Given how inextricably linked the Internet and the graphic design industry are already, it should come as no surprise that online graphic design degree programs have become some of the more popular online degree offerings across the country. Technology and software has allowed for alternative outlets for the creativity of aspiring graphic designers and at the same time, that technology and software has made it easier for graphic designers to receive formal and accredited training without having to attend classes in person.
Considering that most graphic design projects and assignments will undoubtedly require many hours spent working outside of the classroom, an online graphic design degree program can actually offer the same rigorous and beneficial training while also offering unmatched and unparalleled flexibility to its students.
An online graphic design degree program allows students to work as quickly or as slowly as they wish, and they can earn their degree and get their education without having the hassle of travelling to and from a school. This should be especially appealing to those who are already testing their graphic design abilities and are looking to potentially increase their earning potential or receive a more formal and well-rounded education.
Many who are already carving out a career in the industry hold down full-time or part-time or even freelance gigs as graphic designers and thus don’t have the time to go back to a traditional, campus-based university because of flexibility concerns. On the other hand, online graphic design degree programs allow the student to create their own schedule and complete the coursework without impossible-to-meet deadlines looming over their heads.
Also, considering that most of the graphic design work is already being done on the computer, the student is becoming more familiar with computer-aided design software, web development strategies, and web design, all of which will obviously come in handy when the student has his/her degree in hand and they are looking to start their career.
Choosing An Online Graphic Design Course
It has been said before and but it needs to be said again. If you are thinking about getting an online graphic design degree or certificate, and you want potential employers to respect the degree you receive, you need to make sure the program you are applying for is accredited.
The good news is that the National Association of Schools of Art and Design has a list of accredited online graphic design programs and students can easily scroll through the lists to see if their favorite schools have the approval of the respected national association.
Once you have determined that the school of your choice is, in fact, accredited, then it is time to delve deeper into what sort of education you will receive in that program. You will obviously want to make use of any print or online literature offered by the university to ensure that your instructors will be accomplished, experienced, and qualified, and to make sure that the course offerings will not only help you earn a degree in graphic design, but will also help you learn more about the field and the industry with each class.
There are many different paths to take towards a successful graphic design career, so focus on what part of the industry interests you, and make sure that the program has courses to accommodate your interests and your passions.
Then, treat your online graphic design degree program choice as you would treat your career choice and don’t make a decision without doing extensive homework first. We aren’t talking about reading university material; we are talking about speaking to recent graduates about their successes and failures finding a job; talking to potential employers about the reputation of the program; talking to university representatives about their curriculum, resources, and connections; and talking to current students about their experiences and education.
We aren’t saying that the university will mislead you because they probably won’t. But university employees are just one point of view. You want to get a more well-rounded opinion of the university and that means getting as many opinions from as many people as possible.
Online Graphic Design Course Types
Graphic design is a multi-layered field with many different fields within the industry, and the sooner students recognize this, the sooner they can make an informed and appropriate decision on what sort of online degree they want to pursue. Many online graphic design degree programs recognize this fact already and offer different types of graphic design degrees so that students can specialize in a particular field.
Students can earn their degree in graphic design as a broad topic, but many choose to specialize in a particular area such as web design, animation, or digital advertising. The industry is always looking for more students with experience in web design and animation, so focusing on those subjects for the degree may give students a leg up in the job search.
As for the degrees themselves, the two most common degrees that students choose are the associate’s degree – which typically takes two years to complete – and the bachelor’s degree – which typically takes four years to complete. Almost every online graphic design degree program will offer both types of degrees and many community colleges have embraced online education and offer two-year associate’s degrees that students can use to build towards a bachelor’s degree or give them a lift in their search for a career.
Any of the online degrees will potentially help students improve their career prospects, but by taking your education as far as it can go, the more likely it is that employers will be impressed by your ability and knowledge.
Learn more about online graphic design programs by requesting information below.
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