Consultancies should be investing in graduates

I read with interest the comments put forward by James Sommerville (Letters, DW 27 June) and the article by Clive Grinyer (Private View, 27 June) in the same issue.

As a recently graduated graphic designer I share the apprehensions of many new designers looking for work. The market is very dry at present and I agree that new designers should be looking at other avenues to explore within the creative field.

I would like to point out however that I see little point of setting up new MA courses to teach the business side of working in a design consultancy when a) students are already rolling in debt up to their ears, and although some MAs have grant schemes attached to them, the majority of MA courses have to be self-funded, and b) this is what the more proactive and discerning consultancies should be involving their new recruits in anyway.

After all, there is no MA course in life. The best way of learning it is to experience it – and you learn a lot faster that way.

In response to Grinyer’s article, I personally find his comments patronising. How can anyone say, and I quote: ‘We already have enough designers’.

Do you also think we have enough teachers and doctors? Every year tens of thousands of designers graduate from university, but so do similar numbers of people that study law, english, economics and so on.

Do we tell them not to bother? Admittedly design is a commodity, and goes through ever changing fashions, but as a society we need design and want design.

What happens when the ‘experienced designers’ retire – will someone stand up and say ‘I think we need to train some young designers now’? I don’t think so.

I didn’t get my BA in graphic design to become an accountant. And I am sure an accountant or bank manager has enough to worry about without thinking about design.

What needs to be done is for teaching of core business practice in design to be started at roots level within the higher education system, and not left by the way.

It can then be put into practice when in a real working environment, if anyone can get past that initial ‘2-3 years’ experience required’ barrier.

Dan Cox

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