Emerging designers are 97% happy with their transferable skills.

A survey conducted by New Designers reveals 90% of young design graduates are confident of finding employment in the creative sector within one year of graduating, with 97% feeling fully equipped with the transferable skills needed to succeed.

A poll of exhibitors also discovered that 69% of new designers have undertaken industry work experience before graduating, with 42% expecting to open their own business within 5 years.


Over half of this year’s design graduates, 57%, believe that they will still be earning under the national average wage of £26,500 after five years of graduating. An optimistic 9% see themselves earning over £40,000 within this time.

Of the 90% who are confident of finding employment, 46% expect this to take the form of paid work, with another 44% prepared to take on unpaid work experience before landing the right role.

New Designers director Isobel Dennis, commented: “I find these results very encouraging. They are grounded, intelligent and realistic. Studying a creative degree encourages you to explore and discover what your potential is. Qualifying from a creative degree equips you with great skills for the working world. The nature of their structure promotes individuals to problem solve, work in shared environments, regularly critique their ideas and organise together in groups, all of which inspires creative and productive work.”

A third of those polled believe that creativity is the quality most admired by prospective employers, above attributes such as entrepreneurialism, experience, innovation, professionalism, communication skills and technical skills.

For design graduates, innovation and problem solving are deemed to be the most essential, with ‘making a difference to society’ also scoring 17% of the share.

The New Designers annual event, which exhibits the best of emerging designers across the UK at the Business Design Centre, London, has helped launch the careers of Thomas Heatherwick, Bethan Gray and Matthew Williamson.

3,000 exhibitors selected from universities and colleges from across the UK are expected at this year’s two-part event from June 25 to 28 and July 2 to 5.