Skip to main content
19 answers
18
Asked 1432 views

Is having a graphic designer degree worth it?

#design #graphic-design #art #designer

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

18

19 answers


4
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Ken’s Answer

The way I hear your question, there are two parts.
(1) Do you need a degree to be a designer?
(2) Is a design degree worth the cost?

To answer the first one, you don't need a degree but it does help most people. For example, a designer named David Carson was influential in the 90's without a formal design degree. But this is probably the exception, like Bill Gates in the software world. Designers benefit a lot from good critique and feedback, which can be hard to find outside of a design class or program.

To answer the second one, many different institutions offer design degrees. The top private design schools can be expensive. But you can also get study design at a community college, or through an online program. I would also suggest applying for scholarships, not just from the school you're applying to, but from any source that might support your studies.

For me, a design degree was worth the cost. Working after classes, loans, and grants made it more accessible. But it's only worth it if it fits into your strengths. Are you too structured to be a painter, but not structured enough to be a computer programmer? Then design might be a good direction for you. Keep in mind that design is a broad field now. You may find that designing digital experiences makes the time and cost of a design degree more "worth it" for you.

4
2
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

James’s Answer

The short answer is yes! the longer answer is doing a degree gives you a foundation for your goals within the creative industry. It gives you a learning platform to gain those skills and create your own brand - also gives you that confidence to go out in the wider community and showcase your brand and what you have to offer! It is also a good opportunity to create a portfolio of work to showcase to clients or job opportunities. It is also a great opportunity to meet people/network who have same interests as you. :)
2
1
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Fiona’s Answer

Not really - as long as you have an eye for what looks aesthetic and balanced, you can easily teach yourself graphic design. You can start with free platforms that have templates like Canva and free versions of Adobe programs. You should offer your services for free on a couple of small projects - perhaps for student groups on campus - so you can build a portfolio. Most graphic design work is done by communications professionals who can also do written projects or run social media accounts and content for the website. But here's the thing - you also don't need a communications degree to be a communications professional. You just need to write and edit well, show an aptitude for learning new skills, be a good problem solver and come up with innovative ideas, and get along with people - same as most jobs out there. Unless you want to really specialize, like in science, technology, medical fields, or continue in academia, the most important thing is being well rounded, having a good attitude, and double checking your work so you have a proven track record of not making mistakes.
1
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

David’s Answer

I would say "yes". But just keep in mind that it's always the first step in a long journey. I've come across many recent grads who think the world owes them something, and as a hiring manager their resume goes to the bottom of the pile. Always be humble, but confident (if that makes sense).

I went to a two year graphic design and illustration program. It was just as computers were starting to break through. Many might say the skills we learned were not relevant to the changing industry, but they absolutely were. Learning design principles (unity through proximity, unity through space, unity through shape, etc...) will be in the back of your mind for your whole career, and will help you to make better decisions than people who don't have that background. School also taught me the importance of deadlines. Because of that, this is something I've never messed around with. If I say I'm going to have a deliverable at a certain time, lacking a REALLY GOOD EXCUSE, I will have it.

Finally, school is fun! You have freedom to do cool work, find what you love, and meet like-minded people without having the fear of a paycheck hanging over you. Not for a moment have I regretted any time spent in the classroom, and I go back for skill sharpening as often as I can.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Jake’s Answer

I would say that getting a graphic design degree is totally worth it. While you'd no doubt be able to get a design job without one (granted you work hard to teach yourself and have an eye for it) not all graphic design roles are of equal quality. The things I've learned in my graphic design degree have been things I would have never even thought to teach myself, especially the subtleties and complexity of typography.

