Graphic Design: 5 Reasons It’s the Right Career for You

Posted By Staff Writer on January 4, 2014

So, you love art, but you’ve been told over and over again by your family, your co-workers, perhaps even your significant other, that you can’t make a living at it. Does this sound familiar? If so, prepare to have your mind blown. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects there will be over 123,000 new job openings for graphic designers by the year 2020.1 That’s a growth of over 13%! This means tons of exciting new job opportunities for artistically talented people like you. But, what exactly is graphic design, and how do you know it’s the right field for you? Graphic design is an exciting, creative, professional field where you can put your passion for art to daily use. Employers of every shape and size need skilled graphic designers to help them communicate with their audience and convince people to take action—whether it’s purchasing a product or service or joining an important social cause. You may not know this, but graphic designers actually help influence almost everything you do on a daily basis. Check out the video below to see what I mean: As you can see in this video, it takes more than simply being artistically inclined to become a successful graphic designer. How do you know whether graphic design is the right career move for you? The following five reasons might help you decide:

1.  You have a passion for communicating with others through powerful, compelling images

Many people can draw pretty pictures, but not everyone can connect with people and cause them to act. A graphic designer’s job is to help clients target specific audiences and “talk” to them directly. This means you should have a knack for what motivates people to make decisions and know how to strike that chord with the images you create.

2.  You work well with others

Graphic design is typically more than just a solo effort. Not only do you have to work with clients and employers, but you may also need to collaborate with art directors, advertising managers, copywriters, and other designers. Even if you’re freelancing, you need to learn how to take criticism well, meet deadlines, and change concepts as your projects evolve.

3.  You’re not afraid to learn new things

To become a successful graphic designer, your artistic talent will get you only so far. You need to get the graphic design education and training you need to be in demand. You’ll have to learn how to use industry software, such as Adobe Illustrator®, Photoshop®, and InDesign®, as well as the many other technical aspects of graphic design. As you work in the field, you’ll also need to stay up to date with current graphic arts trends and techniques. Following successful graphic designers on social media is one way to do so. In short, professional graphic designers are always learning.

4.  You’re business minded

This may surprise you, but graphic design entails much more than simply matching colors and choosing fun fonts. Especially if you intend to work freelance, you need to learn the business aspects of your job, too. This could mean working within a specified budget, handling invoices, or managing multiple clients. This doesn’t mean you have to be a business whiz, but having some business or marketing savvy will help you in the long run.

5.  You’re ready to start a better, more rewarding career

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re not exactly satisfied with your current job. That’s great! Switching careers is never easy, but having the motivation to change your circumstances can make all the difference. Believe it or not, as a graphic designer, not only could you get to work in a fun, creative field, you could actually make more money doing it.2 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the year 2012 graphic designers earned a median average of $849.04 per week, or $21.22 an hour.3 That’s certainly better than, say, working as a low-level associate at a retail store!

How can you get started?

As mentioned before, to become a successful graphic designer, you need to get the right training, which means earning your degree in graphic arts. If you’re a working adult, however, you need to find a program that’s designed for you and your challenges. At Independence University for instance, they have flexible class schedules so you can go to school without having to quit your job. You can choose between daytime, evening, or online classes. Independence University also offers accelerated programs, so you can finish your degree faster.4 You can earn your associate’s degree in 20 months or less or your bachelor’s degree in graphic arts in 36 months or less. Find out more about graphic arts degree programs at Independence by visiting them at www.independence.edu or calling them at 1-888-814-4813.

1 http://bls.gov/emp/ep_table_102.htm.
2 The amount of increased earnings varies by field and degree. Source: U.S. Census Bureau http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-129.pdf  (see Table 8).
3 http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes271024.htm.
4 Accelerated Degree Programs are compared to traditional colleges and universities. See National Center for Educational Statistics, Table 4 (http://www.nces.ed.gov/pubs2007/2007154.pdf).
5 Scholarship awards are limited and only available to those who qualify. See www.scholarshipshc.com for details.