Whether a company needs a software developer or an interior designer, design thinking is a vital skill.

Until a decade ago, most firms took a standardized approach to hire talent. The HR department published a detailed job analysis and a list of the required skill sets. Then it is followed by short-listing potential candidates based on their professional and personal backgrounds. The final lap incorporates the extensive interview process, which often lasts for over a month. But the tables have turned after 2019; the recruitment industry has experienced a giant transformation. 

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With the workforce becoming increasingly globalized, the hiring process has changed drastically to meet the demands of new jobs. These evolving times require a shift in how organisations hire and retain talent. In today’s increasingly digital era, hiring managers seek candidates’ beyond academic qualifications. Despite the hassle of coming out of college, CGPA is not enough. There is increasing stress on skills like design thinking, problem-solving, adaptability, and empathy, all of which are vital to current and future job roles. Let’s take a deep dive to take a closer look:

Design thinking and problem-solving in today’s evolving job market

Whether a company needs a software developer or an interior designer, design thinking is identified as a critical skill, irrespective of the job role. Design thinking is described as the cognitive, strategic, and practical processes by which design concepts are developed by designers and/or design teams. But, it stands more than that. 

The definition of design thinking has evolved over the years, but it is a problem-solving method that obeys a systematic approach. It is considered to determine challenges, assemble suitable information, develop potential solutions, remodify ideas, and test them. The core concepts of design thinking possess empathy, brainstorming, prototyping, and storytelling. 

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When it comes to hiring, recruiters seek someone who can take timely decisions and produce creative ideas to fix existing and new issues at the workplace. This is the prime reason why leading companies are substituting the traditional interrogative rhetoric interview process with interactive discussion methods. While the former only discovers a candidate’s technical skills, interactive discussions allow the recruiter to understand their design thinking capacity deeply. 

Likewise, Unschool, an e-learning platform offers Level-up internship program in Design Thinking. It supplies best in class knowledge from industry experts. The course will help you to get a brief understanding of the domain followed by an internship. So are you ready to get your hands dirty in this domain? Before that lets learn the 5 principles of design thinking.

The five stages of design thinking are discussed in detail below:

1. Empathise 

The research phase of the design thinking process is directed by empathy. You must comprehend the user’s perspective and involve the insights to solve the issue. For this to happen effectively, you must set aside your assumptions and discover new and more intuitive ways of gathering data.

2. Define

The first step is to analyse the issue, define the problem, and categorise user needs before starting. Your efforts should concentrate on collecting observations and synthesising information. Thereby developing problem statements from the user research. The definition phase also contains personas representing different types of users using the product, service, or brand. Such portrayals enable human-centred design based on real-life users’ goals, experiences, and behaviours.

3. Ideate

This phase emphasises out-of-the-box thinking. You have to devise alternatives for viewing the problem and cracking it. A brainstorming method is regarded as particularly helpful for gathering myriad outlooks. It supplies a free-thinking environment and challenges assumptions and everyday thought patterns humans unconsciously rely on. Hence, creating room for fresh and unique ideas. 

4. Prototype 

It is the experimental stage where designers get their hands dirty by finding solutions. Here, the goal is to produce a scaled-down product version and examine whether specific features work for the mass. Teams may devise a blueprint to realise and test their concepts before large sums of money are committed to a project.  

5. Test

Testing is concerned with assessing the prototypes rigorously and iteratively. In simple words, design teams keep enhancing the product or solution by redefining problems and identifying new ones. Apart from making alterations and refinements, this stage also includes leading alternative courses of action.

A crucial takeaway from the above summary is that design thinking drills deeper into the consumers’ psyche and incorporates co-creation as an essential element throughout the process. 

Career Opportunities in Design Thinking

Professionals acquainted with the concept and practice of design thinking can prove to be a driving force for organisational success. And future-oriented organisations comprehend the possibilities. Today, several job positions mention “knowledge of design thinking” under the preferred skills section. Here are some samples of the posts available:

  • Strategist, Brand Experience Design
  • User Experience (UX) Designer 
  • Lead, Innovation
  • Service Designer
  • Design Researcher
  • Head of Product Design

Here are a few common jobs noticed across these roles:

  • Interacting with clients and defining their challenges. 
  • Testing to get behind hard-to-access information. 
  • Employing hands-on methods to pull ideas and find answers. 
  • Constructing business plans, service design, product roadmaps, etc. 
  • Experiment with the solutions before launching them in the market.
  • Innovating upon existing practices to create scalable solutions. 

From giant techs like Google, Apple, Amazon, and Airbnb to leading Indian companies like BookMyShow, PayTM, and MakeMyTrip, organisations are exerting the merits of design thinking to a notable effect. 

Therefore, the moral of the story is that design-thinking professionals are favoured in the job market today. But how much do these occupations pay? What qualifies you for such work? Let’s find out.

Pay, Eligibility & Future Scope

Design thinking jobs typically have handsome pay attached to them because the industry lacks experienced professionals in this domain. According to the reports from Glassdoor, a Design Thinking Strategist earns an average salary of ₹14,39,216 in India. At the same time, Payscale India predicts the mean pay for UX designers at ₹6,63,093. 

Like any other sector, the pay structure is also influenced by many factors such as educational qualifications, years of experience, job location, and company growth stage. 

Suppose you are a fresh graduate or an entry-level professional curious about design thinking techniques. In that case, you can get a brief insight into the domain to upskill with Unschool’s skill courses and get an online certificate program. It makes global education accessible via online sessions, videos, case studies, and quizzes. 

Last words

We have encircled what design thinking is and some emerging career prospects. We hope you use this knowledge to add value to your profile and generate ground-breaking solutions!

All the best!

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