Is a Graphic Design Certification Necessary to Succeed as a Graphic Designer?
One of the biggest arguments that still makes the rounds in the art world is whether art and graphic design can be taught. Let's say you want to become a graphic designer, but you think this sacrifice of going to school for a graphic design certificate or degree is not worth the trouble. Is graphic design certification necessary? Do you need a piece of paper with your name on it to land a good graphic design job? The short answer is no, you don't really need a certificate to validate your skills and success as graphic designer. But the long answer is that it can't hurt if you do decide to study and invest money to become a better graphic designer than you already are.
You can find many graphic design programs. You can take two year or four year graphic design programs at your local community college or university. In fact, many different schools teach graphic design. Some people believe that two years is not enough time to learn all the tools, history, theory, and design practices to become a great graphic designer. Some people believe that four years at a design school or art school is too much, and represents a waste of time and money. Although you might hesitate about graduating with a degree or certificate in graphic design, you should know that today's competitive graphic design field usually requires graphic designers to have some kind of formal training.
Is it possible to become a graphic designer without formal training? Certainly this is possible. However, it is rare that a designer possesses a natural gift for graphic design without some kind of formal training. Although you can find exceptions to this rule, most designers without formal education will not have the tools to thrive in today's technology-driven design world. This is not to say that a good education will automatically produce a great graphic design artist. However, taking at least one design class is better than taking no classes. A good formal education and foundation in the principles of design is more likely to help than hurt you.
Getting a formal education in graphic design also puts you at the forefront of new developments. You can get hands-on training on the latest computer programs and design tools, along with the advice and guidance to learn how to use them properly. Getting a certificate in graphic design helps ensure that you have proper training with the most popular programs and tools.
One of the strongest arguments for getting a certificate in graphic design is that it can help you get a better job in the future. Having a graphic design degree or certificate proves to prospective employers that you have the skills and discipline to succeed as a graphic designer. Having a certificate or degree opens new doors and allows you to work with more clients. When it comes time to find a graphic design jobs, you will already have professional contacts, including professors and alumni. Professors are a great source for networking and getting references. Your career will also benefit because you'll receive advice from professors and classmates that you might not otherwise receive. In general, going to school for graphic design and graduating with a degree or certificate is always a good idea.