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Sixth Form or a Job? Starting a career in design

Discussion in 'Logo Design & Brand Identity Forum:' started by tim, Jan 3, 2009.

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  1. tim

    tim Senior Member

    sixth form, or no sixth form? (a.k.a college to some regions of UK)

    just, I know i wanna go into a design company/agency after I leave sixth form/uni (if I go), so what's the point in staying on?

    I've heard of some qualifications but are they worth it?
  2. mrleesimpson

    mrleesimpson Guest

    Get out while you can!

    If you want to go into design and you think you've got the skills now to hold your own in an agency as a intern or as a freelancer then do it. The longer you wait to get in the game the harder it will be.

    I'm 22 and I've got 5 years commercial experience under my belt, I meet people my age all the time who've just graduated and I often get the impression they're having a much harder time then I've ever had.
  3. tim

    tim Senior Member

    someone who agrees with me!
  4. tbwcf

    tbwcf Active Member

    I'm 25 and worked my way up from a laughable job at thomson directories to a studio and now and agency so if u know what u wanna do and can show it then don't waste ur time no uni or college can teach what you'll learn on the job, so long as you are into it!
  5. tim

    tim Senior Member

    one question, I was aiming to do computer science at Uni. would that make a difference to my future if I wanna go into a design agency?
  6. mrleesimpson

    mrleesimpson Guest

    Why would you do Computer Science if your long term aim was to work in design?
  7. tim

    tim Senior Member

    i'm learning C and C++ at the moment to code a linux based OS. so I want to have good experience in design.
  8. Sunburn

    Sunburn Active Member


    learning C, C++ is fine for application software development and will will give you a good grounding to go into web development ala , php, asp, .net etc but will give you nothing in terms of design qualifications / expereince.

    If you want to be a web DEVELOPER or a Software developer then computer science is a very good choice. If you want to the a designer then you will need to look at the more "art" related disciplines
  9. tim

    tim Senior Member

    True, true.

    I'll really have to decide soon. Application date in tuesday if I wanna go ahead.
  10. br3n

    br3n Senior Member

    design is all about portfolio.

    It took me 5 years, about 9 grand and a degree to work that out :p

    ps 6th form is complete ballshit for anything remotely creative - its all about ticking boxes and jumping through hoops - I did AS level graphics for about 3 months before walking out, it was basically an elaborate sketchbook course.

    Try and get a work placement or offer your services for free to a company for a year or so (you woudlnt be earning at 6th form anyway) and you'll learn 10x more and it'll all be relevant.
  11. br3n

    br3n Senior Member

    I really cant stress this enough - SO many people graduate uni's etc with best possible grades but there work is crap - you'll find people who do it in their spare time just bewcause theyre passionate about it and are 10x as good... You cant teach design, you can only nuture creativity.
  12. tim

    tim Senior Member


    now to persuade my parents. Only problem is, they'll say 'but what if you change your mind, you've then got no qualifications and nowhere to go'

  13. blueocto

    blueocto Senior Member

    I don't think you can have too many feather's in your cap in terms of what skills/courses to take.

    Whether you go down the education route is a tough choice; I dropped 6th form after 3 weeks to work, to then leave after a year to do a 2 year ND in Graphic Design.... to go back to work for 3 years to save the money to go to Uni.... which I did 2 years of and landed my dream job before completing my degree.
    So you can't win!

    But i feel the experience I've gained from college, uni, learning in all the spare time I had, doing unpaid voluntary work for design firms, doing it freelance and eventually employed (both in design and outside) has given me a good span of experience of different areas of the design/web world.

    I found many of my friends went all the way through education without a break, to only end up on the dole, as they had no work experience, nor had they bothered doing anything outside of education.

    Have no regrets, do what you feel is right for you now, I can't see you going wrong ;)
  14. mrleesimpson

    mrleesimpson Guest

    Your answer to that should be 'What use are qualifications when thousands of other students all have the same set of them'
  15. br3n

    br3n Senior Member

    I think you need to understand that just because you have qualifications doesn't mean your going to get a job at all. And I believe that in working for someone for a 5th of the time you'll spend in college & uni you'll learn perhaps not more, but more useful and contextual knowledge.

    Like I said earlier, I have always been torn between working in 3d, furniture & product and working in 2d doing websites and graphics, both really appeal to me but I felt I could learn and create graphics at home or in my own time, 3d stuff is harder mostly because of tools and workshop space.. so 5 years down the line ive graduated and have a degree in 3d design, I believe (correct me if you think im wrong) I havea good, strong portfolio and skillset far superior to others who have completed the same course (computer skills and probably making skills) and yet... I cant get a job for love nor money. Honestly.. you wouldnt believe how many applications Ive sent, mostly greeted without even a reply.

    Im lucky that I have the graphic design work to fall back on and im getting by with that. Nothing comes easily and you have to earn it ithats the lesson im learning. Thats the reason ive decided to try and do it on my own, a proverbial "fuck you" to all those companies.

    Just think long and hard about it, End of the day its passion that gets you through it, you simply wont suceed unless you really, really want it. I couldn't not be creative its all ive ever wanted to be and all ive ever worked towards.

    Best of luck :) hopefully whatever you choose to do, you wont find yourself in the middle of a recession :)
  16. tim

    tim Senior Member

    lol thanks for that Br3n. I hope I don't find myself there either. It's worrying the amount of companies saying 'buh-bye' these days. On that topic, my uncle's catering business is struggling as all the companies/hotels that have his services are going out of business! Domino effect sucks. :S

    Thanks Lee, that's a great point. I won't be the only one doing the course in the world, ever, if I do go onto Uni, and Computer Science just isn't creative enough for me anyway.

    Oh and thanks to Blueocto :) I hope I don't fail big time with this decision but I'm not gonna regret it even if I end up with no job.

    You've all helped me realise I really wanna do what my initial idea is.
  17. br3n

    br3n Senior Member

    edit that last part of your post and show them this "article" - might make it more down to earth.

    Qualifications are essential for nearly every industry - other than design.
  18. tim

    tim Senior Member

    yeah, i agree. thanks :D
  19. rossnorthernunion

    rossnorthernunion Senior Member

    Sixth Form all the way.

    Depending on the way your career route goes - those qualifications may come in handy in the future. (gulp - if its local authority etc?)

    And you get money off at HMV and cheap bus rides. And loads of lie ins. And f*ck it - i had a ball at mine - piece of piss.
  20. mrleesimpson

    mrleesimpson Guest

    If you really feel you need/might need the qualifications then get your self into the flow of a job, internship or freelancing and take night classes to get the qualifictions.

    As long as you can handle the work you're getting the best of both worlds.

    Depends how you look at it really. My ethos is work hard while you're young and you can take it easier later on.
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