Industry-led design program supports a sector in recovery

Western Sydney University pathway provider The College is preparing the next generation of designers to work in Australia’s renewed creative sector through a range of courses.

Lucy Wang – a contemporary oriental brush artist, designer and art director with close to a decade of experience – is one of the inspiring teachers at The College.

The former founder of the award-winning agency ‘Experimentum’ based in Sydney’s west, Lucy is helping prepare students to take advantage of a growing number of exciting opportunities in the industry, especially across the digital space.

“Australia has a rich and diverse creative industry which is experiencing significant uplift post-pandemic, particularly in the digital spaces,” she said.

“At The College, we’re seeing a variety of students enrol in design, from high school leavers and career-switchers through to freelance creatives already working in the industry but would like to further their professional development.”

Lucy said demand for talented design professionals is also picking up within Western Sydney and that the tailored nature of the courses she teaches, combined with the diversity of the students enrolled, is providing an enhanced learning experience.

“I think the strength of The College is the personalised learning experience which is beneficial to students. This helps them upskill themselves in a more individualised way.”

“We have people coming from different walks, industries and stages of life, and this diversity contributes to the learning experience.”

Joshua Gittoes studied the Diploma of Design and said The College gave him space to explore his interests and learn to excel at his strengths as a student and designer.

He then went on to study the Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication), taking advantage of The College’s guaranteed pathway to further study at the University.

“During high school, I wasn't too focused on studies and didn't quite get the results I needed to get into university. I wanted to study design, and the college enabled me to transition into the course I wanted as well as pick up additional qualifications along the way,” said Joshua.

“The abundance of face-to-face hours was really critical for me when starting off my design journey and the quality of teaching was not only to a high standard but also personal. I found it easy to develop deep relationships with tutors and peers, which improved my experience and kept me engaged and motivated in my studies.”

Joshua is now the co-founder of a technology business specialising in helping startup founders to communicate their vision, raise capital and build digital products, with a focus on the Agri-tech industry.

He believes remote work is transforming the way individuals and businesses operate and that despite the challenges of the pandemic, demand for creative industry specialists and services is high.

“The pandemic has changed a lot for us however digital design and technology is a great space to be in. We're at the forefront of innovation and have the opportunity to support many markets connect the dots and problem solve as they continue to transition their business operations to the online world.”

He encourages budding designers to be open to learning new skills and adapting to uncertain times and said as a digital creative and business owner, hiring talent is no longer centred around a location.

“Performance and willingness to learn and adapt to new situations are what matters most. Being qualified to do the work is no longer just connected to a degree but also the skills and life experience that have been accumulated along the way.”

Learn more about the design programs offered at The College here (opens in a new window).

ENDS

5 August 2022

Ali Sardyga, Senior Media Officer

Photo credit: Sally Tsoutas