7 cool design jobs you never even knew were a thing

Jun 24 2021, 9:58 am

If you’re the type to always have a sketchbook around — or if you consider yourself to be somewhat of an art enthusiast — you might be surprised to learn that those doodles could amount to a real creative career in one of many design jobs.

Digital design, in particular, is a growing field with a deluge of ever-expanding job prospects and career opportunities — many of which you’ve probably never heard of. Due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic, the demand for digital designers is greater than ever, with web designers and developers now landing in the top eight best-paying tech jobs in Canada.

Designed to help prospective designers of all kinds step up their skills, Emily Carr’s University of Design + Art (ECU) has launched a new selection of Digital Design Skills courses.

At the helm of each course are practicing designers who are there to help you master design software like Adobe PhotoshopAdobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, and Adobe CC for Design and Production.

The unique structure of the courses is designed to enable you to earn skill badges for each completed course with customized learning pathways that allow you to grow alongside your burgeoning career.

Taking these beginner courses could be the first step towards learning about design and building a toolkit that can help you grow in your current job or inspire you to embark on a new career path. Speaking of careers, here are just a few of the exciting design-related jobs you could find yourself in that you might not even know existed.

Interactive media developer

In BC, media development is a super in-demand occupation. As more and more businesses and organizations transition online, they need experts who can help them translate their brand and messaging to the digital world.

A skilled interactive media developer is able to design digital products and services that effectively engage users. This emerging line of work requires a background in computer science and programming and involves working in a slew of different mediums — from computer games to mobile apps and films.

Web designer

Alright, you’ve probably already heard of this one, but we included it because it’s among the design careers that are on the rise in BC.

As a web designer, it’s your job to create the webpage and website interfaces we interact with on a day-to-day basis. It’s a creative pursuit that involves combining appealing visuals with sounds and multimedia assets, like images and videos.

User interface designer

Similar to a web designer, a user interface (UI) designer works in the realm of creating websites that are visually appealing and functional. But, in this case, you’re tasked solely with considering a website’s interface from the user’s perspective by making it intuitive and easy to navigate.

Special effects artist

Possibly one of the coolest design jobs out there is working as a special effects artist. These masters of illusion are able to create photoreal, digitally generated imagery that works so seamlessly that you think what you’re seeing on TV, in movies, and in video games is real.

From superhero movies to extra-terrestrial video games, these artists use the latest technology to design computer-generated characters and worlds.

Animation designer

Animation designers are tasked with using computer technology to produce 2D and 3D images and effects for films, TV shows, and video games.

If you’ve ever wondered, animation is generated when art and technology are combined to create movement. It’s an ultra collaborative career that involves working with graphic designers, photographers, producers, and other animators.

Concept artist

Working in more of an abstract capacity are concept artists who guide the overarching concept and style of a design project.

Concept artists work in a plethora of different realms, creating visuals for everything from cartoons to video games, real estate renderings, comic book illustrations, and more. Working for movie studios, gaming companies, ad agencies, graphic design firms, and architectural firms are all options for these versatile professionals.

Digital developer

Put simply, a digital developer is a technical expert who works in a variety of different mediums — websites, apps, and other online platforms — to design and develop projects.

A strong background in front-end web development is a must to work in this role, as is a passion for problem-solving and working with design interfaces.


To learn more about ECU’s Web + Digital Design Skills courses and much more, or to register, visit ecuad.ca/cs.

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