If building a career in the field of graphic design sounds interesting to you, it’s time to take the next step and find out what it takes to make it happen. Since a dream without a plan is just a dream, let’s discover the qualifications required to occupy a position of graphic designer.
Bachelor of Fine Arts vs. Associate’s Degree in Graphic Design
An associate’s degree is more like a certification, so it can be said it’s inferior to a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Although the first one qualifies you for an assistant or technical support job position, if you want to have significant academic and career achievements you certainly need to attend courses that grant you a BFA.
Not only that it will ensure you a well-paid job, but it will also give you the chance to eventually work for a big and well-known company, which is in my opinion an important accomplishment in one’s career.
BFA programs usually are four years long, but in some cases it may take longer to obtain the diploma because of the heavy course load involved. Carnegie Melon University occupies the number one position in the top of graphic design schools and it is followed by Virginia Commonwealth University, Rhode Island School of Design, Pratt Institute and Maryland Institute College Of Art.
However, you will most probably choose a graphic design school depending on your limited financial possibilities. Still, if you afford to pay the tuition fees, it’s always best to send application forms to top ranking universities because you will find yourself in a highly competitive environment, which is known to improve your performance. In addition, you already know that having a degree from a college brand gives you a pole-position start at a job interview.
Sometimes, even though you have a BFA, it may not be enough to get the job you dream of. That is why you should obtain some certifications that attest your knowledge and capabilities of operating with some of the essential graphic design software such as Adobe Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator, CorelDraw or Macromedia FreeHand.
In conclusion, use your financial and intellectual resources at maximum and try to get admitted to a good graphic design college. However, this is not the end of the road because you will need to be a constant learner if you want to keep up with the newest discoveries. In fact, when you are accepted at a graphic design school, your journey just begins. Who knows? Maybe one day you will be running one of the best graphic design companies in the U.S. (or beyond)!
Land your Bachelor’s or Associates Degree in design and you could be working for a firm like Vionet Grahpics, one of Pennsylvania’s best design firms.
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Ruan Smit started Pixelsmithstudios with the vision of creating a new design orientated environment of sharing, learning and expertise development amongst local Animators,Illustrators,Game Developers and VFX artists in South Africa.