Is a Graphic Design Degree Worth It?

what is a graphic design degree

What is a Graphic Design Degree?

Graphic design degrees are graduate and post graduate degrees given in the study of print, web and video design. There are several specializations that a person can study within the degree as well as several well-paying career options for someone who gets a Graphic Design degree from an accredited university.

Many people who graduate with a BA or MA degree in graphic design pursue careers in web design, publishing, marketing, and advertising firms. Graphic designers can also be found in government and private agencies and their salaries are competitive.

Graphic designers are a motley lot and come with varying interests, goals and passions. Some are artistic and creative, while others have more of analytical approach to their design style. No matter what type of personality a student has, the graphic design field has room for, and often benefits from, different visual and creative perspectives. But, it is important for graphic designers to have an eye for color, design and typography as these are often crucial to becoming an effective designer.

Pros and Cons of Getting a Graphic Design Degree

There are pros and cons to getting a graphic design degree. One of the biggest cons is that design degrees are expensive. Also, the courses can be intense.  But, getting a graphic design degree does have its benefits. Most importantly, the degree gives a graphic designer credibility in the design world. If a student wants to work for a top design firm, they will find that having a degree or advanced degree in graphic design is important, if not necessary. Also, many degree programs offer free design software to their students. With the popular Adobe design software costing over $1000, getting such crucial design software for “free” is a great benefit.

There are both online and traditional schools to consider when pursuing your graphic design degree. Rhode Island School of Design, Yale University and Maryland Institute College of Art were ranked the top three graduate schools for Graphic Design in the Country in 2012 by US News and World Report. These schools offer traditional courses in Graphic Design and students sporting graphic design degrees from these schools should have no problems getting noticed by top design firms. Sessions College and the Art Institutes are two popular and effective online options that offer convenient online courses that you can take from the comfort of your own home.

So: Is a Graphic Design Degree Worth It?

A graphic design degree not only increases your chances of getting a design job, it also increases your level of income. While it is possible to perform as a graphic designer without an advanced degree, it is easier to find and acquire top jobs with top design firms with one than without one. Typically, designers with advanced degrees in Graphic Design will be more successful getting jobs in larger and more reputable companies. For example, the median salary of a graphic designer is $48,800 a year, but graphic designers working at companies like Apple can expect a median salary of $96,000 a year. Hands down, it is worth it to invest in a graphic design degree.

Related Resource: Top 10 Online Graphic Design Degree Programs

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