In March 2018, something happened.
Bangladesh graduated from the LDC class with flying colours. In other words, Bangladesh transitioned from being a Least Developed Country to a Developed Country.
Propelled by one of the best growth rates in Asia and good social indicators, Bangladesh’s economy is poised to keep growing sustainably.
And while there certainly is some inequality in Bangladesh, in line with global trends, incomes and wealth are more widely distributed in Bangladesh than in many of its peers.
Fascinating, but this is an interior design blog post. Why so much talk of economics?
Because economics plays a major role in any question like the one we are exploring today.
Today’s blog post is on the feasibility of interior design as a career option in Bangladesh.
People spend on things like interior design only when they have the money to invest in such discretionary spending.
When the national economy is strong, people’s disposable incomes go up, increasing the space for spending on interior design.
And this creates job opportunities for interior designers.
In any discussion on the feasibility of a certain career in a country, the first thing to be considered is how the economy is doing and whether people’s incomes are high enough to permit spending on that particular product.
And, as we have just seen, the demand for interior design is all set to keep rising in Bangladesh, in line with disposable incomes and standard of living.
And this means a lot of job opportunities for interior designers, making interior design a feasible career in Bangladesh.
The next logical question is, what kind of demand would there be for interior designers?
Broadly speaking, interior designers get 2 kinds of orders – residential and commercial. Some interior designers focus only on residential interior design and some only on commercial interior design.
Some interior designers go even further in their niches, like focusing only on restaurant design (which obviously is commercial).
However most interior designers offer both residential design and commercial design services.
Therefore it is pertinent to ask – what kind of interior design will be in demand in Bangladesh, residential or commercial?
And the answer is…both kinds.
Like we saw before, with rising incomes, Bangladeshi citizens will want to spend on designing their homes, resulting in demand for residential interior design services rising.
Likewise, with more money in their pocket, Bangladeshis will also want to avail of services like shopping and eating out at restaurants, leading to more shops, malls and restaurants being built.
This will increase demand for commercial interior design services.
And that’s not all. With a sustainably growing national economy, Bangladesh’s corporate sector is also set to grow, which means more offices being built and more corporate demand for interior designers.
Does Bangladesh have the infrastructure to train interior designers?
Now that we have established that the demand for interior design services will keep growing in Bangladesh, the next logical question is – does Bangladesh have the infrastructure to train people to become interior designers?
Here, it is important to note that there is a big difference between interior design and interior decoration.
Anybody who wants can call themselves an interior decorator.
On the other hand, if you want to call yourself an interior designer, you need to meet some professional criteria.
The International Interior Design Association defines an interior designer as
The Professional Interior Designer is qualified by education, experience, and examination to enhance the function and quality of interior spaces.
And Bangladesh, in fact, has built up the capacity to train and certify interior designers.
The Shanto-Mariam University of Creative Technology has a program for MA in Interior Design (and a BA in Interior Architecture).
The Bangladesh Institute of Fashion & Design Technology offers diploma and certificate courses in interior design.
And those are just two examples.
Course fees are generally reasonable, and should be affordable for most people who have a love for and an aptitude in interior design.
The popular educational information website called spainexchange lists interior design in Bangladesh as a feasible study option for budding designers, which establishes the credibility of interior design education in Bangladesh.
Is interior design as a career financially viable?
Now that we know that Bangladesh will see demand for interior design services growing; and that Bangladesh does have a sufficient and credible educational infrastructure to train and certify interior designers, the next, and final, question is – is interior design as a career financially viable in Bangladesh?
In other words, can one earn a livelihood as an interior designer?
The answer seems to be, yes, he or she can.
According to various listings on Glassdoor, starting salaries for interior designers in Bangladesh lie between 20,000Tk to 30,000Tk a month which means over 2 lakh taka per annum.
According to this survey, an architect (who are closely related with interior designers) in Bangladesh can hope to get at least 20,000Tk per month.
Applying another test, if you take an educational loan to study interior design, at the average salary level, you should be able to pay off your loan within a few years, which makes interior design a good career option salary-wise.
So, it is clear that interior design is a good career option in Bangladesh, with demand for interior design services set to keep growing and financially viable salaries available in the market.