How learning to 'Think like a Designer' gives access to fantastic career choices

AOD invites parents to encourage creative thinking among students, as more careers in fashion, animation, graphic design and interior design emerge with the business world’s increasing demand for designers 

We are at a time when the career landscape in Sri Lanka is changing parallel to the needs of the business world. A new career path emerging from the most current needs of many industries, is 'design'. Today, designers are in high demand because creatively thought out services and products are today's best sellers throughout the world economy. This essential touch of creative thinking for commercial product and services, is delivered by designers. Whether it is being a fashion designer for the country’s massive apparel business, a successful packaging designer for tea exports, a high-paid interior designer for the hotel industry or an animation artist in television, the design careers presented today are as diverse as they are rewarding.

At the forefront of this shift in Sri Lanka is AOD - the country’s dynamic design educator. Being the preferred design partner by the government and industries of Sri Lanka, AOD has been instrumental in linking design talent with business by employing 100% of their graduates in design careers locally and overseas. AOD Principal, British design expert Karen MacLeod, spoke about the increasing demand for designers and hence, the importance of students and parents beginning to ‘think design’. “We often have creatively thinking students who have pursued traditional career paths due to social pressure, but realise that it is not for them halfway down the line and come in search of design as a path that fulfills them. By making both students and parents understand early on, how powerful design careers are today, we can help young people find the correct career path without being mislead. That’s why we’re inviting everyone to think design this season. AOD will be hosting a series of events and public campaigns to share this idea.”


How does one access design careers? What are the qualifications needed by a professional designer? Although self taught designers or those with average diploma certificates were considered adequate in the past, in the recent times Sri Lanka has seen the advent of degree holding design graduates into the business world raising the bar in terms of expectations and quality. This shift also marked the professionalisation of design as a serious career path with standard starting salaries etc. Karen MacLeod stated that a degree is now considered the standard qualification for a designer looking for a good career. Further, she stated the importance of design degrees baring relevance in an international sense; "Today, designers don't necessarily work only on local projects in isolation. Designers need to have the ability to design for clienteles from anywhere in the world, especially as the biggest employers for design in Sri Lanka are often working with foreign markets such as in the case of apparel, tea export and tourism. This is why a degree that is in par with the rest of the world is considered essential."

AOD, has set up a series of internationally recognised British design degrees to provide specialised professionals for the country. Offered in partnership with the prestigious Northumbria University UK, these degrees have been especially structured to feed qualified graduates directly into the biggest local industries that have the most demand for designers. As the business world demands for more qualified designers and 'design' becomes known as one of the best career choices.