Graphic designers work with drawn, painted, photographed, or computer-generated images. From inconspicuous objects like gum wrappers to eye catchers like billboards and t-shirts, graphic designers inform, persuade, stimulate, attract, and provide compelling works of art. There are many exciting career opportunities in the field of graphic design open to those with a bachelor’s degree. If you have always felt that your imagination is one of your strongest assets, you may want to consider a career in graphic design.
To become a graphic designer, a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in visual art or graphic design is required. Computer graphics and web site design are very valuable tools for a graphic designer and a knowledge computer science will increase your job opportunities in the future.
There are many graduate degrees that focus specifically on technical skills for the graphic designer. Additionally, being well versed in consumer reports and business would help a graphic designer, especially one that wants to be more entrepreneurial and work on a project-to-project basis.
Accreditation isn’t important just for degrees in medicine or other high-stakes fields. This certification can also help you evaluate graphic design programs and choose a quality degree. Graphic designers have to understand the latest design tools in order to stand out in this technical career. Accreditation can be a way to tell if a program teaches the most up-to-date design skills.
The first type of accreditation is institutional accreditation. It is important for all degrees, regardless of the field. In addition to institutional accreditation, there is also programmatic accreditation. Programmatic accreditation only applies to a particular type of program or degree within a school.
The National Association of Schools of Art and Design is the programmatic accrediting agency that accredits art and design degrees. NASAD accreditation is elective, and not all quality art institutions pursue NASAD accreditation. However, along with several other factors, NASAD accreditation can help you judge the quality of a graphic design program.
The National Association of Schools of Art and Design requires schools to meet many requirements before they can earn accreditation.
NASAD outlines specific skills that graphic design programs should teach students. The following are some of the main competencies you would learn in a NASAD-accredited graphic design program:
Programmatic accreditation is not required for graphic design degrees, and quality programs do decide not to become accredited. However, programmatic accreditation can be a useful factor to consider, along with tuition rates, specialized design concentrations, and a robust career center (among other factors). You can also better understand what a graphic design curriculum should look like by familiarizing yourself with NASAD’s standards. An excerpt from NASAD’s handbook on graphic design curricula can be found here.
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