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How to Start a Career in Graphic Design | A Brief Guide

If you want to become a graphic designer but have no idea where to start, we’re here to help. Read our guide and learn how to start a career in graphic design.

Do you know what’s so great about being a graphic designer?

If your guess is money, you might be surprised to know that graphic designers earn just slightly more than other workers. Plus, the competition is stiff so you have to be ready to market your skills and stand out from the rest.

So what drives people to pursue a career in graphic design? Is it the freedom to express their creativity? The opportunities to learn new techniques and skills?

Or is it the passion to help organizations with their branding needs? It’s all these and more that makes working as a graphic designer a fulfilling career.

That being said, here’s how you can start a graphic design career.

How to Get Into Graphic Design: The Straightforward Path

The safest and most reliable way to get into the graphic design industry is to get a degree. Now, this could mean a degree through a traditional four-year university or a two-year community college. It can also mean an online degree from a reputable college or university.

As soon as you earn your degree, you can start applying for jobs or you can get an internship. Keep in mind that some employers prefer applicants with a degree. They know that if they hire graduates they don’t need to train them in design theory and practice.

Starting a Career in Graphic Design: The Self-Taught Path

If you didn’t pursue formal study for whatever reason, it doesn’t mean getting a job in graphic design is out of the question. Some graphic designers opted to take short courses, and others are self-taught.

The important thing is if you want to get graphic design experience without a degree, you need to put together a strong portfolio. That usually means an online website. For tips on building online portfolios, you can ask other graphic designers or you can check out some graphic design blogs.

How to Get a Graphic Design Job: Some Tips to Remember

Whether you choose to go back to school to get a graphic design degree or follow the self-taught path, there are things you can do to land a job faster.

These include freelancing, offering your skills to nonprofits or charities in your community, and submitting your work to awards schemes. You should also think about networking.

If you can tap your network for jobs, even small ones, you can begin putting them in your portfolio. It also helps if you build relationships with other graphic designers. Don’t think of them as competition, but rather peers who can refer you to their clients should they have too many projects on hand.

Ready to Start Your Graphic Design Career?

Now that you know the paths that could lead to a career in graphic design, don’t hesitate to review your options.

If you choose to get a degree, try to compare colleges/universities and the programs they offer. This also applies to short courses. Always go for reputable online learning sites, recommended by the graphic design community.

As for teaching yourself graphic design, there are many resources online that can help. Commit to spending time and effort in mastering these resources, and grab opportunities to freelance whenever you can.

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