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In search of a graphic designer - Uni advice please

Discussion in 'Universities & Training Forum:' started by Ryan.M, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. Ryan.M

    Ryan.M New Member

    Hi i am looking for a someone who is of course a graphics designer who has got a good job and without having to go to uni, as i know someone who would appreciate it if they could talk to you as they are not sure whether you have to go to uni or not to become a successful graphics designer and if its worth the debt.

    thank you for reading
  2. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    What you learn in college is technical stuff.

    What I learned in college was antiquated technologies and workflows - but it was very interesting a powerful learning tool to the "old school" ways of design. That sort of experience you will not get on the job training and I feel it was vital to my learning curve.

    However, if you can get a job doing design for the right company without going for college then go for it.

    But having a degree when you go to interview stage is better than not having a degree, unless your portfolio can blow the competition out of the water.

    Definitely they might start looking for internships, or part time work during the week or weekends. And get a feel for the job and if they're skills are up to the task of working in a full time profession without any qualifications.
  3. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    Just to add to the above. Some companies won't even look past your CV if they don't see you have a decent degree.
  4. createmake

    createmake New Member

    That is untrue. More and more companies don't even care about a degree in the design industry.
  5. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    Not according to my ex boss. Hence why I said SOME companies, as I can't speak for all. Having a degree says more about a person than you may think. I'm not saying it's the most important thing but it does speak volumes in itself. At the end of the day if you are an employer and have narrowed down a list of potential new employees for your company, both with equally good portfolios, one with a degree and one without, and you had to choose one....

    Just to add, there are plenty of companies that still ask for a degree qualification from the get go in the job description. Some even specify a minimum expected degree qualification.

    I guess it all depends on the type and size of company you want to work for.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014
  6. createmake

    createmake New Member

    Take web design for instance, imagine the web 4 years ago compared to now. How can someone teaching a four years course possibly keep up to date? What you learnt in your first year would be out of date by the time you graduate. I've been in the business 18 years now and have run design teams for businesses that turnover £220m a year and I do not care if one of the CV's say they have a degree. I want industry experience, not classroom experience. Those who can't do teach and all that.
  7. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    Yep, I totally understand that. But if I was to reply, I would just be repeating myself. Bare in mind, this is about graphic design although I know you were just using web design as an example.
  8. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    I don't think anyone has any stats on what companies are looking for in terms of degrees - I could be wrong.

    But to say "some companies" is completely true.

    A 4 year web course, I hope that it expands as technology changes. However, having a basis in web language allows the employer to see that this person has got a "nack" for the language, rather than learning it on their own.

    In my experience, whether it's html, css, java, php, Spanish, English, Italian, InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator etc. people who are self-taught have a lot of bad habits, and these are hard to knock out of an employee who has self-taught.

    At least a college background has standards and guidelines and exams that are graded to a certain standard, ensuring your employee is at some academic standard.

    It's perfectly acceptable to want "industry experience" - and to be honest if I'm hiring an intern, I wan them to have a solid background in college on the subject that they want to pursue as a career.

    If I'm hiring a mid-level employee I would like to see they have industry experience as well as a college background. Not having a college background would bother me, especially if the portfolio is extremely weak, or if it's a very good portfolio. But an employee going for a job as a mid-level, no college background but a superb portfolio, it would be tough to call if the other candidate had a very good portfolio, not so much if it was extremely week.

    Senior level positions - I couldn't care less where they went to school, what they're education background is, I just want to see a steady level of service past 7 years with at least 2 companies - and they better have an amazing portfolio!

    It's all about what the employer wants - some want a degree background - some don't care.

    But for an intern/junior level I would like to see some attempt at an education in the field.

    My first ever portfolio for an apprentice position it was split up into 4 sections.

    Art - sketching/painting/drawing
    Adobe Illustrator - logos, flyers, Packaging (corn flake keyline working sample), etc.
    Adobe Photoshop - cloning, colour correcting, use of selection tools, etc.
    Quark - brochures, book, tri-folds, etc.

    I bet my application for that apprenticeship was far better than any other person who went for that job - how do I know? I got the job.
    @GCarlD likes this.

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