AIGA recently did a study with Adobe to see what skill set designers in 2015 will need to stay competitive. They are ranked in order:
1. Ability to create and develop visual response to communication problems
2. Ability to solve communication problems including identifying the problem, researching, analysis, solution generating, prototyping, user test and outcome evaluation
3. Broad understanding of issues related to the cognitive, social, cultural, technological and economic contexts for design.
4. Ability to respond to audience contexts recognizing physical, cognitive, cultural and social human factors that shape design decisions.
5. Understanding of and ability to utilize tools and technology.
6. Ability to be flexible, nimble and dynamic in practice.
7. Management and communication skills necessary to function productively in large interdisciplinary teams and “flat” organizational structures.
8. Understanding of how systems behave and aspects that contribute to sustainable products, strategies and practices.
9. Ability to construct verbal arguments for solutions that address diverse users/audiences; lifespan issues; and business/organizational operations.
10. Ability to work in a global environment with understanding of cultural preservation.
11. Ability to collaborate productively in large interdisciplinary teams.
12. Understanding of ethics in practice.
13. Understanding of nested items including cause and effect; ability to develop project evaluation criteria that account for audience and context.
Any thoughts on whether or not these are attainable or if there are more skills you think will be a requirement for future designers? I wonder if designers right out of art school are being taught these disciplines or if they just come out just knowing the technical information and aren’t given the skills to think creatively and holistically.