Career Paths for Students Graduating With a Graphic Design Degree

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Can you create a visually stimulating piece of artwork or some catchy displays for the general public?  Is your dream job to create pieces of work for companies or advertising agents?  Then becoming a graphic designer is the perfect career for you, and luckily these careers are looking up.

Graphic designers assemble together images, motion graphics and typography to create a piece of artwork to be published for electronic media, a publishing firm, advertising clients and even brochures.  Graphic designers also have to know how to use products such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign as well as having a general knowledge of HTML and XML.

Now, there is a vast variety of graphic designer jobs, but before we get into that, one of the most important things you should know is: Go to school!  If you haven’t studied in graphic design, you need to.  There are a ton of options for graphic design school, just chose the school that fits your style and budget. Design school doesn’t have to be expensive, with simple planning you can afford it. Especially with the resources we have today with grants, scholarships and starting a college savings plan early on.

Graphic Designers: Your Options

Here’s a quick overview of the fields that you can go into with a degree in graphic design:

  • Editorial Design- This focuses on typography and making text look appealing and clear and concise. This is the most basic type of graphic design, so all you really need to know is how to organize a series of elements. Editorial designers generally find jobs working with publishing companies, magazines or printing firms.
  • Web or Mobile Design- Many designers are turning to Web or mobile design due to the high demand of design these days. Since most things are transitioning to the Web, it makes sense. If you want to be a Web designer, you need to be proficient in Photoshop and Illustrator and know HTML coding. Web and mobile designers often find work with advertising agencies, Web development firms and any company venturing towards online.
  • Photography- Although it’s not common for graphic designers to focus solely on photography, it is a part of almost every designers life. To become a better graphic photographer, you need a general understanding of color theory, composition and light management. You can often find jobs with magazines, newspapers and design agencies.
  • 3-D Design and Animation- If you want to go into 3-D design, it is important you have great creativity and technical skills and now how to work your way around programs like Maya, After Effects and Adobe Flash. The ideal dream job of a 3-D designer is to work with video game companies.
  • Corporative Design- Going into the corporative design field you will take everything you learned from college and apply it to every day tasks. Skills such as developing strategies, knowing how to use digital products, print elements, logo design are all needed for this work. Great communication skills, an understanding of client’s needs and imagery are all needed to succeed in this type of work.

Good News: The Graphic Design Will Only Continue to Grow

It will be fairly easy to find work as a graphic designer due to the increased needs for designers from advertisers, publishers, computer design firms, video game businesses as well as television, movies and made-for-Internet outlets. According to Career Planner, graphic designers with an emphasis in Web design will have an easy time finding jobs since interactive media will be in high demand.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, graphic designers overall made around $20 an hour and made an annual salary of $43,500. Not too shabby for a day’s work!

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