It is quite difficult to find a good design education as the cost of getting one is more than what can be gained out of it. There are also no proper online design education opportunities which can be availed to cut down the costs. Moreover, not everyone is able to learn on their own if one does find a way to get online design education. There are a lot of amateur designers around who never quite manage to make it big. So in order to not be one, you need to know how to get the best out of your design education.
What a Traditional Design Education Is:
Although four years of design education is not what can prepare one for the professional designing but it is good to form a solid foundation to become a good designer and this solid foundation can prepare one to be successful in their respective design field.
Universities provide a great way to learn and develop the personality. The most important aspect of learning is to learn to communicate which tells you how to communicate an idea through your creativity and what is the best way to pitch before a client. And this communication aspect is what one cannot learn sitting in front of the computer.
What a Traditional Design Education Isn’t:
A traditional design education is not practical training, it can prepare you for all the usual cases to deal with the client but so many other aspects of the day-to-day business conducting have no place in that degree program.
University degrees also are a little behind time as they have a curriculum updated only once a year and so a person has to be self-taught to know all the technological advancements. Landing on a job you desire with just a degree is of little use in most of the cases, it is still a portfolio and communication skills that help you land on a good job.
Learning From Your Design Education:
As mentioned above, the best thing you can get from your design degree is the opportunity to learn. You will learn the ways to get a job done effectively, you will learn meeting deadlines and you will learn how to get information and retain the useful parts out of it.
Getting design education on your own is not a difficult task but learning in university gives you a chance to do everything in timely manner, with a theme and focus. Formal education is not required to become a good designer as all can be learned online but most of the corporate businesses look for a design degree as a minimum requirement as that is the point where your portfolio or experience might not help you a lot.
There are also other advantages of a degree, for example, grooming according to a personality of a designer, learning to build a network, learning the basic principles of designing and learning to experiment. You also learn how to take feedback and work on it, all this leading towards the job you want and not the job for which you come up to the minimum requirements.
Setting a Career Path:
Most of the times it happens that people get into a degree without knowing what they will pursue after they graduate. They get into something they can do rather than what they like. Then again, as time passes, there are a lot of chances that your interests changes even if you were doing something that you like.
To pick a career you like, you have to get some work done. This is especially important in the design field where quality holds a lot of importance. It can be little overwhelming starting out but if you have set your mind to it, you will make it.
Planning for the career path comes from planning the education. Don’t just get into the thing that catches your attention. Do a little homework; chart out what degree leads to what entry level positions and what the scope and trend is. The education will get you a degree but there will also be a number of technical aspects that you will have to learn on the way.
Researching for the Optimum:
As I have written earlier, homework means research. Before you do it, there are three questions that you will have to ask yourself; what position do you want to see yourself in design field, what requires to get to that position and how much financing can you afford.
There are a lot of fields in designing including web designing, graphic designing, photography, editing, logo designing etc. There can also be advertising, social media and marketing fields springing from it. Decide what you would like to do and go for it.
To know what the requirements for a particular field are, you can talk to a person of the relating field. Search up profiles of companies which catch your interest and look up their job requirements because as it happens, even an entry level job means a little experience and not someone fresh out of school. In that case, talk to the people who know what the requirements are, work a little on them if you can, otherwise a willingness to work hard, a good portfolio and good communication skills can land you on a good job. An internship can also help gain you some practical experience.
And as for the last question, getting a four year degree can be quiet expensive. Again, you will need to do some homework for that. Chart out all the possible expenses and the options you have for design schools and choose the best out of them. You can have help from student loans in this regard.
There is a way of getting cheaper design education and that is online. It has all the resources you need to learn anything related to design. There are online classes and courses that you can take. Some courses which offer you advanced education requires paying for it but that would be still way less than a university fee.
As mentioned quite a few times above, technical skills are as important as getting a degree and they don’t come with your university. So this is where you will need to learn yourself. Here your best teacher can be the internet where there are websites, forums and blogs for every latest topic. Also, there are free design software available online which you can use to teach yourself. There are visual learning opportunities and paid resources available as well.
Getting a design education will help you get on the right track which will lead you higher up the ladder of a successful career but that comes after you have put some effort in it; effort that requires being vigilant as to what majors to choose in a degree and learning all the updated technological advancements along the way. Also, there will be times when you will have to face a changed interest and job that is paying you well but it isn’t what you want. Weigh the situation in that case and reach at the best possible option, there’s always a way.