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Creative directors are innovators who expand a company's outreach through branding, marketing and websites. Directors may focus on online work, print products or both. They're often in charge of a department or oversee a group of outsourced vendors. This management job may require extensive education and almost always requires years of work experience.
To work as a creative director, you'll need an educational background that prepares you to oversee the design process. Some companies only require an undergraduate degree in a related field such as fine arts or graphic design. However, other companies prefer candidates who have a graduate degree in a relevant fine arts or creative field. Examples of such fields include marketing, advertising or public relations.
Work Experience Qualifications
Creative directors have management positions that require them to oversee an in-house department or to work with a group of vendors and coordinate all their responsibilities. To prove that you have these capabilities, you'll need a history of ever-increasing management responsibilities that include overseeing a department, handling budget issues and keeping projects on deadline. Some companies require at least four years of management working specifically in their niche. Other companies may prefer more general management experience that can translate well in any environment, such as experience overseeing websites or online marketing.
Technical Skills and Knowledge
Creative directors need technical skills in a variety of areas. This includes experience in graphic design, copywriting knowledge and editing skills. You should be able to use software common to the job, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash and InDesign or another similar desktop publishing application. Understanding Web and application coding languages may also be required, such as HTML, Java, CSS and Drupal. Depending on the company, you may also need video editing experience such as Adobe After Effects.
A creative director must, first and foremost, be a leader. You'll be overseeing a team of writers, editors, designers and photographers, so you'll want to know how to motivate them to meet deadlines and create amazing products. This involves being able to communicate well, understanding brand development and having persuasive skills. You should be comfortable interacting with people at all levels, from entry-level designers to company CEOs. You should be a detail-oriented planner who can put together a timeline and make and keep deadlines.
With features published by media such as Business Week and Fox News, Stephanie Dube Dwilson is an accomplished writer with a law degree and a master's in science and technology journalism. She has written for law firms, public relations and marketing agencies, science and technology websites, and business magazines.