Industry's Most Wanted: Top Graphic Design Skills Employers Are Seeking

There’s a lot to learn when it comes to becoming a graphic design pro. You could spend hours identifying and refining the skills that you think might be in demand. But with how quickly the design industry can change, it’s important to know exactly what skills employers are looking for.

Today’s your lucky day.

We used real-time analysis from Burning-Glass.com to comb through more than 8,500 job postings to identify the exact graphic design skills employers are seeking.* You can rest assured that with this information you’re focusing on learning the right skills on your way to becoming a graphic designer.

What do employers want in a graphic design candidate?

Our analysis helped us determine the top 15 graphic design skills employers are looking for in prospective candidates.  It’s important to remember that the skills needed to work as a graphic designer vary from position to position, and in the case of freelance designers, there may be some non-design skills that are essential to your success.

top graphic design skills

How can you maximize this information to boost your hiring potential?

1.Self-evaluate

Take a look at the list above and reflect on how you stack up when it comes to the skills most in-demand. Is there anything with which you’re completely unfamiliar? If so, it might be a good idea to at least acquaint yourself with these skills.

2.Refine your abilities

Now that you know where you stand with regards to the most desirable skills, it’s time to hone your abilities. Some designers swear by the do-it-yourself approach and rely on tutorials while others prefer to earn a degree to develop their skills. No matter what route you take, it’s important to have a very strong grasp of a handful of these skills in order to make an impression in the graphic design industry.

3.Develop your portfolio

Graphic design is the ultimate ‘show-me’ field, so it’s important to build a portfolio that demonstrates your talents. Anybody can say they’re a Photoshop guru on a resume, but a strategic, well-constructed portfolio will show employers or clients exactly how well you know your stuff. Not sure where to start? These tips for creating a graphic design portfolio will get you on the right track. 

Next steps

Now that you’ve got a clear picture of what graphic design skills employers are seeking, it’s time to groom yourself into the best candidate possible. Before you get too far ahead of yourself, learn a bit more about the ins and out of the career by checking out this article: What I Wish Someone Told Me BEFORE Becoming a Graphic Designer.


*Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 8,748 graphic design job postings, Jun. 17, 2014 – Jun. 16, 2015.)

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in December 2012. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2015.


This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college and Public Benefit Corporation.

Will is a Content Marketing Specialist at Collegis Education. He researches and writes student-focused articles on a variety of topics for Rasmussen College. He is passionate about learning and enjoys writing engaging content to help current and future students on their path to a rewarding education.

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