2022

Service Design Career Track Report

Where are service design professionals in their careers today? How did they get there? And where do they want to go next? This report gives you a sense of what’s possible and can hopefully guide you in taking the right steps.

Introduction 👋

Welcome to the global service design career track report.

** This report is being built in the open and is a work in progress (details below).

Yes, it’s an exciting time to be part of the service design community. A lot is happening, and things are evolving quickly. This unavoidably leads to many career-related questions, both from professionals who are just getting started and from professionals who want to progress to the next level.

So we reached out to the community to get some much-needed clarity. With responses from almost 300 participants, this is the most in-depth and rich study done into the career paths of service design professionals to date.

In this final report, you’ll be able to find clues that help you answer questions like:

Future updates

Rather than using the traditional approach of locking ourselves up in a basement to analyze all the data we decided to take a different route.

We’re going to eat our own design dog food and build the report using an iterative process. This means that we’ll share small but regular updates with the community as we go along.

We believe that by taking this approach the final report will be more relevant and valuable for everyone. And more fun to create.

If you’d like to be the first to know when a new update has been published, join the email list of the Service Design Show down below. Or check back in on this site now and then.

Don’t miss important future updates

Join the Service Design Show email list to stay on track with new insights that emerge from the data.

We’ll use your email to send you updates about the report and other helpful service design topics. We hate spam just as much as you do, so we’ll never share your email. Unsubscribe anytime.

1. Who participated

This chapter helps you get a deeper understanding of the professionals that participated in this year’s report.

We’ll break down the data using traditional demographics like age, gender, and country. And also by industry and type of company these professionals operate in.

Next to that, you’ll also get an insight into the company structure:

✅ Who are they reporting to?
☑️ What’s the size of the team?
☑️ How long has the service design role existed?

Finally, you’ll get a sense of things related to job satisfaction:

✅ Are they applying for a new job right now?
☑️ How happy are they with their current employer?
☑️ How likely will they switch employers in the next 12 months?

Which department are you reporting to?

servicedesignjobs.com © 2022 – CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Are you applying for a new job?

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Respondents breakdown by country

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Respondents breakdown by age group

servicedesignjobs.com © 2022 – CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

2. Hiring process

What’s the hiring process like from the perspective of a service design professional? Well, we’ve got lots of insights to share with you.

 Which percentage of professionals had to present a portfolio?
 What are the key things they look for in an employer?
☑️ How satisfied are they with the offer they received?
 What gave them the winning edge over other candidates?
☑️ What was the most frustrating part during the hiring process?
☑️ What was the most memorable part of the process?

These insights are probably not just relevant for you but also for the people hiring…

Did you have to present a portfolio when applying for a new job?

servicedesignjobs.com © 2022 – CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

What are the most important things you look for in an employer when seeking a service design position?

servicedesignjobs.com © 2022 – CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

What gave you the winning edge over the other candidates?

servicedesignjobs.com © 2022 – CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

3. Work environment

What does a service design professional need in their work environment to deliver their best work and have the most impact? That’s what you’ll learn in this chapter.

 What are their key activities?
☑️ How is their success measured?
✅ Which things limit their impact?
☑️ What is the most rewarding part of their work?

What are the key activities in your work?

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What is limiting you from doing your best work?

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Don’t miss important future updates

Join the Service Design Show email list to stay on track with new insights that emerge from the data.

We’ll use your email to send you updates about the report and other helpful service design topics. We hate spam just as much as you do, so we’ll never share your email. Unsubscribe anytime.

4. Career paths

Career paths are currently ill-defined for service design professionals. This chapter gives some key insights into how you get into service design and then continue to progress in your career.

We’ll look into things like:
✅ How fulfilling do they find their current job (ikigai)?
☑️ How did they get into service design (previous roles)?
☑️ Which skills were they able to take from that role?
☑️ Do they have a formal service design degree?
☑️ From which courses did they most benefit?
 What do they consider to be the best next steps in their career?
☑️ What are roadblocks holding them back?

What do you consider to be the next best step in your career?

servicedesignjobs.com © 2022 – CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Service Design Community - IKIGAI

💚 I enjoy my work

💪 I'm good at my work

🌍 The world needs what I do

💰 I get paid fairly for my work

servicedesignjobs.com © 2022 – CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

5. Bonus: Brand recognition

Who are the companies that are top of mind when it comes to being a service design employer? We’ve got the data!

Background 📖

Why this report

We hope that this report will help to:

Ultimately, by making this data publicly available we want to contribute to a more mature service design field. 

Survey setup

To try and keep this report as accurate as possible, we’d like to add a few comments about data bias and limitations:

How old is the data?
All the data represented in this report was collected in March 2022.

How reliable is this report?
If anything this report represents a snapshot in time of a portion of the service design field. With a sample size of about 300 respondents, it’s not wise to draw any definitive conclusions. Treat it as a compass rather than a map.

Was this anonymous?
Yes. Our respondents’ privacy is very important to us, and we don’t collect any personally identifiable information such as names or email addresses. Where appropriate, the data have been aggregated to protect the privacy of participants.

If you have any other questions about the survey setup please leave a comment.

Points to consider

This report represents a continual effort toward building a more mature service design field. Done for and mostly with the service design community. We’re proud of the information presented here and the valuable insights available, but please note that the data has limitations and aspects you’ll want to keep in mind.

Diversity

We did our best to reach as many people from diverse backgrounds as possible, but the respondents still only represent a subsection of our global community. We also understand that some professionals prefer not to fill out surveys or share information about their careers, so the data doesn’t accurately represent every service design community.

Aggregation

In some cases, where there wasn’t enough data to create comparable categories, and data sets were aggregated in order to protect the privacy of participants. For example, countries with fewer than five responses are presented under the category “Other countries” in some data visualizations.

Subjectivity

We included questions that we found significant but that are subjective and can have imprecise answers, for example, the things people seek in an employer or the most frustrating aspect of the hiring process. As a result, this data is open to interpretation based on each situation.

Different totals

You will see a different total number of responses for almost every question. This is related to the fact that some questions were only presented based on the responses to previous questions. For instance, we didn’t ask someone who is freelance to share the department they are reporting to.

Acknowledgments

This report wouldn’t be here without the generous input from the service design community. So if you’ve participated or helped spread the word about it, thank you!

A special thanks goes out to our partners. It’s the support from respected organizations such as these, that see the importance of this topic and rally around it, that bring this report to life.

Many others contributed to making the report happen. Thank you for all your help and support along the way.

License

Service Design Career Track Report © 2022 by ServiceDesignJobs.com is licensed under the Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

We support and encourage sharing and remixing of this report. If you’re not sure if you can use the data from the report for your purposes please get in touch.

About the author

The Service Design Career Track report is an initiative from Service Design Jobs. Service Design Jobs is the only place providing a daily updated list of true service design positions from companies across the globe.

The initiative is led by Marc Fonteijn, founder of Service Design Jobs and the Service Design Show.

Don’t miss important future updates

Join the Service Design Show email list to stay on track with which new insights emerge from the data.

We’ll use your email to send you updates about the report and other helpful service design topics. We hate spam just as much as you do, so we’ll never share your email. Unsubscribe anytime.

Proud partners

Harmonic Design

Become our next partner? Let’s talk.

Your turn 💪

We created this report to serve our community, and we rely on feedback from you. If the data inspired new questions that you’d like us to investigate, or you didn’t find what you were looking for, we want to know! 

Feel free to leave a comment or reach out to us via team@servicedesignjobs.com with any suggestions, feedback or ideas for perspectives we missed.

This report is carefully crafted, but if you spot a mistake, we’d be grateful if you let us know.

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