Students interested in graphic design programs should take basic art and design courses in high school, if the courses are available. Many bachelor's degree programs require students to have had one year of basic art and design courses before being admitted to a formal degree program. Some schools require applicants to submit sketches and other examples of their artistic ability.
A bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field is usually required for jobs in this field. Those with a bachelor’s degree in another field may pursue technical training in graphic design to meet most hiring qualifications. Beginning graphic designers usually need one to three years of work experience before they can advance to higher positions. Experienced graphic designers may advance to chief designer, art or creative director, or other supervisory positions.
Most schools include studio art, principles of design, computerized design, commercial graphics production, printing techniques, and website design. In addition, students should consider courses in writing, marketing, and business, all of which are useful in helping designers work effectively on project teams.
Many programs provide students with the opportunity to build their professional portfolios. This means collecting examples of their designs from classroom projects, internships, and other experiences. Students use these examples of their work to demonstrate their design skills when applying for jobs and bidding on projects. A good portfolio often is the deciding factor in getting a job.
The most common degree held by graphic designers is Graphic Design. 11 percent of graphic designers had a degree in graphic design before becoming graphic designers. That is over 12 times the average across all careers. Commercial Art And Graphic Design graduates are the second most common among graphic designers, representing 4 percent of graphic designers in the Sokanu user base, which is 12.6 times the average.
This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Graphic Designer, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.
|Degree||% of graphic designers||% of population||Multiple|
|Commercial Art And Graphic Design||3.8%||0.3%||12.6×|
|Marketing And Marketing Research||1.8%||1.4%||1.3×|
|Business Management And Administration||1.8%||4.3%||0.4×|
|High school diploma||0%|
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