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Graphic designers must keep up with new and updated computer graphics and design software, either on their own or through formal software training programs.

How to Become a Graphic Designer

Learning how to become a graphic designer online is as easy as one, two, three… clicks that is. With so many websites, earning a degree in graphic design online is a walk in the park. Plus, it'll prepare you for a rewarding career. Many graphic designers create user interfaces and design websites, while others create visuals such as logos or images used in advertisements and promotions, which can influence consumers in a positive way.

How to become a graphic designer online

When researching how to become a graphic designer online, it makes sense to first look at the educational requirements. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a bachelor's degree in graphic design is typically required for graphic design jobs. If a candidate has a bachelor's degree in a different field, the BLS states that that person may pursue technical training in graphic design to meet a majority of hiring qualifications. Most graphic design programs teach the following courses:

  • Principles of design
  • Studio art
  • Commercial graphics production
  • Computerized design
  • Website design
  • Printing techniques

The BLS also recommends graphic design students take courses in marketing, business and writing, to better collaborate with teams on projects.

Preparing for a graphic design career

One great thing about graphic design programs is the opportunity it provides students to build up a professional portfolio of their designs, which allows them to demonstrate their experience when applying for jobs. Combining work done from classroom projects and internships can make for excellent examples of what one's capable of doing with graphic design. The BLS suggests prospective graphic designers take art and design courses in high school, since many bachelor's degree programs require at least a year of basic art and design before admitting the student, while some even ask for sketches and examples of work as part of the application.

After earning the degree or entering the graphic design field, the best way to move ahead in your career is to build up a portfolio for a few years. According to the BLS, "Graphic designers must keep up with new and updated computer graphics and design software, either on their own or through formal software training programs."

Important qualities and skills graphic designers should possess, according to the BLS, are:

  • Artistic ability: To create designs, either by hand or via a computer, that clients and consumers will react positively to.
  • Communication skills: To communicate with clients and listen well enough to deliver a desired product according to their needs.
  • Computer skills: To use specialized graphic design software to prepare the designs, which most graphic designers use regularly.
  • Creativity: Brainstorming and developing unique designs that are meaningful takes a creative touch.
  • Teamwork: Since so many graphic design projects require working on a team, if not in person then online.
  • Time-management skills: Working on multiple projects at a time with varying deadlines requires an ability to manage time well.

There are countless graphic design tools, ranging from the Adobe Creative Suite to UCreative. A simple Google search for "graphic design tools" will bring up several responses, and may mention programs that could be useful to learn when becoming a graphic designer.

Sources:

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Graphic Designers, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Arts-and-Design/Graphic-designers.htm#tab-1
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