Too late to quit my Degree? Need advice


New Member
Hello my name is Jak, I'm 19 and currently doing a BA Hons Degree in Graphic Design. I am in my second year and have completed a BTEC National Diploma in Graphic Design before this course.
After reading through some threads on here and as well as online about the way Graphic Designers are treated in the work place in regards to pay as well as peoples perceptions of us has left me feeling
a bit disheartened. I have been reading about average salaries/wages and feel that they are so low for such a long time spent learning and training. Is there any accurate information out there about average
wages for a graphic designer, At different stages such as someone who has just started with no experience to someone who has 10 years plus experience?

I have been told I have a lot of natural talent but always hand in projects either late or unfinished because I become unmotivated. I do enjoy designing but feel like I am putting in effort for low reward when
it comes to getting a job especially in today's climate. So my question is should I think about giving up and moving to a different career path or should I stay with Graphic Design? I feel like I have invested
too much time to quit now but am becoming more and more unsure on what I want to do. But why should I put in so much effort to get myself a job that only a bit more than another job with less stress
and that requires less training/time invested?

Also not sure if this is posted in the correct section?
I took that route too. BTEC ND in GD then BA Hons in GD.

To be perfectly honest, there is no set wage structure. You'll be paid what people think you're worth. If when you quote for a project, the client feels its too much, he'll look for a different designer, regardless of how good you are, or how much better you are than the other guy.

When I graduated, my college tutor told me I could earn at least £25 an hour, with the skill/talent whatever, that I had. She saw my design process, how I worked, my idea generation for 5 years as a student. She was also a freelance designer so had a very good idea of what I could charge. But since graduating 2 years ago, I've been nowhere near charging that sort of fee. Simply because if I did demand that sort of fee, I'd get no work in. Pretty simple. I'm only worth what people are willing to pay for my services. Is it lower than I want, yes, is it lower than most others, probably, but is it worth gaining experience, knowledge, a decent portfolio, and contacts, then raising my fees when people trust me more, yes.

In every job, there's a hierarchy. Graduates will always be bottom of that scale, regardless of the talent or eye they have. It's just the way it is. You work your way up the ladder, learn, progress and as you do that, the rewards will come with it.

Stick with it. The best young designers will always find there way to the top, You just need to finish what you're doing, get out there, meet people and show people what you can do. You've spent nearly 4 years of learning and a lot of money. If you decide to quit, and find a different career, you'll be starting at the bottom anyway.
I agree with Arrivals - I got scared of the earnings potential after I did the BTEC ND, and joined the Army for a more certain life. Now, almost ten years later, I'm going back to do a GD Degree, because I have realised that I lost that initial motivation not because of the subject, but because of the looming potential difficulties in employment later on. Stick with it, or you will regret it for the rest of your life. For info - there's a horrible amount of stress in any job, and those that require less training are less satisfying. If you love design, then how can you comprehend working outside of it. That's the question to ask yourself. I realised this about a year into being in the Army, when I accidentally re-branded the Armed Forces one weekend - it started out as a "what's the point of the RAF" type conversation at the pub. You just can't get away from something you love.

Besides, as long as you get a good grade, you will likely be attractive to grad schemes in other walks of life. Thought about the Army (that's a joke - don't do it; the Army's rubbish now, and they make you do bad-karma stuff)?

Stick it out, get an awesome grade, have a lot of fun, and start networking now. Sketch. Enter lots of competitions, get noticed, get placements, and get a job. Sketch. Be first in, last out, don't eat breakfast in the office, and get noticed. Sketch. Get given more high-profile stuff, be loved, get noticed, move jobs/become freelance. Be successful, earn more and more, meet beautiful wife/husband, have kids (or don't), get dog (not cat), be happy.

There ya go, I've taken all the difficult decisions out of your life, follow the above and you'll live the life I always wanted for you. They grow up so fast. It brings a tear to my eye...

Chin up!
What uni are you at out of interest?
I'm studying at Kingston and although I'm on a GD course, have decided pretty early on that advertising is the route i want to go down. That being said, there is no question of me quitting my degree. A because you need a degree, and B because it will provide me with a complimentary set of skills to what i want to do. You need to think about whether there are any related fields you are interested in and work towards them. Have you done an internship in the holidays yet?

If i was going to be brutal (and I am) it's pretty shocking to me that you can't be arsed with finishing your work now, because your thinking so much about the monetary value of your work later. sounds like a cop out to me, and like Arrivals said, you are only the value of the work you produce.