Graphic Design Education: The Gift that Keeps on Giving
Updated: Aug 9
Graphic design is a growing and competitive field, yet it is one where people with the right skills can succeed. Even though the field is competitive, a designer can stand out with his or her own vision and individual artistic approach to design and creation. Preparing today’s students with career education focused on graphic design exposes them to a growing and prosperous field, while allowing students to explore their passions.
With a rapidly evolving economy, many school leaders around the country are reviewing their CTE programs. And with the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are offering new digital curriculum and online learning options to help students explore a variety of new careers. Without early exposure to various career pathways, many students graduate without clarity on the next step in finding and developing their careers.
Graphic design is a popular career option for many people! While most high-end design jobs require a college degree, many companies hire designers with basic skills as interns and assistants, allowing prospective designers to explore the field before committing to a degree. For example, at mindSpark Learning, a nonprofit in Colorado, one of the main designers on the creative team is a college student who works part-time and attends college as he pursues a graphic design degree. He earned Adobe certifications in high school as a CTE-focused school and started interning for the company as a high school senior. He now has solid experience to help build his post-graduation resume, and has been able to explore the field before committing to the career path.
Demand is always high for good design thinking and creativity.
Graphic designers are problem solvers for businesses and brands. They look for ways way to visually tell or enhance a story. This is a skill that not all professionals have, making the designer such an important part of the marketing journey.
There are always new businesses being started that need new logos and design guidelines. There are an endless amount of graphics needed for social media platforms. Artwork is constantly in demand for print and digital publications, including books and magazines. And there are always new ways for advertisers to get the attention of consumers, both in print and on a screen.
According to RaiseMe, graphic designers have a median income of $47,640 with a bachelor’s degree required for most jobs, though some may require specialized training only. The industry is projected to grow at least 5% over the next decade as well, resulting in even more job opportunities for today’s current students. Jobs are plentiful in design and the future looks promising for new designers.
Graphic designers have a plethora of career options.
Graphic design career opportunities include freelance jobs, corporate design positions, or even utilizing these skills as an entrepreneur or on a small team. Designers can find full-time jobs with companies or choose to enter the gig economy as a designer to make a living or supplement another career, providing significant flexibility for this career path.
In addition to many different career formats, designers have a variety of roles to choose to specialize in. They can focus on graphic design, learn to design web sites, become a creative director, explore user experience/user interface (UX/UI) design, focus on marketing, or consider multimedia as a specialty, among many other paths.
Graphic designers must have basic certifications, and the willingness to always learn more.
There are many certifications that all enable designers to thrive in the field. For instance, most designers need to be proficient in popular Adobe programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, all part of the Adobe Creative Cloud. These Adobe certifications are the basic requirements for most design jobs.
Industry-recognized certifications help students get a leg up on career opportunities. These relevant certifications will allow students to prove their competency and passion. Ultimately , this can help them get in the door and advance quicker.
A certification (or the base-level skills that are learned in earning a certificate) is just the first step in a career. In 20 years, graphic design will be a world of difference from what it is today. There will be new techniques, technologies, programs, and uses for graphic design (think holograms, AI, and 3D immersive video). But knowing basic design principles, and being able to create and deliver, can open doors to future opportunities.
Career education programs can prepare students for future graphic design career pathways.
To support these urgent needs, Pointful Education has built a number of courses to help students prepare for careers in graphic design. Through online learning within CTE programs at schools around the country, students can learn these basic design skills and earn initial design certifications to help them succeed in a future design career.
By giving students exposure to graphic design, we can prepare the next generation of artists and innovators in this emerging field. Through career education, we better prepare students for the modern workforce they will soon enter.