Graphic design is an appealing field as it offers students the opportunity to use their creativity and the latest technology to create a form of art that presents a message to the general public. However, where do you start? How do you become a graphic designer?
Graphic design normally requires some sort of educational background, the most typical of these being a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design or a related field. However, some employers are satisfied with graduates of an Associate’s program who have work experience in the field. Students who have a Bachelor’s Degree already in a related field can take certificate or Associate’s Degree courses to gain enough knowledge and skill to pursue a career in graphic design.
In order to earn your Bachelor’s Degree, you should expect to take classes in studio art, principles of design, graphics production, printing techniques, website design and computerized design. With technology changing as rapidly as it does in today’s world, mastering the latest technology and design software is a must.
Courses should not be limited solely to design and art, as most employers like to see candidates who have a diverse background. Students are encouraged to also take courses that will give them skill that can only benefit them once in the career field. These courses include marketing, business, and communication.
One recommendation that is given across the board is that graphic design students should create a professional portfolio during the course of their education. Many programs, both online and traditional, on-campus, offer students chances to build this portfolio with a diverse selection of design samples. Opportunities exist in professional internships as well as fellowships and classroom projects. When building a portfolio, it is imperative that the work presented be both professional but also diverse. Employers like to see candidates who are flexible in their skills and are fully capable of creating a variety of products and messages. Ultimately it is the student’s design skills that are the goal of the portfolio.
Having the right education and the best example of your professional work is an excellent way to scoring that dream job in the field of graphic design.
Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/graphic-designers.htm