Thanks to the growing trend towards distance learning over the Internet, it’s now possible for students to receive an online graphic design degree without ever stepping on campus. Although some lucky graphic artists “make it” in the industry without post-secondary education, the majority of graphic design jobs will now prefer candidates who have at least an associate’s degree. Degree holders also have more earning potential to soar above the average annual salary of $50,670 quite quickly. In fact, graphic designers with a degree make nearly $10,000 more yearly than their counterparts with no college experience If you’re ready to boost your professional portfolio with a graphic design degree, below we’ve highlighted the pros and cons of choosing to study online.
Benefits of Online Learning Programs
Above all, online education offers flexibility for students to juggle their schoolwork with their life and family obligations by logging on at their own convenience. Online course material is available 24/7 over the Internet, so there’s no need to be in class at a certain time. Online students have the ability to study right from the comfort of home to cut down on time and money. With no commuting required, many universities now offer graphic design courses online to meet the specific needs of budding designers. Online learning has become more popular and its reputation has changed to become more positive, which means many employers will view a graphic design degree earned online as an on-campus equivalent.
Potential Drawbacks of Studying Online
On the flip side, online degrees do have some potential disadvantages of which graphic design majors should be aware. Social interaction with fellow students can be minimal in some online courses, thus causing a lack of growth in communication skills. Interaction with instructors can be limited and you may have to wait hours for a response to your questions through email. Online graphic design students typically will receive the same access to state-of-the-art design software, but it likely won’t be as beneficial as working in a university’s labs. Technology glitches can occur and leave online students unable to complete their design assignments on time. Online education also requires a good dose of self-motivation and determination to avoid procrastination in studying at their own pace.
Finding an Online Graphic Design Degree
If you’ve made the decision that the advantages outweigh the drawbacks in earning your graphic design degree online, the next step is to find a good, reputable program. It’s essential that you do your homework on online degree programs to ensure you’re choosing a program with full accreditation and a quality education that will impress future employers. You can easily search for accredited distance learning options by your major field through the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). It’s also smart to look through the graphic design rankings published by the U.S. News and World Report to find schools that excel in the industry.
Overall, students who go the extra mile to fine-tune their artistic talents in a graphic design degree program often are rewarded with more job opportunities at top design firms. Whether you’re looking to enter a career in publishing, advertising, marketing, art, web design, or any other graphic field, you should consider pursuing an online graphic design degree to get the most flexibility in reaching your design goals.