Within the last few months I've been actively job searching. I went on a few interviews, I met with talent recruitment agencies, I networked. At times this seems like an endless cycle. Some days I am hopeful and apply to ten jobs in one sitting. Other days, I find myself listless. Any college graduate looking for their first entry level job can relate.
With some observation, I found some similarities in responses that I have received. A common phrase is "we're looking for someone with more experience." Another is, "we feel that you do not have enough coding skills for the position." Today I met with a recruiter who told me that "what companies are looking for now is a hybrid designer."
What is a hybrid designer? Mashable has an article that explains the dilemma quite well. The gist of the hybrid designer is that there is a growing need for designers who have traditional skills (layout, printing processes, etc.) as well as coding skills. Since the rise of the internet, social networking, applications for mobile devices, you name it...there has been a growing need for the hybrid designer who can do everything.
While the hybrid designer sounds like a perfect mix of designer and developer, it can be a difficult dilemma for the job candidate. For instance, in my schooling there were two concentrations to study: web design and multimedia. Most students only chose one concentration and left it at that. The problem is that a hybrid designer doesn't typically exist in college (unless you want to double major). A hybrid designer sounds as mythical as a griffin or a centaur.
For now, I will be teaching myself some coding and will most likely take a few courses at my community college on specific languages. It may take a few years, however, until I am at a level where I can call myself a developer. In conclusion, I am sure there are designer hybrids out there, but probably very few college grads.
Questions? Thoughts? I'd love to hear more about what other designers/developers have to say on the issue.