Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Visual communication--Vocational guidance--United States; Visual communication--Employees--Effect of technological innovations on;


The graphic communications industry is far-reaching and touches most people‘s lives on a day-to-day basis. The products affected are as diverse as computers and medical supplies, business cards and billboards, packaging and photos, and a car’s dashboard to the image on a t-shirt. As the current employees are retiring in record numbers, and the technology and business processes in the field are changing at a rapid rate, the need for well-prepared employees is greater than ever. In order to best prepare current students for positions in the field, educators need specific information to guide their curriculum development. This has been difficult to obtain due to the extensive variety of organizations under the umbrella of graphic communications. The purpose of this study was to discover the business and technology trends that will impact the needed competencies for employees in the graphic communications industry of the future. An online survey and telephone interviews were conducted to question current business owners, managers, and human resources personnel to determine the most pressing skills and knowledge sets that future employees will need. Due to the fact that the survey yielded a very low return rate, it was difficult to prove statistical significance for all of the data results. However, descriptive and inferential statistics were performed, and many of the results are consistent with the literature. The analysis of the survey and phone interview data can help guide educators in programs for graphic communications, as well as companies which provide in-house training programs. The results indicate a strong need for soft skills, or non-technical skills, in addition to the foundational understanding of the technology and processes. In addition, specific trends were identified in services and products that companies will be offering, such as variable data marketing and electronic storefronts. This project can serve as a good starting point for additional studies on graphic communications competency needs. Recommendations and strategies are provided for future success.

Year of Submission



Department of Technology

First Advisor

Mohammad Fahmy

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (xi, 163 pages)



File Format