It’s amazing how the rise of the internet as a software platform has changed the business opportunities in the design field and therefore the desire to be in-house vs agency.
When I started in this field agency was the thing I felt was so much more respected although my experiences in that vein weren’t nearly as glamorous as it sounded and I stuck with in-house for practical reasons. It gave me a ton of experience dealing with in-house politics and less face-time with so many types of clients which opened the opportunity for me to get really familiar with one type of user (broken down into categories that I needed to think about and know when I design anyway). It’s a much more intimate relationship with who uses what I help to create, and a closer knit team.
As a user of the web in many capacities I love the rise of web and mobile apps. Any user of the web can easily name a few apps that make their life easier and I am proud to say I help to create some of them and to improve them over time with a greater focus on usability. This has made my career very fulfilling and I find it awesome that this is also the experience for so many other designers today. Working on teams like Schoolwires (where I help to design mobile experiences), Facebook, Pocket, Evernote, Hootsuite, Dropbox, to design useful experiences over time are amazing opportunities that are now attainable if you work hard and think a lot. Embrace the web.