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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.

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Business News

$100m reimagined convenience store startup to open 25 stores in 2022

(BUSINESS) Foxtrot is looking to redefine the convenience store as we know it. This startup is looking to make it a whole new experience.

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Laptop with Foxtrot convenience store locations in Chicago.

Move over 7-11, there’s a new player in town! There’s always room for competition, even in the world of convenience stores. Yes, you read that right, Quick Trip has some serious competition from a newcomer, Foxtrot.

Foxtrot is a curated, modern convenience store offering a brisk 30-minute delivery and 5-minute pick-up. It was created by Mike LaVitola and Taylor Bloom in 2014. These stores will undoubtedly be popular in walkable areas, but also with their online ordering convenience. This modern version of a convenience store offers the combination of an upscale corner store with a digital-first e-commerce platform. Sounds pretty glorious, right?

However, the original convenience store is safe as long as people are traveling and need to stop for gas or a restroom break.  If you’re from Texas, then you know and love, Buc-ee’s, the Texas-born chain. Buc-ee’s have been creating their own in-store products garnering a cult following among their customers. Still, Buc-ee’s doesn’t have an online ordering or delivery option unless it’s offered through a third party.

Foxtrot has raised $160 million in Series C funding and they are expecting to open 25 locations in many cities in 2022. There are a few different levels of funding. If a company makes it to Series C funding, they are already successful and looking to expand or develop new products per Investopedia.

According to Retail Dive, “About half of the new stores will be in Chicago, Dallas and Washington, where all of the 16 stores Foxtrot currently operates are located, LaVitola said. The tech-focused retailer is also planning to begin operations in Boston and Austin, and intends to open four or five new stores in each of those cities during the next year and a half, he said.”

Foxtrot is testing out technology equipment that would allow customers to leave the store without stopping to checkout at the counter. They plan isn’t to go entirely self-service, but as the creator LaVitola stated, “the more hours we can allocate towards sampling and storytelling and interacting with customers and less [on] tasks that don’t add on to value, like checkout, that’s great.”

Foxtrot is redefining convenience by including carefully curated products. They aim to offer local popular products as well core pantry items. They aim to make the commonly unpleasant experience of convenience stores enjoyable. Let’s hope they succeed.

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Business News

What small business owners can learn from Starbucks’ new D&I strategy

(BUSINESS) Diversity and inclusion have been at the forefront of Starbucks’ mission, but now they’re shifting strategy. What can we learn from it?

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Hands of all different skin colors on green background representing Starbucks' D&I.

Starbucks was one of many companies that promised to focus on diversity and inclusion efforts after the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police in 2020. What sets Starbucks apart from other companies were its specific goals.

How It Started

They began with hiring targets and have now added goals in corporate and manufacturing roles. Starbucks’ plans and goals revolve around transparency for accountability. They released the annual numbers for 2021 as a way to help hold themselves accountable. The data they’ve released so far show that they’ve met nearly a third of their 2025 goals according to Retail Brew. Because of this information, we can see why they are choosing to move in the direction of manufacturing and corporate jobs. In 2021, POC’s fell to 12.5% of director-level employees from 14.3% in 2020 in manufacturing.

How It’s Going

Per Starbucks’ website stories and news, “[I]t will increase its annual spend with diverse suppliers to $1.5 billion by 2030.  As part of this commitment, Starbucks will partner with other organizations to develop and grow supplier diversity excellence globally.” To put that into perspective, they spent nearly $800 million with diverse suppliers in 2021. With these moves, by 2030, it will increase by almost double.

As part of their accountability and progress, they plan to partner up with Arizona State University to give out free toolkits to entrepreneurs on fundamentals for running successful diverse-owned businesses. Another goal they’ve listed is to boost paid media representation by allocating 15 percent of the advertising budget to minority-owned and targeted media companies to reach diverse audiences.

At the heart of all this information on their goals and future plans, data transparency and accountability are what’s forcing them to look at the numbers to make specific goals. They are doing more than just throwing money at the problem, they are analyzing how they can do better and where the money will make a difference. Something that, as entrepreneurs, we should all do.

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Business News

Peloton is back-pedaling: Reports of price increases, layoffs, and cost cuts

(BUSINESS) After a recording of layoffs leaks, ‘supply chain’ issues cause shipping increases, and they consult for cost-cutting, Peloton is doomed.

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Man riding Peloton bike with instructor pointing encouragingly during workout.

Is Peloton in Trouble?

According to many reports, Peloton had success early in the pandemic when gyms shut down. Offering consumers a way to connect with a community for fitness along with varying financing options allowed the company to see growth when many other industries were being shuttered.

After two years, CNBC reports that the company is “being impacted by …supply chain challenges” and rising inflation costs. According to the report, customers will be paying an additional $250 for its bike and $350 for its tread for delivery and setup.

As demand has decreased, Peloton is also considering layoffs in their sales and marketing departments, overheard in a leaked audio call. The recording details executives discussing “Project Fuel” where they plan to cut 41% of the sales and marketing teams, as well as letting go of eCommerce employees and frontline workers at 15 retail stores.

Nasdaq reported that the stock fell 75% last year, after a year where it soared over 400%.

Peloton reviewing its overall structure

According to another report from CNBC, Peloton is working with McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm, to lower costs as revenue has dropped and the growth of new subscriptions has slowed since the pandemic. Last November, according to NPR, Peloton had “its worst day as a publicly-traded company.” It also anticipates greater losses in 2022 than originally predicted. It makes sense that the company would reexamine their strategy as the economy changes. They aren’t the only one that is raising prices amid supply chain issues.

It will be interesting to watch how Peloton fares

Peloton has a large community that pays a monthly fee for connected fitness. While growth has slowed, the company still has a strong share of consumers. Although it is facing more competition in the home fitness market and more gyms are reopening, as Peloton adjusts to the new normal, it should remain a viable company.

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