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Do You Need a Degree to Become a Graphic Designer?

Graphic design student working with digital tablet and pen.

Many students wonder whether a degree in graphic design is worth completing. It’s understandable to explore why you need a graphic design degree, considering how many skills you can learn on your own. There are many designers with a great deal of success who are self-taught.

A degree is not just a piece of paper stating the program you have completed and the skills you have gained. Often times, recruiters look at a degree as a testament to your commitment to graphic design, and your dedication to pursue it professionally. In fact, there are many benefits to earning a degree in graphic design that will benefit you both in your future career, and personally as a designer.

You Learn the “Proper” Way to Do Things

While innovation is always admirable and can get you far, the graphic design world has industry standards employers look for. If you are entirely self-taught, you may not have learned how some design concepts and projects are expected to be carried out in a professional environment. A graphic design degree follows a curriculum that adheres to industry standards and teaches you the skills you need to know in order to thrive in the workplace.

You Get to Learn from Professionals

One of the biggest reasons why you should pursue a graphic design degree is that you get the opportunity to learn first-hand from practicing professionals. Their current knowledge and diverse skill sets will help you develop your own unique style alongside a reliable, verifiable education.

You Learn More

Rather than only picking up skills as you need them for jobs, an online graphic design degree teaches you a wide range of design skills that employers look for. These skills can include typography, print layout, UX design, and more. You will gain current skills that are trending in the industry that will make you a cutting-edge candidate when applying for jobs.

You Don’t Have to Go to a School to Study

If you’ve been freelancing as a designer or have another job, you don’t have to drop everything attend school in a classroom. There are hundreds of accredited universities that have an online graphic design degree program. This enables you to set your own hours, study at your own pace and reap the rewards of having a degree without having to sacrifice your current lifestyle.

The Bottom Line: A Degree Makes a Difference

At the end of the day, it’s not impossible to become a successful designer without a degree, but that doesn’t mean you should immediately rule it out. The real reason why you need a graphic design degree is to demonstrate your value to employers and gain some incredible up-to-date skills.

When you earn a degree in graphic design, you benefit from access to the industry through your professors and peers. You also have greater resources as a student and, ultimately, the ability to make and refine a portfolio that will impress employers and land you your dream job.

For more great topics concerning college life, check out the other blogs on College Basics.