Choosing a Career in Graphic Design
When you’re deciding on the perfect career, there are more things to consider than just your interest in the field. Getting a great education doesn’t neccessarily mean you will have a job awaiting you the moment you finish your degree. Part of your success in your choosen field is dependent on your ability to land a job. So below we’ve compiled some statistics. Now we’d like to point out that there are ways to turn any statistic in your favor and we’ve included them below:
STATISTICS ABOUT GRAPHIC DESIGN CAREERS
What is Graphic Design and what does it entail?
Look around you…every label, logo and even the outside of your cereal box is created by a graphic designer. To be a graphic designer basically means to create the visual representation of goods, be it a website, magazine ad or product label. Graphic designers are growing in demand with the world’s evolution of technology and you could be looking at creating designs for any of the following:
- Mobile Apps
- Magazine Ads
- Social Media
- Interactive Media
What is the yearly average wage of graphic designers?
Graphic Designers are expected to make on average between $24,804 to $57,030 for 2013 according to PayScale.
What job titles are graphic designers being hired for?
- Graphic Designer/Artist
- Creative Director/Art Director
- Multimedia Artist
- Visual Image Designer
- Multimedia Developer
- Package Designer
What are the statistics of students who remain in the field after graduation?
According to a recent study by the Princeton Review, “Of the 25,000 people who try to enter the graphic design field each year, only about 60 percent last the first two years, and about 30 percent remain in the field at five years.”
Who needs graphic designers?
Advertising agencies, web and software designers and hospitality industries are all scrambling to find talented graphic designers who can hand them upper edge in advertising and design.
Who shouldn’t be in graphic design?
Those who are insecure about their work! Your work will be highly visible and you will be hearing large amounts of feedback, both good and bad. Being great at graphic design requires a large amount of self-confidence!
Who should be in the graphic design field?
Creative people who enjoy sharing their creativity with others and are willing to receive criticism constructively.
HOW TO GET THE FAST TRACK TO SUCCESS IN GRAPHIC DESIGN AFTER COLLEGE
Where is the ideal location for a graphic designer to live after graduation?
Cities are the best place to find a career in graphic design. Pay close attention to the cities’ growth rates, cost of living and the average salary. However, don’t go out on a limb and attempt to make it without having a job first. Others getting the same degree have the same ideas and are working on the same goal as you. Competition is fierce.
What other skills are helpful to gaining success and higher wages?
Graphic designers often need to gain other skills, such as business management. Learn CSS, HTML and XHTML. You have the right to choose credits and courses that will give you the upper edge in your career. Choosing business related and software design related courses will give you a more versatile background and knowledgable useful to your career choice.
Know Your Software
Go above and beyond just the programs that are taught in school. In your portfolio, have examples for all types of design programs. Most colleges and universities will stick with teaching the basic Adobe programs. Many newspapers prefer programs, such as QuarkeXpress so learn how to use it and have proof to back it up. Even expand to the UK-based program designer Serif’s products. Master each program to demonstrate your diversity.
Here’s a list of software programs to familarize yourself with:
- Adobe InDesign
- Adobe Photoshop
- Maxon Cinema 4D Studio
- Adobe Illustrator
- Corel Draw Graphic Studio
- Quark eXpress
- Autodesk Maya
- Xara Desinger Plus
- 3ds Studio Max
- Google SketchUp
- Adobe Lightroom
- AutoDesk AutoCAD
- Serif PhotoPlus
- Adobe After Effects
- DAZ Studio
- Adobe PageMaker
- Serif PagePlus
- Serif DrawPlus
While is may not seem practical to use all of these, it can be a huge help for freelancers who have to pick up on a project that someone has started.
Are there steps to take to gain an upper advantage during school?
As mentioned before, create a portfolio of your work using different programs. You’ll have some projects required by the school, but everyone will have these. Having a more extensive portfolio will automatically gain you the upper edge. Look for local business that need help with design and offer to provide them with free design services in exchange for use in your portfolio and a letter of recommendation if they are pleased with your work.
Pay close attention to the things you learn about color and advertising psychology and be prepared to explain your usages of color and lines to achieve the ultimate purpose of your design.
Be prepared to work in different situations and restrictions, especially if you plan on working as a freelance designer. Be prepared to work under different financial budgets, tight deadlines and unpleased clients.
Grow Your Network While In College
College is a great place to share in experiences and gain relationships with others to build your network. Some of the best client referrals and job positioning announcements will come from your classmates. Respect them and encourage yourself to develop as many relationships as possible.
Participate in Design Contests
There are a ton of places online where you can send in your work for contests online. Take advantage of it. Nothing looks better on a resume than to have awards for your work.