Making the choice to become a graphic designer is the easy part – the hard part is choosing which certificate program to attend. For many, choosing an online graphic design school is a strong possibility, seeing how flexible they are with scheduling and classes. If you have been considering an online graphic design school, the following information will tell you everything you need to know so that you can make the right decision—an informed decision.
Get the Facts about Online Graphic Design Schools
The biggest difference that you’ll find between online graphic design schools and the traditional version of graphic design schools which are conducted on campuses is implied in the name—most of your coursework will be completed online. This allows you a number of benefits and advantages such as:
- The ability to work at your own pace, speeding through subjects you are already familiar with
- Fitting your class schedule around your current job, obligations and/or social life, 24/7
- Working from the comfort of your own home or on the go with your laptop
Of course, this also means that you won’t have peers, a teacher or the standard class structure that helps keep you on track, so you’ll have to be more self-sufficient and self-reliant. This doesn’t mean that you’re completely on your own—you’ll likely have discussion boards, emails for reaching instructors and other technologies that make online communication for your courses easier.
What Do You Learn in Online Graphic Design Courses?
Over the course of nine months to two years (this is a typical time frame—you can work at whatever pace you’d like), you will build the skill-set needed by today’s graphic designers in order to allow you to become successful in your field. Whether you wish to work as a freelance designer or join a company, you will get the tools and knowledge you need to help you realize your dreams.
Through a wide range of coursework, you’ll learn all about subjects such as:
- Print design
- Website design
- Packaging design
- Logo design
- Color schemes
In addition to these types of core classes, some certificate programs allow you to concentrate on certain subjects, providing you with the opportunity to “fine tune” and customize your degree. This will allow you to become an expert in the field, charging higher pricing rates for your specialized services.
How to Choose the Best Online Graphic Design School
Regardless of which online graphic design program you look at, the first thing you want to make sure is that they are an accredited school. If you don’t go through an accredited online graphic design course, your certificate will essentially be useless to a knowledgeable employer. Not having an accredited online course backing your degree will be a waste of your time and your money as it will be no real help when landing a job. Of course, you will still retain the knowledge and portfolio you build up during the course of the program, but it’s always better to have official recognition on your side.
Next, make sure that the online courses have the elements that you are looking for in a degree program. This will differ according to your personal situation, but some common things to look for when choosing the right online graphic design school are:
- Does it fit your schedule?
- Are the class prices within your budget?
- Do they offer the type of certificate program and degree that you want?
- How are their communication procedures?
- Will you have access to instructors and if so, how will you contact them?
- Is there a nearby brick and mortar campus associated with the program?
- Do the course requirements seem like something you can handle?
- What is the average time frame students graduate in and does that suit your needs?
- Do you meet the standards of their application process?
- Do you need letters of recommendation, transcripts, SAT or ACT scores?
What Happens after You Graduate an Online Graphic Design School?
When you finish your graphic design degree, you will have the same benefits and advantages as any other traditional degree holder. Your degree will signify that you possess the knowledge and skills needed to make it as a graphic designer. Your elite understanding of the fundamentals of design coupled with knowing your way around all the latest graphic design software will allow you to carve your own destiny out of the design world.