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How can going to collage benefit me going into a career in digital design?

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I am skilled in many different forms of art such as painting, drawing, sculpting, and digital designing. I'm still on the fence about going to collage, I don't if I would be wasting my time and money going to collage or should I start working now.
#college #design #art #graphic-design #painting #drawing #technology

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4 answers

Darryl’s Answer

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Hi Kevin,

Whether or not going to college is a "waste" of your time ultimately depends on how you'd like to use your talents. If you want to be a freelance artist who gets to pick and choose your assignments, you can mostly exist without having to get a degree. If you want to work for an agency, corporation, or other creative department, many of those places still want to see a college diploma.


Going to college, as has been mentioned before, isn't so much about getting more training as it is about broadening your horizons and showing that you have the discipline and initiative to get that extra bit of paper. College also can do a fantastic job of exposing you to other people and experiences you may not have if you continue to forge your own path.


Another benefit of college classrooms is that you will receive a lot of critiques and peer reviews of your work. An online portfolio is pretty mandatory these days, and most employers will want you to discuss your pieces, workflow, and decision-making process. College helps you adopt the habit of sharing your work and justifying your choices. If you're going to work in a professional environment, you have to distance yourself from your work to the degree that you won't take criticism personally. Obtaining other's insight and different perspectives can be hard to do if you're constantly on your own.


Finally, even if you decide to get a college degree, just remember your learning won't stop when you graduate. If you want to be successful as a digital designer, you will need to stay current. Technology keeps evolving, and you will need to find ways of keeping up with the latest trends and best practices.


I wish you all the best as you continue to explore your options. Good luck in your future endeavors!

Darryl recommends the following next steps:

  • Decide if you want to work for yourself (by freelancing) or if you want to get hired by someone else.
  • If you want to get hired by someone else, look into additional training or certification programs. These options can include college, workshops, seminars, or online courses.
  • If you want to "test the waters" to see if freelancing is a good fit, check out the myriad of sites where you can add your name to the talent pool. Also, put together a small PDF sampling of your work. Ask friends, family, or local businesses if there are any projects available. Any "real world" jobs are going to have a bigger impact than projects where you alone determine the job specs and outcome.
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Zaara’s Answer

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Hi Kevin,


going to collage is sort of a lifestyle experience not a mere educational one. You can make great friends (who may become your professional network after graduation), build a support system, have professional guidance from teachers and professors that could greatly ease your entry into the professional world. You could Have four years to yourself to enjoy exploring and experimenting LIFE. Going to collage is not a must by all means but it is a great way to expand your self and the way you see the world. Just like you don’t have to go traveling abroad but it greatly enhances anyone’s life. At least, it does for most people. You can always get involved in jobs on or off campus while in school as well. However since design is portfolio based, if you have amazing work to show, no one will be asking for your degree EVER. Community collages with a good design program of your choice will be less expensive. Or look and see if there are any vocational schools in your area that will give you just the professional training of your choice. (We have the School of visual concepts in seattle for example). Ask around, ask people who completed the program and professionals who are hiring. How is the work of the graduates, what is the reputation of the school/program? (Not all schools are created equal) It is great that you are confident about your skills! Go with your gut feeling and do what makes your heart the happiest!

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Paula’s Answer

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If you feel you're ready to use your skills to pursue your dream in the art world you may want to research working with someone that currently is in that field. College is not what is required in all jobs but can help advance in others. Remember a "traditional" 4 year degree may not be what you need for your career - you may want to start at a community college, there are a lot of courses in the arts that can be completed at this level that don't incur the same costs that you would need for a traditional college. There are many avenues to take - explore all options. Good luck!

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Tamara’s Answer

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College would potentially give you knowledge and skills that will give you confidence. Confidence is huge in this industry! If you can get away with taking online (cheaper) classes and still gain the knowledge = confidence great! Sometimes the whole college experience is the way to go in order to be a well rounded designer. Definitely gives you a leg up on your resume.


Have fun!

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