A digital career fair this week revealed that Web and Graphic Design is the most popular career choice among Manchester students and graduates.
Digital jobs board Bubble Jobs quizzed 100 students at the Manchester Digital Talent Day at the Town Hall on Thursday about their future career plans.
A third of all students and graduates surveyed said they would love a career in web or graphic design, with many already seeking opportunities in and around the North West.
The results will come as welcome news to the digital industry which is currently calling out for talented graphic and web designers all over the UK.
Figures from Bubble Jobs show there were just under 5,000 graphic and web design advertised on the digital jobs board last year – which represents just under 10 per cent of the total posted on the site last year.
Bubble Jobs MD Adam Butwilowski said: “It’s great to see students embracing the more creative side of the digital industry, especially as there are so many opportunities out there for graphic and web designers.
“During our team at the Manchester Digital Talent Day, we came across many students who wanted to use their creative skills in their career and were seeking advice on how to make this happen.
“It was fantastic to hear that so many of the attendees had created online portfolios to showcase their work, a lot of which was at an extremely high level.”
Pauline Tambling, Joint CEO of Creative and Cultural Skills, a licensed sector skills council, observed that “more and more young people want to get into digital design”.
She added that there is “huge potential here for the UK’s creative economy”.
Bubble advertised just under 4,000 junior and entry-level positions in 2013 – seven per cent of the total roles posted – suggesting there is a demand for raw digital talent within the industry.
While the survey showed digital marketing (24 per cent) and software development (13 per cent) were also popular career choices, it also highlighted a large disinterest in the booming mobile apps industry.
This comes just a day after a report released by NUI Galway and Gigaom revealed that the EU app economy could be worth up to £51.7 billion within five years.
The “Sizing The EU App Economy” Report suggested that the EU app developer workforce could grow from one million in 2013 to 2.8 million in 2018 – a claim which Bubble fully supports.
In 2013, the jobs board advertised just under 4,500 jobs in the field of mobile apps development, suggesting demand is already high for candidates in this sector.
Speaking at the launch of the report in Brussels yesterday, Vice President of the EU Commission Neelie Kroes said the EU needs to do more to do more to boost digital skills at all levels.
She said: “The amazing scale of the European app economy is big and getting bigger, with 1.8 million jobs, rising to nearly 5 million by 2018, and with revenues of 17.5 billion euros, rising to 63 billion.
“Yet just 5 years ago, it didn’t exist at all.
“It’s clear that coding is the new life skill, one that opens doors in so many areas, one that’s in too short supply.
“Last November, my young advisers organised the first-ever EU Code week – with over 300 events, reaching 10,000 people in 26 countries.
“That success shows loads of people out there dying to learn the vital life skill of programming – and plenty willing to teach it.”