Now that graduation season is here, I would like to inform new graduates as well as people who are going into school in the creative department. A degree can in fact help you land your dream design job, but you must know that in today’s world, a lot more is required. Here are a few reasons why schooling is not as necessary to flourish in the world of design.
- The industry is very saturated.
There are so many people competing for jobs in this field, so many people that a B.A. in Visual Communications is not going to mean as much. Instead, being able to stand out among all the others is significantly more impressive than what is on your transcript. It’s not what you learned that matters, it’s what you do in the real world that counts, and the reason for that is simply because…
- What you learned in school will either not be enough, or outdated.
College graduates often make the mistake of thinking that they know everything there is to learn and can tackle on the world. Sure, you may have learned a lot about typography, color theory, etc. but the industry is changing constantly and quickly. It is very easy to get behind the trends and to not be able to operate the latest graphics software. I don’t think I speak for just myself when I say that you will learn more on the job in a year than you did in your 4 years in college.
- Creativity and inspiration is key, and it is something that will never be taught in school.
Design is a very visual based field best displayed with a great level of creativity. Creativity is a process that can only be learned from trial and error and from within. Graduates will often mistaken technical skills, which can easily be taught in a classroom, with creativity. Because they have earned a good grade from whatever skill they learned, they make the understandable assumption that they are therefore creative.
- Hard work beats college degrees. Period.
A lot of employers will tell you that they have seen many resumes and portfolios where some people with degrees have crappy portfolios and people without degrees did. It happens because of this perceived notion that degrees will get you a job by default. Employers today in the creative field do not care about your degree by yourself. This is a “what-have-you-done-for-me-lately” industry and if you can not prove to people the value you bring into the industry, you might as well fold. Unless you are planning to become an intern, a portfolio is pretty much everything compared to a college degree.