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Industry Snapshot: Graphic & Digital Design

December 3, 2021
Industry Snapshot: Interior Design

Today’s graphic, Web, and interactive designers must constantly adapt to new technologies and changing visual culture. Elevate your graphic design skills with our Graphic & Digital Design Certificate. This five-course certificate teaches you basic design skills such as concept, type, layout, and color, as well as training in industry-standard software. The course is project-based and provides opportunities to connect with experienced faculty who are at the forefront of their fields.

"In the Parsons graphic design certificate, we cover the history of graphic design, typography; many courses are about tools that you will be using. At the end you will walk away with a professional portfolio that you can use to advance your career." — Anselm Dästner, Graphic and Digital Design instructor.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 23,900 openings for graphic designers are projected each year until 2030. U.S. News & World Report notes that Graphic Designers have an above average upward mobility, with greater opportunities for advancement. Diversity stats on the graphic design field from Zippia show that in 2021, women earned 95% of what men earned, with 48.0% of graphic designers being women compared to 47.6% which are men. Also, 26% of all graphic designers are LGBTQIA+. Additionally, Black or African American graphic designers have the highest average salary compared to other ethnicities.

As reported by the job market resource EMSI, there were 86,266 total job postings for U.S. graphic & digital design positions from October 2020 to October 2021. To take a deeper look into what graphic and digital design companies are looking for in the current climate, we have compiled more relevant statistics of the field below.

Top Hiring Locations

  • New York, NY
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Washington, DC
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Boston, MA
  • Austin, TX
  • Dallas, TX
  • Philadelphia, PA

[Source: EMSI]

Top Hard Skills

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Indesign
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Typography
  • Branding
  • Web Design
  • HTML

[Source: EMSI]

EMSI Graphic Design 2021

Top paying states for Graphic Designers: 


Employment (1)

Employment per thousand jobs 

Location quotient (9)

Hourly mean wage 

Annual mean wage (2)

District of Columbia




$ 39.94

$ 83,070





$ 37.02

$ 77,000





$ 33.74

$ 70,180

New York




$ 32.82

$ 68,260





$ 32.14

$ 66,850


[Source: bls.gov]

Important Qualities for Graphic Designers

  • Analytical skills. Graphic designers must be able to perceive their work from their consumers’ point of view to ensure that the designs convey the client’s message.
  • Artistic ability. Graphic designers must be able to create designs that are artistically interesting and appealing to clients and consumers. They produce rough illustrations of design ideas, either by hand sketching or by using computer programs.
  • Communication skills. Graphic designers must communicate with clients, customers, and other designers to ensure that their designs accurately and effectively convey information.
  • Computer skills. Most graphic designers use specialized graphic design software to prepare their designs. Creativity. Graphic designers must be able to think of new approaches to communicating ideas to consumers. They develop unique designs that convey their client’s message.
  • Time-management skills. Graphic designers often work simultaneously on multiple projects, each with a different deadline.

[Source: bls.gov]

Additional Resources

Bureau of Labor Statistics



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