What Graphic Design Degree is Right for You?

Most employers want to see a graphic design school listed on your resume because it guarantees you have learned certain skills. Yet a graphic design education can culminate in a certificate, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree. Which one should you get?

Certificate: Some graphic design schools may not allow you to begin a bachelor’s degree program without completing a year of basic art and design courses first. Usually you can do this in high school, but if that isn’t an option you may want to enroll in a short certificate program before applying.

A certificate can also help working graphic designers to hone their skills and keep up-to-date with the latest software and design technology.

Associate’s Degree: Earned at a 2-year or 3-year professional school, this type of graphic design education qualifies you as an assistant to a professional graphic designer or for a job that only requires technical skills.

If you already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, this degree may be your best option. It teaches you the technical skills you need without forcing you to complete another 4-year program.

Bachelor’s Degree: Gives you the best opportunities to get your foot in the door, whether your degree is in graphic design specifically or fine arts overall. This degree also has the advantage of providing you with an overall liberal arts education, which can help you develop additional skills to help you succeed in your career. Your coursework should include:

  • Commercial graphics production
  • Computerized design
  • Principles of design
  • Printing techniques
  • Studio art
  • Website design

You can earn a bachelor’s degree at a traditional graphic design school or through an online program.

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  1. Posted October 7, 2010 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    I really like your post its interesting and I hv learnt so many things from your post……I knw its really helpful!!!!!!!!G8t Job

  2. Posted October 14, 2010 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Thanks for all the great info. - i been looking at upgrading my skills and maybe i`ll think more of a school with actual degrees .
    Have a great day!

  3. NaijaGraphic
    Posted October 30, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    I am a photographer looking to go back to school next year for graphic design….right now i have an associate degree in COmputer information systems.been searching for a graphic design school in maryland,dc,virginia endlessly.Could you please recommend any school in maryland,dc or virginia.Thanks
    Awesome work.

  4. All Graphic Design Staff
    Posted November 12, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Try browsing our parent site first. It has links to several quality graphic design programs:

    If that doesn’t help, please feel free to comment again and let us know.

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