The Golden Age of Design

On Friday, September 23, Mike Monteiro came to Emory & Henry College to give a presentation about careers in design. The lyceum was highlighted by Monteiro’s honest and witty character as he exposed the truths about working in the design field.

Monteiro works for Mule Design and has years of design experience. His presentation entitled, “The Golden Age of Design,” dealt with the issues that are frequently occurring for young designers.

With technology and marketing on the rise, Monteiro points out that “this is the golden age of design” but “we are screwed.” The main issue that Monteiro described is how the high demand for designers leads to inexperienced design students that head straight into the workforce with little to no experience.

In his talk, Monteiro says that a college degree cannot fully prepare these students with the essential business skills they need. He points out that most design students are not ready for the challenges that come with working for the unsteady startup companies that will hire many of them.

So, what’s the solution? Monteiro said that students need to put in work as interns or understudies to experienced designers before they can expect to be ready for a career in the field. According to him, the fundamentals of design have not changed and the “old guys” have a lot to teach. Working at the bottom level, though unattractive, is needed for success.

“Confidence isn’t about knowing everything, it’s about being able to admit you need to learn,” said Monteiro, underlining his advice to young designers.

If these college grads could become experienced and adept designers, Monteiro says, we could focus on the “real problems” that need solving. In this world, startup businesses could even have a greater success rate. Monteiro says that these designers could ultimately “design the world better.”

– Sydney Cooke

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