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How much school is required for being a graphic designer

I’m not the biggest school advactor so a lot of years aren’t desired. #not #graphic-design

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Jessica’s Answer

I agree with Alwyn's answer. I have worked with Graphic Designers who have Bachelor's Degrees (like me) and I've worked with Graphic Designers who were working towards their Associate's Degree. I haven't met anyone yet in my career that had anything higher than a Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design, so don't worry about getting a Master's or Ph.D., unless you really want to. Education and a degree is just a catalyst for what you do with it and how you can grow. If you're looking to get more into the corporate world, my experience is that they tend to prefer people with Bachelor's Degrees so that they know you're a hard worker, have the basics in problem-solving and communication skills, and that there is a greater likelihood of you upskilling and progressing in the company. However, I have always heard you can get away with an Associate's Degree as a designer so that you can just learn the basics and principles of design and then quickly work to build your portfolio through a design job or freelance efforts afterward. There are plenty of Associate's programs and technical programs for Graphic Design out there to choose from, but ultimately, the portfolio you build will speak for you to make your way through your career. If you don't have a degree of some sort, many companies will accept extra years of professional experience to allow you to qualify for certain roles. Also, there are certifications you can get in specific design software, such as different Adobe Creative Cloud software, to help supplement your education and experience, so that is also a route you could explore: https://learning.adobe.com/certification.html . I recommend that whatever route you go, create an online portfolio site and refresh it regularly (maybe every 6 months at the least, especially in the beginning) and bring hard copies of 10-15 samples of your work to your interviews. I can't tell you how many times employers were just impressed that I actually brought a physical portfolio to my interviews. It's an "old practice," but there's something about people getting to hold a final product in their hand that wins people over.
Thank you comment icon Thank you a lot Steven
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Alwyn’s Answer

Hello Steven,

Your question has a complex answer. Talent aside, hand-in-hand with problem-solving are necessary. For instance, I have a four-year design degree from an internationally recognized and accredited design school. I’ve also known/worked with designers that devoted two years of schooling to become a designer with either a Certificate in Graphic Design or an Associate Graphic Design degree (there are plenty of schools that offer that track). There are also less time technical offerings that will provide some of what you need but may not give you the holistic skills necessary to be a professional. Last but not least online classes of varying levels are available. School choice, duration, cost, and rigor are all personal choices based on what you hope to get out of a design program and at what cost can or you would want to pay for it. Learning (and living) design does not end with a degree (It's just the foundation to build upon) as it’s a very divergent field (study and profession) that perpetually changes. Whether you like school or not as a designer you will be a continual learner of technology, software, processes, tools, business among a few. You have to be pliable, eager to respond, welcome change, and readily adapt. Good luck!
Thank you comment icon Thanks a lot Steven
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Renee’s Answer

It all depends on what you want to accomplish. Education is for the benefit of learning and if you want to have an advantage with seeking a job, it is good to get a college education. However, some artists are self-taught and that means you have to do a lot of research, reading, working and connecting with others who you feel you could both benefit from each other.

The biggest takeaway would be to keep learning and start by learning the industry software programs such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and anything you can about graphic design. You can also go online to free programs that help you learn about graphic design such as https://www.canva.com. There you can use templates to get started and also learn through their portal about graphic design.

Renee recommends the following next steps:

Research schools and the programs they offer
Learn about ways to learn graphic design online
Ask others
Practice doing graphic design now before school or training.
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