A cornucopia of interesting, useful information.

The section I found most interesting was Confidence. Basically, those with less education, had more confidence in their job future than those with higher education. Also, those who were part of a smaller team, or were freelancers, had more confidence than those in larger corporations.

Put another way: non-college-degree freelancers are very confident while those with doctorates working at the corporate level are less confident. (Reminds me a lot of this quote about the self-esteem of those born after 1980.)

Update: I received this very insightful email from Joshua Longbrake, which offers some great perspective on the above findings about confidence:

Almost all the greats in any field had tremendous amounts of education, whether it was from formal academia or via being tutored by another great artist. Education brings an awareness of what has come before you and what it takes to make something good, and it is often the case that that realization and realism will come across as being “less confident.”

Those who have not been educated, either by formal academia or by being mentored by a great, often don’t have the awareness and knowledge of what has come before them and what it takes to make something good, and that lack of awareness can come across as “confidence.”

However, sometimes that confidence, that absence of education, can produce something great because it doesn’t know what it takes to make something great; he or she fears no thing and no one.

My assumption is that the less-education argument will mostly, if not only, come from digital artists, such as graphic designers. I believe the reason for this is that there is no history to graphic design: its history is being made today. Essentially, there is very little to educate them on besides techniques. There are not graphic designers from 200 years ago, or 100 years ago, or 50 years ago, and because of this, there isn’t much on which to educate graphic designers. They are making history, and good on them, but I doubt you’d find the same pattern of thinking from painters, sculptors, and writers.

Findings From the A List Apart Survey, 2009