Graphic design is a hugely competitive industry but it's worth the effort

In the vast universe of career opportunities, graphic design is a twinkle.

An interior designer has a direct influence on the places and spaces we occupy

When the phrase "interior design" comes to mind, many people cannot help but think of the deluge of home-makeover shows that seem to dominate daytime television. In reality, the job of an interior designer involves a great deal more than how MDF could be used. In fact, the life of an interior designer in today's market is extremely complex, for it encapsulates a great deal more than people realise.

Forward planning: a closer look at the role of the design engineer

act: engineers were found to be the happiest professionals in the UK in the 2005 City & Guilds Happiness Index. If engineers are the happiest professionals in the UK, why do three in four people know very little about what they do?

Enjoy a career in design but know your rights

f you take a look around you will see that everything created is designed in some way, from a simple light switch to a complex computer system. Creative design is at the heart of everyday life and covers a wide span of disciplines, including graphic design, computer software design, fashion and product design.

Interview: Lucie Nock, product design and development student

Lucie, 22, is in her final year at the London College of Fashion

Interview: Max Lamb, self-employed product designer

Max Lamb, 28, graduated with a Masters from the Royal College of Arts

Unearthing the facts about the blooming business of horticulture

Whether you are advising a fair-weather gardener who enjoys pottering in their own backyard, or somebody who yearns to be in charge of a several hundred acres of gardens and meadows, there is likely to be a horticulture course to suit.

A job that delivers: Join the growing profession of midwifery

If you believe what you see on television hospital dramas, then being a midwife is all about high drama on the maternity ward or delivering babies in unusual places.

Best foot forward: Podiatry will keep you on your toes

People often think that a course in podiatry involves three years of learning how to cut little old ladies' toenails - but that couldn't be further from the truth," says Emma Cowley, lecturer in podiatry at the University of Plymouth and adviser to the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists. "In fact, podiatry is the only allied health profession where you can go onto train to become a surgeon, in which case you can do things like bone operations and removing toes. And even if you stay in podiatry, you are entirely autonomous - in that you can make a diagnosis and act on it, including prescribing certain drugs. There is also the opportunity to specialise in areas such as diabetes, rheumatology, children and sports injuries."

Career guidance: Welcome to a time of exciting changes

Kieran Gordon, president of the Institute of Career Guidance, tells Kate Hilpern why careers guidance professionals should feel optimistic about the future

Are you sitting comfortably? Maybe you should consider a career in furniture design

With furniture design becoming an increasingly popular career option, Careers Adviser spoke to two young people to find out what the profession involves.

Artificial intelligence: Transforming the world we live in

The study of artificial intelligence (AI) - even at undergraduate level - has never been so advanced, particularly in the UK, Japan and USA. "We have a current student on our BSc in AI who is looking at putting emotions on a robot so that if it could show if it was curious or angry," says Will Browne, lecturer in cybernetics at the University of Reading. "The idea of this robot, which is designed to work in areas such as disaster relief or mine clearing, is that it could react to its conditions - so the more curious it becomes, the more it would explore and the more angry it becomes, the more capable it would be of deciding on one of many possible actions."

Brush up on your portfolio and get a place on a fine art degree

Oh, so you want to be a painter?" is the general response - often tinged with a note of cynicism - that you can expect if you say you want to do a fine art degree. "But fine art teaches a lot of transferable skills, so the range of careers that students go on to is wider than most people think," says Jane Ball, course director in fine art at the University of Coventry. "It's true that some of our students wind up running their own studios and exhibiting their work, but others go on to further education and many work in schools and galleries and even in the media, personnel and people management. Fine art develops lateral and independent thinking, as well as a rare level of resourcefulness, so a breadth of employers are keen to take on graduates."

News: Mayor vs careers advisers

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone recently created a great deal of controversy by questioning how good UK careers advisers are at helping the female population enter non-stereotypical careers.

Complementary therapy has more opportunities for careers than ever before

Complementary therapies such as acupuncture, Shiatsu and homeopathy were once viewed by the medical establishment as at best ineffective or, at worst, potentially harmful to public health. But seven years since the House of Lords produced its own authoritative analysis of complementary or alternative therapy - concluding that there needed to be clearer regulation arrangements by the various professional bodies - the incorporation of alternative medicine into mainstream healthcare has moved on apace.

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