Is a Graphic Design Degree Worth It?
Interested in becoming a graphic designer? Wondering if getting a graphic design degree is worth it? Read more to discover why a graphic design degree is worth getting, what you can expect from the coursework and some of the benefits of getting this degree.
What Does a Graphic Designer Do?
Graphic designers create visual concepts using computer software to communicate ideas to consumers. They develop layout and production design for materials and technology. Specifically, graphic designers work with clients to determine a project’s scope, conceptualize a design, create visual elements, and edit their concept to the client’s satisfaction.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of graphic designers in computer systems design is projected to grow 24 percent through the next decade. With the increased use of the Internet and mobile devices, more graphic designers are needed to create visual elements for website, marketing materials and web applications.
Where Do Graphic Designers Work?
Most graphic designers that graduate from college will take a position in-house at a company or work for an agency that manages client projects. Only after gaining some real-life applied experience can a graphic designer venture into the freelance side of graphic design.
An in-house graphic designer focuses on producing creative materials specifically for their company or brand. A graphic designer who works at an agency may be involved in either one or multiple client’s projects, and the designers typically work on a project-by-project basis. A freelance graphic designer typically works on his or her own schedule but may work with both companies and agencies.
In-house and agency positions offer more stability and predictability, whereas freelance opportunities offer flexibility and discretion. Some graphic designers specialize in one modality whereas other graphic designers tackle different creative styles and types of projects.
What are the Benefits of Getting this Degree?
There are many benefits from getting a degree in graphic design. They include opportunities to work in multiple fields, the exposure to different graphic design disciplines, increased opportunity to get a job after graduation, structured learning, and the ability to shape one’s career in graphic design.
Multiple Fields of Opportunity
Getting a degree in graphic design prepares you to work in a wide variety of fields including advertising, publishing, public relations, animation, game design, media, and industrial design. Many graphic designers transfer some of their skills from one industry to the other. Having more creative flexibility opens up the doors for opportunities in different fields.
Exposure to Different Graphic Design Disciplines
A graphic design degree will include a diverse coursework in many modalities of graphic design, offering you the ability to be exposed to different disciplines. This will help you to make a conscious decision about the field or specialization to engage in. With specializations including desktop design, web design, illustration, animation, logo design, and design management, you can find the perfect specialization that fits your personality and ambitions.
Increases Opportunity to Get a Job
Having a degree in graphic design increases the chances of getting a job in these fields. Getting a graphic design degree also shows your prospective employer that you are willing to take on a project and see it to the finish. They will be able to trust you with a complicated project knowing that you will have the drive to complete the project in a timely manner, and within quality standards.
A degree in graphic design also gives you credibility. It shows prospective employers that you have a trained eye for, and a high level of skill in graphic design. It will also set you apart from your colleagues that are vying for the same career opportunity.
The degree program offers a structured way of learning the fundamentals of design. These fundamentals are important in any field. By learning in a structured way, you can bring this structure to your graphic design projects.
Computers streamline the teaching process giving you an easier way to create designs. The fundamentals of good design can be taught just as effectively digitally as they can be physically. Getting a degree in graphic design will allow you access to the most modern technology and software as well as up to date information that will allow you to work well in an ever-evolving job market.
Shapes Your Career in Graphic Design
Graphic design is not just a job, it is a skill that can shape the career path you follow. Many jobs in graphic design are stepping stones to managerial careers as creative director and art director paths.
What Skills Does a Graphic Designer Learn During a Degree Program?
Many skills are natural to some graphic designers, however the most important point about skills is that they can be learned and expanded upon. Whether it be at college or on the job, graphic design skills can be learned and are ever evolving.
Graphic designers must use their imagination to conceptualize design for many project scopes. A creative graphic designer can form original ideas and create solutions for artistic opportunities. Creativity is about how designers develop, understand and communicate their unique ideas. This skill is important for designers who work directly with clients or within a collaborative group.
This skill is the backbone of graphic design. Without communication, a graphic designer would not be able to convey their design or collaborate with colleagues. The graphic artist must be both able to connect visually within creative projects and verbally with clients and colleagues.
Supplemental to communication is active listening. A graphic designer must make a conscious effort to not only listen to another but to hear what they are saying and understand the complete message that has been conveyed.
Attention to Detail
Much of what a graphic designer learns in a degree program is how to pay attention to detail. He or she must achieve thoroughness and accuracy when completing a project. Many creative projects demand a graphic designer to concentrate and stay accurate to minimize the risk of errors.
A graphic designer with good time management skills can meet deadlines and accomplish more in a shorter period of time. A graphic designer that manages time well is organized, uses prioritization, sets goals, plans ahead, and delegates tasks that can be done by colleagues. Many graphic design projects are under a hard deadline, and the ability to manage time well is an important asset for any graphic designer to learn.
Many times, a graphic designer must work in a group or alongside colleagues that supplement their skills to complete a project. Designers must work together to achieve a defined goal. Without collaboration, communication can breakdown. This can lead to missed deadlines and less than acceptable project outcomes.
Are Graphic Design Degree Programs Offered Online?
Online degree programs allow students to learn at their own pace and when it is convenient for them. Many students have other obligations including caring for children or elderly parents. Online programs allow students to learn with the same attention from instructors they receive from on-campus programs, but at times that work best for them.
There are many reasons to get a degree in graphic design. There are the obvious reasons like gainful employment, developing new skills and sharpening old ones. The time spent in the pursuit of a graphic design degree will help any graphic designer become better at what they do and open up opportunities to grow into different creative styles and types of projects.
Did learning about graphic design interest you? Regent University’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Arts teaches you the technical foundations, industry-leading skills and design software needed for careers in graphic arts, marketing, advertising and media integration. Study the fundamentals of design, digital photography, illustration, drawing, web design, logo development, corporate branding and more—all from a Christian worldview.
On completing the BFA in Graphic Arts degree you will be able to create compelling visual communication. Develop industry-standard materials for interactive media and multi-platform campaigns. Evaluate visual communication strategies based on data-driven outcomes and popular culture.
Ready to use your eye for design to take your skills to the next level personally and professionally? Regent University’s admissions counselors are ready to answer questions and help you work through financial aid so you can move ahead in this promising field. Whether you’re ready to take the leap, or simply want some more information, you can reach them at 800.373.5504.