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Do we need Graphic Design degrees?

There are many people who feel they have a knack for design. If these people  have a knack for computers as well, they can maybe fake it and get away with it. How can we distinguish ourselves, as students of design, and persuade potential clients that our education is worth the time we’ve spent? We do it by educating them. We learn as much as we can from our client’s discussion of the project, then come back with a dynamic and thorough design strategy that assures the client that we have the perfect solution.


  1. Karen Beach wrote:

    I’m attempting to check out the function of the comment area of this blog. Hopefully the plug-in I’ve activated will keep the amount of spam down, so we can have helpful and enriching discussions.

    Friday, January 31, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Permalink
  2. Neha Sohail wrote:

    I think a degree in graphic design gives the designer more value in the subject than someone who learns on their own. Yes, you can watch tutorials on how to use the different design programs without paying for a degree in the field, but do you get to experience critiques and feedback on how you can make your designs stronger? Feedback from peers and instructors who might actually be in the field is worth the degree. In school you start to learn proper techniques and learn different do’s and don’t as well as build your own style. Along with earning your degree you can enhance your designs and knowledge in design by taking additional programs outside of school, but the conversations and projects given in school train your mind to succeed in the workforce. This is what makes getting a degree worth it.

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Permalink
  3. Sam Mclaren wrote:

    I agree because even though you are talented in different design programs outside of school, you won’t have the knowledge to do critiques much less know how to critique. When I wanted to become a designer, I didn’t think I needed to know how to critique, but now I know why because with criticism I can enhance my own style of design. With a degree in design, the employers that I apply for will know that I have the proper education for design.

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Permalink
  4. Lindsay Kempter wrote:

    I think a design degree is absolutely necessary. BFA students become more well-rounded artists due to their curriculum primarily being based in studio art classes. BA graphic designers spent more time in liberal arts classes, while Associate’s Degree students are even more narrow in field. By hiring students with more advanced degrees, employers are ensuring that their new employees are well-rounded and able to complete a multitude of tasks. This is what makes you as a person marketable and able to make the company money!

    Sunday, February 9, 2014 at 10:51 am | Permalink
  5. Charlis Foster wrote:

    I guess I’m gonna be different and say I don’t think they are necessary. Helpful, yes, but necessary, no. At least not for actually doing the work. I’ve worked in design for ten years without a degree. I learned principles of art and design by reading and practicing. I networked through professional organizations with other designers who gave me critiques and feedback that helped me to grow as a designer. And I can honestly say that there are some things you just don’t have the opportunity to learn in a classroom setting. A lot of classes focus on making things look good, but do they work? How will they survive production? A lot of the knowledge I have was gained through hands on experience, with a lot of trial and error. And that’s the only way you will ever learn some of those things.

    I am in school now because of the way the job market is — it’s almost impossible to find a job without a degree. Most employers in larger organizations don’t even read your resume unless a degree is listed — their computer programs spit it out. And to be honest — a lot of the work employers are looking for is a lot of times very basic. The market is flooded with degreed people looking for jobs, and you have to have a degree to stay competitive in this market. However, I feel that ultimately your portfolio will speak for itself and if you are given a chance to show your skills a designer without a degree can be just as successful as one with a degree.
    In the end — your education is what you make it. Whether you go the formal route and get a degree or learn by experience, the results you get will only be as good as the effort you put into learning your craft.

    Monday, February 10, 2014 at 7:53 pm | Permalink
  6. ogo wrote:

    Graphic design degree is necessary for anyone who wants to go and work for big corporations or firms, since they would normally ask for a minimum of two years of experience along with the bachelor’s degree. However, I also can be unnecessary for those who are talented and fully able to freelance on their own. I think it is really depend on one’s career goal and what he or she can make out of a degree. There are many designers who makes their living even without a degree, but also there are many graduates who can not even find a decent job on the field. So my point here is, there is no yes or no answer to this question, but it is up to that person whether he or she could make a success out of their degree or talent.

    Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 1:15 am | Permalink
  7. Nikhilaa Prakash wrote:

    I think that getting a degree in graphic design is as important as getting a degree in any other subject. What we are taught in college cannot be learnt through YouTube. In college, we learn the subjects from professors who are experienced in that field and have a wide range on knowledge on that subject. In college we are also surrounded by people just like us, who think and behave very similarly to us. Being around like minded people is very helpful in shaping you as a designer.

    Sunday, March 2, 2014 at 10:19 am | Permalink