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  • The Hottest Cities for Interactive Designers

    aquentlogo75x75Editor’s note: This article was originally published by Aquent, AIGA's official sponsor for professional development.

    Looking to uncover where the hotbed of interactive design jobs are? Well, there must be something great about being on a coast, because both east and west coasts are thriving areas for interactive opportunities. Based on what we’ve been seeing, the cities with the highest demand for freelancers in the interactive design space are:

    • San Francisco/Silicon Valley
    • Los Angeles
    • New York
    • Portland, OR
    • Seattle, WA

    Great news—we’ve seen an influx of requests for interactive design talent in these cities every month this year. Check out what’s happening in these booming metropolises.

    San Francisco/Bay Area. It’s no surprise that one of the top technology centers of the US is flush with interactive jobs. E-commerce sites, ad agencies, start-ups, and brick and mortar stores in the Bay Area are shifting marketing dollars from traditional marketing and PR to interactive marketing. We’re seeing a huge demand for mobile designers and developers, user experience designers, interaction designers, social media strategists, and community managers. iPhone and Android app design and development are highly coveted skills. We’ve also seen a surge in opportunities for interactive project managers/producers.

    Portland. You may already be aware that Portland has a thriving creative community, so it’s no wonder that ad agencies across the city are looking for interactive design freelancers for project-based work. They’re also seeking UI designers, front end developers, and information architects—or anyone with a combination of those skills. Flash/Flex developers are still very much in demand.

    Seattle. As the home of Microsoft, Amazon, and other tech firms, Seattle is a highly interactive business community, with new products in development all the time. The mobile scene here is growing quickly. Clients across the board want to give consumers a way to engage via mobile devices, and need mobile interactive designers and mobile developers with cutting-edge skills.

    New York. The Big Apple has some big opportunities for interactive folks. E-commerce firms, ad agencies, and start-up companies are experiencing the highest demand for interactive design talent. Many are seeking mobile app designers and developers, front end developers (especially HTML5 gurus), Flash designers with some development skills, UX specialists, and interactive project managers. Interactive talent with multi-faceted experience (a mix of coding, design, and mobile) are highly desirable.

    Los Angeles. Hooray for Hollywood (and surrounding areas)! Digital agencies are seeking interactive art directors and designers on a regular basis for a wide variety of projects. Front end developers with HTML5 experience and interactive project managers who understand the technical possibilities on the web are sought after frequently. As you might guess, interactive design talent with entertainment industry experience are in the highest demand (it is LA after all). Studios are looking for talent with robust design aesthetics and experience working on cutting-edge projects.

    Planning to look for freelance work in these cities? Connect with an agent.

    About the Author: Aquent is a global staffing company dedicated to marketing and creative services organizations and is a leader in helping companies increase marketing capacity by providing the right talent quickly. Its network of more than 400,000 marketing and creative services professionals provides access to a diverse field of talent that includes graphic designers, copywriters, branders, managers and market researchers. Aquent is the Official AIGA Sponsor for Professional Development, serving as a source for creative and design talent as well as providing access to great career opportunities for AIGA members nationwide.

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