Essentially, if you have an aptitude for art and design, which you would usually notice in your High School stage or even before. As soon as you notice this creative side of you though, you should start working on your portfolio immediately. Even so, you can become a graphic designer at any age. Here are some of the most common ways to become certified:
- Associates AA/AS
The Associates of Arts (AA) and the Associates of Science (AS) degrees in graphic design are for those who are interested in learning about the profession and working with the basic tools and programs that would allow for creating digital logos, websites and print designs. Students are required to take 65 credits which usually takes 2years, to be able to graduate. Some courses include color theory, design fundamentals, basic typography, computer graphics and website design. Most AA/AS degrees are transferrable into a 4year BA/BFA degree.
- Bachelor’s BA/BFA
The Bachelor of Arts (BA) and the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees in graphic design are for those have already taught themselves the basic graphics and want to learn key skills in print and digital arts. Students are required to complete 120 to 180 credits which usually takes 4years, to be able to graduate. The curriculum consists of core studies in graphic design, general education and electives. Some courses include portfolio development, media management in digital design, production for digital and print environments and graphic designer as an entrepreneur.
- Master’s MA/MFA
The Master of Art (MA) degree in graphic design is for those who want to learn advanced graphics and project management skills while the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in graphic design are for those who wish to devote their time to graduate studio work and building an advanced portfolio. Basically, the MA is an academic and theoretical advanced degree while the MFA is a pinnacle professional degree for artists and other similar types of professionals. These degrees normally take 2years to 3years to complete, depending on the program and the institution.
To create a solid foundation as a graphic designer, you should follow these steps:
- Build you skills as early as possible, maybe during high school. Try to take as much art classes as you can such as art history, web design and drawing. You can also explore graphic design software and play around with the tools so that you can understand some of the software that you may be working with.
- Earn a degree in graphic design but ensure that the institution you attend is accredited as some institutions may offer a fully online degree while others may have face-to-face interaction. You may also want to include some classes that offer business and marketing as these can be very important as you progress in your career.
- Complete an internship. Many institutions may include this in the degree program, but you can always search for other opportunities. Internships help you to build practical skills in the real-world setting and you can add to your portfolio for prospective jobs.
- Update your portfolio so that you can use it together with your resume so that you can demonstrate your work as well as provide insight into your development as a professional.