With the recession having cut Boston’s design market by 80 percent, some firms are starting to see a recovery.
But they’re still finding it hard to fill positions.
And some of the new hires aren’t exactly the same as those who started the job, says Katherine S. O’Brien, an associate professor at Harvard Business School and author of the book “Bust the B.S.: How to Get a Job in Design.”
Here’s what you need to know about how to get hired.
Where to find work?
Boston’s tech scene is booming, with a $3 billion tech-heavy economy and hundreds of tech companies.
The best companies have a robust and vibrant recruiting process that helps people get a foot in the door, says Jonathan Siegel, an analyst with Morningstar.
You can search for work on job boards or hire through a software platform called Taskshift.
Boston has several job sites that let you apply for the best ones.
How much does it cost?
Some of the best companies can charge between $30,000 and $80,000 a year for entry-level positions.
But others can start with just $20,000.
For a designer, that’s less than half the $120,000-a-year average salary for a Boston resident.
And the best jobs require experience and a solid portfolio.
“The industry is booming.
It’s a little different than before, but I would say that is an optimistic forecast,” says Daniel T. Shipp, an assistant professor at Boston University.
What kind of skills do I need to get the job?
“There’s a lot of different kinds of design work that we’re looking for,” Siegel says.
For instance, you might need to design a social media app or a home decor product.
“If you want to work with a group, you need some experience with team work,” says Siegel.
And if you’re looking to work on something like a virtual reality or augmented reality experience, you’ll need to be able to design and build those things yourself.
For people looking for a job in design, he suggests a bachelor’s degree in design.
“Design is a great skill set,” says Shipp.
Where do I start?
There’s a wealth of information online for new designers.
But there are also a few basic resources that could help you start out.
“It’s not really a good idea to start from scratch,” says O’Bryan.
She suggests starting with a portfolio, or taking classes to build up your skills.
You might also consider taking a design certification course, which is a type of design certification that helps you pass design and technical exams, she says.
You may want to start by taking a “design design course” that takes you through some basic design concepts.
O-Bryan says that’s not the best way to start.
“There are some really good resources online,” she says, but she’s not recommending that.
You could try to apply to a program like Udacity, which offers free online courses for some designers.
Udacity offers classes for a variety of subjects, but it’s a good place to start, especially if you want a job designing apps.
And Siegel recommends a design degree, as well.
“We know that people who are designers tend to have really good design skills,” she said.
How do I get hired?
It can be hard to get an interview if you don’t have a good portfolio.
Siegel points out that a good job description can be a great way to get your foot in design school.
But if you do have a portfolio to show, you can also work with recruiters and find job openings.
You don’t need to have a specific portfolio to get interviews.
“You can look at what other people have done and try to do something that’s similar,” says T.J. Johnson, a design recruiter who has worked in Boston for more than 30 years.
“A great way is to just make a video,” he says.
Can I get a break from design?
You may not get the top jobs on your resume if you spend time with designers.
The people you interview for design jobs are typically people who have experience working in a creative field, says O-Siegel.
That can be an advantage if you can build up a portfolio and a portfolio of work.
If you’re not in the design field, it can also be a problem.
“People have said that they want to get into design because they like design,” says Johnson.
“That can be the case, but a lot will depend on what your background is and what you do.”
Can you teach me something new?
Some designers have a natural inclination to create a lot and don’t want to spend time on their own projects, says Johnson, who has also worked in the industry for more 20 years.
For example, if you like the look of an