For what it’s worth, I think Ian Cochrane’s and Michael Peter’s views, reported by Design Week, are bull, and I don’t apologies for saying it (my views, of course, are my own and not representative of the University or my colleague!) However, see what you think:
Industry heavyweight Ian Cochrane is recommending design students to ‘get out’ of the sector, which ‘does not need you’, as the recession bites.
Cochrane is managing director of management consultancy Ticegroup and former managing director of both Fitch and Landor Europe.
Cochrane tells Design Week, ‘There are still too many people coming out of design courses, and there simply aren’t the jobs for them.’
He recommends that students enter alternative occupations and gain experience outside the design sector.
‘Look for jobs in industries that have vacancies – I mean, if you want to design restaurants, it is good to have worked in one or two,’ he says.
Branding guru Michael Peters concurs, saying, ‘There is too big a supply of young designers and far too many people doing mediocre work.’
According to recent figures published by the Office for National Statistics, every sector of the economy recorded a fall in vacancies last quarter.
Chartered Institute of Personnel chief economist Dr John Philpott says, ‘This looks to be a jobs recession that is favouring the over-50s ahead of younger people. This may be because employers are implementing recruitment freezes more widely than in previous recessions, which disproportionately hits people entering the labour market.’
If you remember the talk by Emma Murphy from Graven Images on branding, I said afterwards that if you were currently working part time in a shop or restaurant, you need to see it as valuable work experience for a design career by using the opportunity to observe customers, colleagues, the way the company communicates its values and so on. So Cochrane’s comment about working in a restaurant isn’t entirely out there. But the sentiment is, I think, completely uncalled for and unhelpful.
No doubt this issue will be a hot one for a couple of weeks in the letters page of Design Week (feel free to contribute!) so keep an eye on it in the library.
So… What do you you think? (You can comment anonymously if you want!)
If you look at the Design Week web page you’ll see a lot of other comments, most of them (when I read it) disagreeing and being fairly critical of the opinions in the article.