Company) announced it will be implementing in Las Vegas’ largest dispensary, The SuperStore, this past Monday. In addition to the futuristic entertainment feature (I honestly can’t get over that thing), they will be doubling the sales floor and expanding the dispensary to ~23,000 sq. ft. For reference, the entire Planet 13 SuperStore complex is 112,000 sq.ft.

Why expand an already massive dispensary during a pandemic, when most brick and mortar stores are suffering? Well, according to Larry Scheffler, Co-CEO of Planet 13, The Superstore is actually thriving beyond belief.

“We are achieving record sales even with Las Vegas at ~50% tourist occupancy. As Las Vegas returns to normal and this industry continues to grow, we anticipate that this will be first of many expansions we will undertake to keep up with demand.”

The expansion adds 40 points of sale to uphold the outstanding customer service reputation Planet 13 has. If you do have to wait, you have a state-of-the-art entertainment system to enjoy. It’s win-win for any and all visitors.

The CapEx cost of the expansion between is $1.5 – $2.5 million. The project is expected come to completion by the end of Q1 2021.

Las Vegas has become a sort of cannabis mecca. After all, it’s home to MJBizCon, the industry’s largest networking event attended by thousands from around the world. And the popularity and overall acceptance makes it an easy choice for any cannabis aficionados. The SuperStore, like most things in Las Vegas, is huge, glamorous, and caters to tourists.

I have no doubt that when the city bounces back from the pandemic, this new-and-improved dispensary will be a must-visit destination.

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Business News

The future of work from home will be a hybrid, says Google CEO

(BUSINESS NEWS) Google is looking to adapt a more flexible, long-term hybrid work model for their employees, which includes partially working from home and partially being on-site.

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Work from home woman at a laptop.

Google, the world’s largest search engine company (yes I know they do other things), is positing that the corporate office will look completely different post-COVID-19.

In September Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai said that the organization was making changes to its offices that would better support employees in the future. This includes “reconfiguring” office spaces to accommodate “on-sites”, days when employees who regularly work from home will come into the workplace. The move comes after Google was one of the first major tech companies to announce that employees could possibly work from home through next summer.

“I see the future as definitely being more flexible,” Pichai said during a video interview for Time 100, “We firmly believe that in-person, being together, having that sense of community, is super important for whenever you have to solve hard problems, you have to create something new,” he said. “So we don’t see that changing, so we don’t think the future is just 100% remote or something.”

It was reported that Google’s decision to work remotely into mid-2021 was originally in part to help employees whose children might be learning remotely during the coronavirus pandemic. Pichai said that several factors went into the decision, stating that improving productivity was a major concern.

“Early on as this started, I realized it was going to be a period of tremendous uncertainty, so we wanted to lean in and give certainty where we could,” Pichai said. “The reason we made the decision to do work from home until mid of next year is we realized people were trying hard to plan… and it was affecting productivity.”

Pichai also mentioned that the decision would help the firm embrace the reality that remote working wasn’t going anywhere once things returned to normal. A recent survey at Google found that 62% of employees felt they only need to be in the office on occasion, while 20% felt they didn’t need to be in the office whatsoever. While the work from home trend had already been growing over the past several years, the pandemic accelerated that movement greatly.

With housing costs surging in the San Francisco area, where Google headquarters resides, many employees have been forced to move outside of the city to afford a mortgage. This caused many to commute long hours into the office, something Pichai realized was a problem.

“It’s always made me wonder, when I see people commuting two hours and away from their families and friends, on a Friday, you realize they can’t have plans,” Pichai said. “So I think we can do better.”

It’s too early to tell whether or not Pichai’s vision of a “hybrid model” will be adopted by other companies when the pandemic ends. One thing is for certain though—work will never be what is pre-COVID-19.

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