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Do I need a graphic design degree? 5 benefits that say “yes”

August 9, 2012

Although some designers “make it” in the design industry without a degree, the majority of us aren’t born with that special balance of talent and luck. No matter your skill level, getting your education is something that will benefit you greatly and certainly will not go unnoticed in the job market. Even if you are looking to become a freelancer, clients trust someone with a reputable degree as a true professional to create or manage their business image (and their money!) over someone who appears to have simply turned a passionate hobby into a source of income. Here’s why:

    1. Confidence: When you study design at a reputable college, you gain a thorough understanding of design software, techniques, and terminology used daily by professionals. To be able to walk into a creative meeting or sit down in front of a potential employer and “talk shop” is an impressive and sought after trait. It doesn’t hurt to have an outstanding portfolio either.
    2. Portfolio: Your portfolio will be the most valuable promotional tool you own. In a degree program, you will create many impressive portfolio pieces and develop your design style under the mentorship of instructors that know exactly what employers and clients are looking for. An evaluation of your portfolio at the end of the program will give you a final review with constructive feedback to make sure you are prepared for the professional world.
    3. Experience: It’s no secret that people with more experience land better jobs. Learning design with the most up-to-date industry software and implementing the most current techniques will give you the upper-hand in the industry. Your hands-on projects are a chance to gain real-world experience, again with constructive assistance from industry professionals.
    4. Professional Network: Despite whatever injustice it may represent, the phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s WHO you know” can sometimes be true. Although it is still important to back up your professional connections with technical knowledge, attending college will open the flood gates for networking opportunities. By connecting with other students, tapping into alumni events, and even communicating with your instructors you can build your network of design professionals for future career opportunities.
    5. Credential: The beautiful piece of paper you receive upon graduation is not just “a piece of paper,” as some may say. It is a third-part validation that your skills and knowledge of the required material has met a certain, ideally professional-level, standard. It shows that you have built the necessary design skills and proven yourself to be dependable, deadline-oriented, and a creative problem solver.

When it comes to choosing the right school for you, there are many options. Between online colleges and traditional college campuses, there is a lot to consider based on your personality and situation. We may be biased, but if you are considering getting a degree in design we encourage you to check out the programs offered by our sponsor, Sessions College® for Professional Design.

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9 Responses to Do I need a graphic design degree? 5 benefits that say “yes”

  1. todd on August 15, 2012 at 10:48 am

    i think alot of people should get the design degree.
    most websites that have great functions lack a design so i opt for it!

  2. DesignToads on August 31, 2012 at 9:25 am

    The hardest thing when considering a degree in graphic design is the constant changes in the field. I went to school and got my degree where i learned the principles of good design. But learning the software and sparking more creativity, that all came from working outside of the academic environment and when I was working with clients. I think it depends on whether you want to work freelance or eventually work for an agency as well.

  3. Leroy McKane on September 20, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    In my experience, the best way to make a great portfolio is while working on your degree.

  4. Tmcards on September 21, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Getting a graphic design degree is essential but at the same time you must have good creativity while doing designing work.

  5. Cindy on September 29, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Thank you for sharing this! At times I felt like it was pointless to go to school and major in graphic design due to the job i got once I moved to the South. Design and art doesn’t seem to be one of the moest important things or subjects down here, specially when I compared that to Chicago (where I went to school and lived)….nedless to say, now I work in HR……..it’s time to get started on more freelance.

  6. Graphic Design on October 10, 2012 at 6:24 am

    graphics is a vast field that>Graphic Design encompasses almost any graphical aspect

  7. Eismont Designs on October 26, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    I teach graphic design at a four year college. It is pretty essential to have a graphic design degree these days. But where you get the degree is becoming less essential. It just matters who has the better artwork.

  8. Maria Cohetero on January 19, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    I am a current college student majoring in Graphic Design for an AAS. Going to college does boost your skills and knowledge and not just that; remember that EDUCATION is something noone can ever take away from you. The more educated you get, the better possibilies of getting into a very good job.

  9. liam patterson on February 7, 2013 at 7:16 am

    i love bum

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