Diane Guevara

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Department or School

Technology Studies

Committee Member

Shinming Shyu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jiang Lu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert Carpenter, Ph.D.


Keeping abreast of the changes in skills desired by potential employers is an ongoing challenge in all fields. Gaps in those skill sets can produce a ripple effect in any industry. This study looks at the interior design industry and whether the undergraduate curriculum is keeping up with the skills desired by potential employers who require employees to have a bachelor degree in interior design. Undergraduate interior design program directors want their programs to be well known for the employment-ready graduates they produce, and that their students possess the skills requested by potential employers in the interior design field. This study uncovers the soft skills perceived as most important for new interior design graduates to possess, as surveyed by those that work along side them. This study also uncovers the gaps in non-Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) required soft skills that the new interior design graduates are lacking. Interior design students spend four years learning how to communicate graphically; however, the results have gaps that potential employers feel are not being filled.