Is it possible to become a graphic designer without a degree?

Is there any way to become a graphic designer without a degree? Is it incredibly rare not to have a degree in this subject?

I already have an undergraduate degree in something different. Is there a "fast-track" solution, or would I have to take 1 year's art foundation and then a 3 year degree?

Many thanks.

3 Answers

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  • 10 years ago
    Best Answer

    Most graphic designers do have a college degree, however you do not necessarily need a degree in graphic design. I would suggest enrolling in a graphic design certificate program. Certificate programs generally last 1-2 years depending on what you sign up for. This would give you the skills and knowledge you would need to become a graphic designer, and to find work, without requiring you to take all of the general education courses you probably already took as an undergraduate.

    I hope that helps! Good luck!

    This might also be helpful: http://www.art-school.com/careers/graphic-designer...

  • 4 years ago

    You ask a lot of really good questions. I wish the internet was around before I started college. I would of asked the same questions. Here are my answers: Should I bother to make the effort to get into the graphic design field without a degree? Yes, but you should work on a degree at the same time. You can make a portfolio to show potential clients and also earn a degree. Be ambitious and do both. Do you agree that it is more important to develop a strong portfolio than to have an impressive resume and college education background? I see your logic and it is possible but here is the difference. If you go to college you will learn from many different teachers and have a degree that shows you can make a commitment and follow through. On the other hand if you don't go to college you will basically teach yourself. A college education will give you more knowledge from different view points. You will also have a degree. Society respects college degrees. It is just the way it is. I do not think it will change. Yes, there are exceptions to everything but you can't go wrong if you go to college and apply yourself. Do employers REALLY care more about talent than credentials? Will they care that my teacher wrote in a recent recommendation letter for me that "the world of visual design needs more people like her"? Will they care that I'm a praised student or will they just want someone who went to college? Credentials help. A college education is a good thing. You can use common sense in a lot of things. What if you were hiring for a project and 2 people applied. One went to Penn State and had a great portfolio and the other one was self taught and had a great portfolio. You would most likely choose Penn State with a great portfolio. There is a lot of competition out there and you need to stay marketable and competitive. You also need to put yourself in real world situations. Here is why college is good. Let's say Company XYZ needs a new print and online campaign for their new car that is coming out and they want to reach a certain age group. Let's also say that you did a project like this in college. You would already have a background in it. These are the types of things that you work on in college. Projects based on real world situations. Let's say you taught yourself, what would you say? Is an employer likely to hire a person just recently out of high school? Yes, if there portfolio is really good and they see potential. What kind of difference will it make if I work an apprenticeship at a design firm? Do they even tend to hire apprentices as actual workers eventually? I wouldn't use the word apprentice. I would say intern. Yes, design firms hire interns. Apprentice sounds outdated or it would be better used for different types of work.

  • 10 years ago

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