When looking at design or art programs, there are so many things to consider. First and foremost, you have to be fairly sure that you really want to become a graphic designer. Whether you’re looking at part-time online courses or full-time graphic design colleges, it’s a major investment that you shouldn’t take lightly.
Once you’re feeling confident in your career path choice and have rounded up a list of potential schools, here are 5 things you need to consider before making a final decision:
Make sure your graphic design schools are ranked at the top. And then, find out what current students and alumni have to say about it. Do some research on whether or not the school can help you get internships and jobs, either through name alone or sponsored placement.
Sure, you may really want to live in the wilds of Alaska, but schools that are located in hubs of design might be a better bet, making it easier to tune into the local art community and find work. If you decide to pursue an online degree, remember that often you eventually need a local option for critical hands-on work and studio time.
Are there any teachers there that you’re just dying to work with? Any big names that you recognize? Someone who specializes in the type of niche design work you love?
Veteran graphic designer and teacher, Adam Richardson, says that matching your interests to a program’s strengths is crucial. If you’re into the engineering and manufacturing end of the design process, don’t pick a school that specializes in environmental sustainability. Also realize that some programs are really conceptual, while others focus on tangible skills. Choose accordingly.
Another great piece of advice from Richardson–take some part-time or summer courses before taking the full-time plunge. Getting a taste of the program before you apply can be one of the best ways to make a final decision on schools–and a great test to see if design school is really what you want to do.
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