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What Degree Do You Need To Be A Graphic Designer

By David Krug 4 minute read

A person with innovative ideas and artistic talents may worry about the finest degree to get in order to become a designer of graphics.

How can this question be answered? There are a variety of degrees in graphic design, and each degree level provides graduates with a variety of options for employment.

The easiest method to figure out what degree in graphic design is appropriate for you is to identify your job goals. Below you’ll find some details on graphic design degrees and career paths.

What Degrees Are Offered?

An associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree can all be earned in graphic design as well as a postgraduate certificate.

Each degree is distinct from the others, although they are all expansions of the preceding degree level in terms of content and structure.

  • For those who want to work as web developers, graphic artists, marketing managers, drafters, and creative directors, this two-year degree program is the best choice for them.
  • This four-year curriculum prepares students for a wide range of graphic design occupations, including those as graphic artists, designers, art directors, creative directors, filmmakers, directors of video, and multi-media artists and managers.
  • Master’s degree — This is a two-year program for those having a bachelor’s degree. 
  • Students who get a degree in this field can work as animators, creative directors, art directors, multimedia directors, and industrial product designers. They can also work as engineering drafters and senior designers.
  • The doctorate degree in graphic design is the highest degree level that may be obtained. Research and teaching roles are two of the most common options for graduates of this degree.

What is the Most Valuable Degree?

Graphic design degrees might be challenging for students who know they want to work in the field but aren’t quite sure what they want to do.

Students may have a hard time deciding which degree level to pursue because there are so many options. It’s impossible to say one degree is better than the others in terms of graphic design education.

College isn’t free. For the sake of your career, why spend all that money on a degree that you may never use?

Graphic design students are more likely to go for a bachelor’s degree than any other option. This program provides classes in a wide range of graphic design specialties.

Preparation for most careers is also provided. Applicants should select a degree that is most relevant to their job aspirations.

Factors When Selecting a Degree in Graphic Design

In order to make an informed decision on their future career path in graphic design, students need to weigh a number of variables.

  • Exactly what does a degree entail? Will the student be able to land a job in their field of interest after graduation?
  • Exactly what is the program’s cost? Higher degree levels need more credits and money since students often pay per-credit fees. Students are frequently saddled with debt that will take them a year or more to repay. Choosing a degree that is more advanced than what a person actually requires ends up being a waste of money.
  • Is the degree relevant to what I want to do in the future? Graphic design software differs from one package to the next. Both programs may yield a bachelor’s degree, however, they may offer distinct classes. Ascertain whether or not the program offers the courses required for a certain vocation.
  • Is a portfolio required for the program? However, not all graphic design programs require their students to provide a portfolio of their work. Most jobs in the art industry demand portfolios, which are particularly valuable in this field.
  • Is there a time limit? Students may be limited in the number of years they can attend college without working or having other responsibilities. Choosing a smaller degree or one that is provided online may be the best option for a student who is short on time.

Required Education

All graphic designers are expected to hold a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from a school recognized by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, regardless of their degree level of choice.

A total of 360 schools and universities are accredited by the NASAD for their art and design programs.

Most graphic design students take classes in website design, design concepts, graphics, printing, writing, and commercial art production as part of their curriculum.

The internship may also be a requirement for some programs. The students will put together a portfolio of their work at the end of the session. In addition to the curriculum, a portfolio is expected by potential employers.

Opportunities Outlook

When it comes to the design sector, there is always a need for a graphic artist. In the ten-year period from 2018 to 2028, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 22% reduction in employment for graphic designers who work in print publications like newspapers and magazines.

Even while total job growth for graphic designers is expected to be 3%, computer systems design and associated services are expected to expand by 24% over the same time period.

It’s estimated that graphic designers made between $28,560 and $83,140 in 2018, with an annual average salary of $53,280.

Salaries for graphic designers vary widely depending on several factors, including the sort of graphic design work done and the area in which it is performed. 

Five states in which graphic designers may expect to make the most money are as follows:

  • District of Columbia – $69,530
  • New York – $64,820
  • Massachusetts – 61,400
  • Connecticut – $60250
  • Virginia – $59,550

Graphic design majors and minors are available to those who wish to pursue a career as a graphic designer.

Because there are so many alternatives, aspirant graphic designers may pick the degree level that best matches their career goals.

David Krug