Students completing degrees in creative subjects could be forgiven for feeling pessimistic about their chances of getting a job straight away, particularly as most are expected to undertake work placements for very little or no money, just to obtain the experience they need to get an actual job.
So why aren’t universities teaching the skills that students need to get a job straight away? Most people who have worked for several years in the design industry will say that they didn’t really learn anything at university and that the education really began when they were thrown in at the industry deep-end. I don’t think this is strictly true.
At university you will be taught how to approach problems and how to think as a designer. You will then be given three years of creative freedom to create all manner of things, using a variety of mediums. During this time you’ll likely be given opportunities to learn various software, but mostly you will muddle through and get yourself to a workable stage in the relevant programmes.
When you start working, you realise that what you knew might not be particularly relevant or efficient in the ‘real world’ and you quickly learn on the job (and from your new colleagues who hopefully have the time to impart their advice), thus creating the foundations of your skillset. What you have to remember is that this skillset will back up the creativity and thinking that you learned at university, and it simply isn’t possible to have one without the other.