Some people do manage to break into the graphic design business simply based on their talents and abilities, but for the majority of people, having a solid educational background in the field is a necessity for finding a job.
Of course, one of the primary prerequisites you will need for pursuing a career in this field is the ability to be creative and put your ideas down on paper. You also need to have a talent for drawing, as this is a skill that is very difficult to learn if you do not have a natural aptitude for it.
If you really want a good shot at landing a job as a graphic designer, you will need to enroll in a program at an accredited institution so that you can add these credentials to your resume. You can find graphic design programs at four year colleges and at local community colleges. The choice that you make will probably not have much of an impact on how successful you are in your chosen career. Just make sure that you choose a program that enjoys a solid reputation.
If you start off at a community college, you will graduate with a certificate in graphic design. Having a certificate will probably not land you the highest paying job out there, but if nothing else it will get your foot in the door and gain you some valuable work experience. For greater, higher paying job opportunities you might want to consider pursuing a four year degree (at least eventually).
An advantage of enrolling in college programs is that you will be able to obtain job placement assistance as you near the end of your program of study. You might even be able to obtain an internship with a great company while you are working on your degree. In some cases, internships can lead to offers of permanent placement, which would eliminate the need to even search for a job once you are done with school.
The National Association of Schools of Art and Design website is a great place to look for some general information about the field of graphic design. You can also find some great information about schools throughout the United States and Canada that offer these programs of study.
If you need financial assistance to attend school, you should have no difficulty finding plenty of options regardless of the type of school you choose to attend. As long as the college you choose is fully accredited, both private and government backed financial aid loans and scholarships should be available.
Once you have a few classes under your belt and you feel fairly confident in your graphic design abilities, consider looking for freelance work to gain some valuable experience. This is an excellent way for you to prove yourself to employers and have some solid experience to list on your resume. There are several websites that cater to freelancers who are looking for work, so a quick search online should provide you with at least a few different employment possibilities.
Before you commit yourself to any of these sites, make sure you thoroughly read their requirements for freelancers, including payment structures, commissions, and other fees that may have to come out of your payments from employers.
Author: Pamella Neely