Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design - learn more

Online Design Business Course

Design Business

You've spent years building a portfolio brimming with beautiful work. You can have all the talent in the world, but you also need to know how to position yourself for successful career. In this online design business course, you'll learn the essentials of finding work as a designer, whether in a design firm, in-house design department, or freelance. You'll gain feedback from a design pro on everything from how to present your portfolio and resume, find work opportunities, and market yourself, to building a professional persona and networking with your peers.

Design Business Course 

How to represent your design services and get work

Instructor-Led Course

Feedback from design professionals

Creative Projects

Stretch your skills, grow your portfolio

Learn at Your Own Pace

Self-paced and scheduled programs available

Course Outline

1 - Defining Your Goals and Brand

At outset of your design career, questions arise: Where should I look for work? How much money can I expect? How can I stand out? Lesson One helps you navigate choppy economic waters and helps you address the eternal choice between freelance and full-time employment. You'll focus on determining which environment is right for your personality and your long-term career prospects, and you'll start to develop your persona as a professional designer.

Project - Defining your persona

2 - Resume and Portfolio Building

When the right job comes along, are you ready to apply? You'll need to develop a sharp resume and portfolio to prove you've got the chops. Lecture Two starts with a look at the ingredients necessary for an effective and good-looking resume. You'll also learn tips for cover letter writing to make a great first impression. And you know that your portfolio is key to getting hired, so you'll learn how to present your work effectively in-person and online.

Project - Portfolio Polish

3 - Self-Promotion and Finding Your Clients

Clients don't call you out of nowhere. To get jobs, you'll need to develop a marketing strategy. Lesson Three covers different ways of reaching clients and employers, including researching leads and networking at events. You'll look at the benefits of creating a marketing plan and self-promotional design pieces, and you'll learn tips for conducting great interviews and presentations.

Project - Promoting Yourself

Course Outcomes

Students in this course can expect to learn to:

  • Identify main options for freelance, agency, and in-house careers in design.
  • Identify economic conditions affecting design job prospects and determine salary and hourly rates.
  • Set personal milestones for a design career.
  • Build a career persona including an icon, headshots, and biography text.
  • Develop an effective resume and cover letter using writing and formatting techniques.
  • Identify the components of effective offline and online portfolios.
  • Identify key methods for networking with potential clients, potential employers, and other designers.
  • Plan self-promotion marketing endeavors including goals, action steps, and collateral.
  • Effectively research potential clients and employers and make contact accordingly.
  • Apply professional interview and presentation techniques.

Course Registration

Interested in this course? Scheduled and self-paced enrollment options are available. Ask Admissions about taking this course as part of a degree or certificate program.

Course LevelClasses startRegistration FeeTuition
Degree course
1.5-credit course, 7 weeks
Jan, Apr, Aug$200$510/credit
Vocational course
30 hour course, 3 months access
Enroll today, start tomorrow$50$619
* Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from enrollment. All tuition includes a digital materials fee for updates to course or program content.

Software and Supplies

To take this course you'll need:

  • Computer with Internet connection.
  • Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator or equivalent digital imaging programs.
  • Experience in graphic design and the above software.

Who’s Teaching

Course developed by Daniel Schutzsmith

Getting Started

Enrolling online is easy and convenient.

Chat with our knowledgeable admissions staff to select course and program options.

Complete your registration entirely online.

Related Programs

Did you know? You can take this course as part of an award-winning certificate or degree program.