Here’s some good news for those looking to land a creative job: Recent research by The Creative Group found that hiring in the industry is on an upswing. 12% of advertising and marketing executives surveyed plan to add new positions in the second half of 2014, while 73% anticipate maintaining current staff levels. 12% said they don’t plan to fill open roles, down from 22% in the first six months of the year.
This thawing of hiring freezes is a sign of growing confidence in business prospects. Below are more details about the employment outlook for creative professionals and today’s most in-demand creative jobs.
Signs of the time: New business and talent shortage
About one-quarter (24%) of survey respondents said they expect to add account services professionals to their teams. Why? Agencies are seeing more business and need support managing existing and new clients. Another 21% and 19% of executives anticipate hiring brand/product management and media services professionals, respectively, indicating greater investments in advertising. Rounding out the top five are social media (17%) and mobile development (16%) – two burgeoning areas in the creative industry.
Midsize agencies (50-99 employees) expect to see the most hiring activity. At the same time, they also report the greatest difficulty finding creative talent, with 40% of respondents saying it’s somewhat or very challenging.
That’s because there’s a shortage of talented workers with specialized skills, according to The Creative Group’s 2014 Salary Guide. As a result, employers are increasingly reaching out to freelancers to help manage workloads and take advantage of their expertise on an as-needed basis.
The most in-demand creative jobs
So, what are the hottest creative jobs? It’s no surprise that many of them require technical expertise. Check out these in-demand positions:
- You can thank a mobile designer for those favorite apps on your smartphone’s home screen. Creating engaging content is the mobile designer’s life. This individual plays an integral part on a creative team, seeing an app from mere idea through launch, and then starting again for the next version. Talented mobile designers who can work across all the top platforms, including Android, BlackBerry, HTML5 and iOS, are highly sought.
- A clean, intuitive and compelling website is a must-have for businesses of all sizes today. In steps the web designer, who melds art and technology for clients who rely on this virtual presence to promote their products or services. Experienced web designers have a thorough command of design software, computer languages, user experience and project management.
- The foundation of the creative field has long been graphic designers. These versatile professionals take a concept, and present and execute it for clients – all while meeting tight deadlines and staying within budget. Those with mobile and web expertise are in greatest demand.
- Social media managers must have it all: command of the most popular platforms, a cunning way with words, an eye for images and videos, an understanding of popular culture, leadership chops, excellent judgment and discernment, and the ability to monitor and analyze large amounts of data and information. With a team of content creators behind them, social media managers are the architects of a company’s social media image.
- As a bonus, here’s a hot job of the future: creative technologist. As with most in-demand jobs in the industry, creative technologists understand the artistic process while being able to use leading-edge tools to make design a reality. They are conceptualizers and executors of those innovative concepts.
The bottom line: The demand for creative professionals with in-demand skills exceeds the supply. If you want to take your career to the next level, keep in mind these growing areas as you seek additional training. Then, update your digital portfolio and resume and start tracking down opportunities, whether at your current company or with a new employer.
Want to move your career forward? Learn real-world strategies for creating powerful user experience with the HOW Interactive Design Conference. Register by midnight tonight for the Early Bird discount.