Graphic design college advice needed


New Member
Hi everyone!

I'm almost 17 and have been working at my family's sign and print business for a year now, and have developed an interest in graphic design. I have 2 years left of free education, and I'm not really bothered about doing a degree in university. I've been training on Lynda a little bit but i find it hard to sit through one video after the next only to forgot what I've just watched, and it doesn't seem to offer what the colleges can offer me.

ive been looking at these two courses, one is level 3 (2 years) and the other is a hnc course. (1 year)

Hnc: Bedford College & Graphic Design BTEC HNC
level 3: North Hertfordshire College > Courses > Art, Design and Media > Level 3 Graphic Design Yr1_10127

Not sure if I'd qualify for the hnc course but I have designed countless leaflets, signs, business cards etc for customers so I guess that counts as a portfolio?
It seems like the hnc can teach you in 1 year what the level 3 teaches in 2.

if anyone has some advice on this it would be greatly appreciated!
Hi there, I am guessing you have just finished your AS Levels or an equivalent? If so, may I ask why you are not bothered about going to uni? Is it because of the high fees or something else? If you are unsure about going to uni I would finish your A-levels (or whatever qualification you are taking) and when you are 18, I strongly advise doing a Foundation Art & Design course for the year. Not only will you gain experience from other media but you will also be building up your portfolio.
Hi, no I didn't do a-levels I just started working as soon as I finished my gcse's.
I don't want to go to uni because I'm happy working where I am now, I just want to learn how to be better at my job, and want to have enough experience and knowledge in the graphic design field if I ever choose to leave.
thanks for replying!
Ah I see. Well in that case I would maybe look for some short courses. There is only so much you can teach yourself with online tutorials. You can't truly learn to become advance in any subject without studying it properly first. Plus if you do leave your job you will find it difficult (not impossible) to find work in the field with your limited qualifications, not to sound mean/harsh, but it is hard enough as it is.

But if I were you I would go to college full time and take a graphic design course.
Ok, thanks so much for the advice! How did you learn graphic design? Did you do a college/university course? I definitely agree with you on the online tutoring thing, I have watched a lot illustrator/indesign tutorials I still have a lot of questions that they wouldn't be able to answer
Yeah I went down the whole 'full educational route;' School, straight to college, then I stayed on at college for an extra year and did my foundation degree in art & design - mainly because I didn't feel 'ready' to go to uni, so I thought rather than taking a gap year, why not get another qualification to better prepare and also make it easier for me to be accepted into a uni of my choice. Not only that I was a year older and a year wiser and felt ready to take on university, which I went straight into.

Some people take a gap year offer college to travel or gain work experience, which is great too but I personally needed to just get all my studying out of the way while I was still in the mindset and 'flow' to study.

But if I am totally honest with you I learnt more after I finished university than when I was actually there! But it definitely was a great introduction into the GD and I wouldn't have the knowledge I have now if I didn't go to uni, in the same way that I wouldn't have the skills if I didn't gain work experience to put what I have learnt into practice into the 'real world.'
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