Yes there are amazing designers that didn't get degrees and terrible designers that did, but in my experience, having the formal training and collaborative experience you get in a formal design program is a massive advantage and will allow you to get the more exciting design jobs rather than just the "marketing person who makes social media graphics and flyers."
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Eric’s Answer

My opinion is the degree is very valuable for your own maturation and development. I pursued a BFA and found that my work from sophomore year to senior year was vastly improved. You need the time to mature and refine your ability to creatively solve design problems. I hear many say you don't need a degree to get a job and for some that may be true. When I hire I require a BFA or 4 year agree with a design focus as I find those candidates work to be far stronger over time and they can handle critical feedback much better. During school I did lots of freelance work and some of it for free just to get more experience. That work is very helpful to helping you get real experience and feedback. I also have found that the 4 year degree helps designers adapt better working within timelines and being able to manage their work which is critical for your career.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Evan’s Answer

While studying graphic design in university can give you a good understanding of the fundamentals, there are also plenty of online classes (through udemy, or even youtube) that can provide you with a similar curriculum.

When it comes to finding a job in graphic design, it's true that many employers still look for folks who obtained a degree in that field. However, if you have a strong portfolio that demonstrates your knowledge of design fundamentals and goes beyond (knowing when/how to break or bend those rules), that will speak louder than a degree to any employer.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Dennis’s Answer

Kelly yes it is! I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Visual Communications (Graphics) and even if later you may not apply that Degree to that field of Graphic Design - A College Degree is Beneficial to having for many many potential Occupations.

Good Luck with the Graphic Designer career if that's the path you choose!

0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Vaidehi’s Answer

I would say if you have graphic design background, adding some of the latest design skills like adding UX/UI design methodologies on your resume can help a lot. Most of the companies these days will look for those buzz words in designers. Many non designers have become good designers for well known companies by doing small bootcamps or even one of the famous google UX design course. UX design can add value to your graphic design skills.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Matheus’s Answer

Sure. With a graphic designer degree you will have a lot more knowledge than those that don't. With this knowledge, you'll be able to better understand how some concepts and techniques are made. During the university, you will also know a lot of people that will help you to be a better graphic designers and will have a larger connection network.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Nico’s Answer

Absolutely! Graphic design is such a huge field that you can jump from one expertise to another (branding, logo design, UX/UI design) pretty easily, depending on what you like to do. People always need designers!
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Biswadeep Saha’s Answer

Yes it is, though it needs lots of creativity however you get value and appreciation for your work. Advt Agencies are at high although profile gets very demanding keeping in compitition in mind. If you have a hobby of ART and design can easily align it to Graphic design field
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Matt’s Answer

Just want to point out unlike other design professions, such industrial design or fashion design, graphic designer can work in many industries such as advertising, technology (many UX designers have graphic design background), and fashion (textile design).
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Rhudaynath’s Answer

Hi, interesting question, I am Software Engineer and we work closely with Graphics Designers. Now a days, they are called as UX (User experience designers).

UX is more than just Graphics Designer, but they come from same roots.
I think, this is great field. As you know, underlying technology remains same, the human interface/interactions changed over time.

You remember old days, where people had to take months to learn Softwares.
Now a days, we see, kids user apps pretty smoothly.

That's the difference what UX brings to any software... ease of use!
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Jody’s Answer

YES! Getting a BFA in Graphic design excellerates your career. It's a very competitive field and extremely difficult to get a well paying job. There's a lot of untrained designers that get client work, but their work isn't usually very good, and they can't get clients that pay more.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Valerie’s Answer

No.

Your portfolio is the most important piece of information about you, along with your ability to talk about your work. If you're a thoughtful communicator that's passionate about problem solving, you will get you a job anywhere that's worth your time.

The idea of the degree means something to some. It can show that you had the patience and discipline to finish what you started. However, no need to spend a lot of money or go into debt. The private schools don't promise much more than a network, so it all depends on your hustle.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Arah’s Answer

Hi Kelly-

I would say yes, for the same reasons as have already been posted. I'd like to add emphasis on this one, though: a strong degree program can also help you hone some "soft" skills and emotional intelligence, which will come in handy in a graphic or UX design career. These skills include organizing and planning your work, writing, presenting, and working with a mix of people on project who have different skill sets, different fields of expertise, or diverse backgrounds in other ways.

Some people get good training on that early in life, and they may not need it so much as others. I know that I needed it in my degree programs - and I continued to learn and grow in this area through the first several years of my career. (And I'm still improving!)

Good luck to you!
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer