Graphic Design Degrees and Why You TOTALLY SCORED by Getting One
May 19, 2017
Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and ready to take on the world! Tons of graphic designers will be graduating soon and many of them will make a career out of traditional graphic design, others will drift into something else. And you know what? THAT is one of the best things about having a graphic design degree.
Design is super versatile. It's really more of a lens, a different way to see the world, and is a valuable asset (or launchpad) to a variety of careers.
The importance of design continues to grow and permeate more and more industries and lines of work. All the things you hone in graphic design—visual language, color theory, pattern, consumer insights, target audiences, etc.—are great skills for so many different kinds of jobs.
As my brilliant friend Matt Overwine once told me, "Designers can often be VERY good at a complementary skill set like project management, copywriting, web development, etc. If you can design on top of having these skills, you're exponentially more valuable."
Do you hear that? Exponentially more valuable! I know many people who majored in graphic design and have gone on to have successful careers in many other fields, like sign-painting, interior design, marketing, fashion design, illustration, hand lettering, screen printing, blogging/vlogging, web design, videography, app design, photography, even fine art painting! With graphic design as your base, the potential list of career opportunities goes on and on.
The real key is to be open to new opportunities.Don't shut doors before they even open by telling people "I would never do that" or "I'm only going to do this." How do you KNOW you wouldn't love doing it and be great at it if you never try? Sometimes a "no" attitude can block you from amazing experiences that you didn't even know were out there.
I've taken on so many random projects I wasn't entirely sure about at the onset. I've been asked to design store-window displays, create 3D sculptures, do sign painting, interior design, watercolor, fashion illustration, gourmet food photography and so many other random things that a designer might not "typically" do. That's what I LOVE about this degree. Our design skills can transfer to so many different formats, so there's neverending growth potential. Even though I may not have loved every single one of those projects, I'm glad I tried them because they opened doors that weren't there before (and...most of them, I DID love). Plus, it's never bad to add another skill!
So if you're having trouble finding that dream design job, or you're just looking for a change, consider other avenues where your design skills can give you an edge. Think about your other skills and passions (take the 16 Personalities online test if you're not sure) and broaden your job search or get a life coach to help guide you in the right direction. Most importantly: STAY OPEN.
"If you're a badass designer, stick with it. But if you feel like you have aptitude elsewhere, feel free to build up another skill. It will only benefit you in the long run." (So true, Matthew!)
The sky's the limit! The biggest question you have to ask yourself is, "What do you want to do?"