Do I Need a Graphic Design Degree?

Posted on July 2, 2012

Category: General

Often we’re asked: “Do I need a degree to become a successful designer, or will I be able to get enough business to live off of without spending four years of my life at school?” On one hand, we’ve seen a lot of non-college educated success stories, but we’ve also seen a whole lot of failures. With all of that in mind, we decided it was simply about time that we broke the issue down and explained in-depth some good reasons to go back or not to go back to school for a graphic design degree.

  1. Do you Have Experience? First out of the box, if you have absolutely no experience working within the design industry or with popular design software, then we very heavily suggest that you get your butt back to school. After all, do you really intend to teach yourself every inch of a new industry that you have no previous work experience in? If that were possible, we’d say power to you. But if your intent is to make money from being a designer, your odds simply don’t look good.
  2. Do you Have Connections? Another important aspect to remember are the connections. Do you have a network of businesses that are ready to draw upon you to create their graphic design projects? In other words, do you already work in a related industry, and already have a real need to become a more focused graphic designer? If so, then you can likely skip the degree all together. Otherwise, college is a great way to meet other designers, meet local business, and even meet some prospective colleagues. Use that school and its knowledge to grow in more than just an academic sense.
  3. Are You Confident? The last point we relay want to make is this—Are you comfortable being a graphic designer? Do you believe strongly enough in your own skills and your own drive that you could pitch your services to people without batting an eye? If so, then you’re likely ready for the big time. You see, starting your own business and making it a success story takes a whole lot of guts. If you don’t’ have the nerve to do what it takes, then school is a great way to build up your confidence in the meantime.

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