I know I am late to this conversation but I want to thank you Elijah for writing this and provoking much thought and conversation. Love the visual too :)
When I first started freelancing, I thought dataviz was like any other skill (speaking, writing, research, evaluation) in that it was issue agnostic and could be applied to almost any situation, thus I could make it a vocation. Five years later, I better understand that while that may be true, it is still too new for the market to fully understand, value, and demand it. I know some areas of the country (NY, DC, Cali) have greater demand for those with this skill than mine (Denver) does. Given this, I have felt pressure to pursue further study in a specialized field where I could use this skill (marketing, epidemiology, economics) rather than focus on refining my craft. What I have chosen is to do as much as I can to educate those around me, often spending less energy with the already “converted” dataviz community. Frankly, I wish more thought and energy in our community went towards developing this, rather than geeking out on tools and techniques. So, thank you!