What You Should Know About This Degree
Although employment in certain areas of graphic design, like computer systems design and related fields, is growing at a faster-than-average pace, overall job growth in graphic design is expected to be slightly slower than average in the next few years. This is partially due to a decline in newspaper, periodical, and book publishing. There will be competition for jobs, which is why earning a degree, building a strong portfolio, and networking through your university will be key to a successful graphic design career.
Graphic designers typically rely on computer-based programs for their work, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore fine arts-based skills like drawing and color theory. Many graphic design programs, particularly at the undergraduate level, require some foundational coursework in these areas to help you understand visual vocabulary and open up your creative process.
Creativity is key for graphic designers, but in most cases, you will be designing a product for a client, not for yourself. You will have to learn how to tailor your artistic vision to the client’s needs and preferences, and you will sometimes work with tight parameters and difficult people. As part of your education, you will likely get guidance and experience in this area of professional development.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Graphic Design programs:
- What type of accreditation does the program have? Accreditation confirms that a school meets high standards of quality. However, there are key differences between regional and national accreditation. Credits and degrees earned at regionally accredited institutions are generally more recognized and transferable. Attending a regionally accredited school will ensure that your credits will be recognized by other institutions if you transfer or apply for an advanced degree.
- What software programs will you use? Graphic designers rely on software programs like Adobe Illustrator, Corel PaintShop, Canva, and more. Students may also need computers that meet certain technical specifications. Some schools may offer discounts to students for computers and software programs. Find out what your program requires, and include these costs in your budget.
Look into the program’s admissions procedures and deadlines during your research. This will help your application process go smoothly. You can find this information on the school’s website, or by contacting their admissions department.
Financing your education is another consideration. Talk to a financial aid counselor about your options for loans, scholarships, and assistantships. If you are currently employed, find out if your job offers tuition assistance benefits.