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Do Graphic Designers Need a College Degree?

By Michelle Ecker on February 24, 2021

Do Graphic Designers Need a College Degree?

If you want to become a professional graphic designer, a helpful first step is exploring all the educational options available to you. For one, it’s helpful to know what training is required for you to get started.  

Many aspiring graphic designers often feel confused about the difference between graphic design certificatesonline courses, college degrees, and even YouTube tutorials. There is a huge difference in what these options cost, what they can teach you, what they can be used for, and how long they take to complete. Depending on the type of job you want and how quickly you want to start your career, it’s important to understand the differences between these options before you make the best choice for your education.  

Are graphic designers required to have a college degree? 

The short answer- no.  

Many of today’s hiring managers and recruiters looking for talented graphic designers are mostly looking for experience, skill and quality work. Given this, the education pathway that gets you there doesn’t really matter as much as the quality of the work you’re capable of providing- meaning you aren’t required to spend tens of thousands of dollars and years of time on a college degree in order to start working as a capable, talented professional. As Lauren Dixon, Graphic Design USA’s source at Talent Culture shares,  

“As higher education becomes less accessible due to rising tuition, and as more alternative learning platforms proliferate online, more people are able to acquire in-demand job skills without a formal college degree.”  

What skills do graphic designers need on their resume? 

According to Monsterrather than looking for college or university names on a resume, there are 5 key skills that hiring managers are seeking out when browsing resumes.  

  1. Creativity  
  1.  Graphic Design Software Proficiency   
  1. Typography 
  1. Web Design  
  1. Print Design    

Where can graphic designers find more affordable education? 

According to College Tuition Compare, in 2019-2020 the average graphic design undergraduate tuition and fees totaled $14,596 for state residents and $49,000 for out of state students.  

NYIAD offers a self-paced, fully accredited online graphic design certificate courseThis program takes about 1-2 years to complete (at your own pace) and costs a total of $1,499 

With this option, you can login to an online learning center and study from the comfort of your own home while still communicating with a real team of graphic design teachers.  

NYIAD’s graphic design course was designed with the following student outcomes in mind:  

  • Mastering production-level design processes 
  • Learn to work using both Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop software  
  • Develop and edit vector and raster assets 
  • Develop assets for both print and web applications 
  • Develop your own beginner’s graphic design portfolio to share with potential employers and clients 

How to get started  

For many people looking for a career that they can pursue while studying from home, now is a great time to sign up for online design course with NYIAD.  Robert Mansfield, the Design Director at Forbes Media even said, “NYIAD offers a must-do graphic design course for anyone who wants a career as a designer. I wish this course was available to me when I was starting out.”   

This online graphic design course has no official start dates, class times or project due dates- meaning you make your entire schedule from home based on your personal preferences. You can enroll and get started online or call 1-800-583-1742 to get started over the phone with one of our student services representatives.