Why Go Beyond Your B.A. in Graphic Design?

You can get a really great job as a graphic designer with your four-year bachelors degree. Why bother tacking on more years to get a master’s or a PhD?

Teach College

If you get a four-year art degree (and a teaching certificate), you can certainly teach public school art. But it takes a certain kind of person to go for K-12 teaching! Instead, many graphic design students go for a post-graduate degree so they can teach at the college level.

An MFA (masters of fine arts), with a specialty in graphic design, qualifies you to teach at the two-year level, which means junior colleges or community colleges. However, most four-year colleges or universities require a PhD to teach there, although there may be some areas where an MA or MFA will be enough.

If you’re one of those people who love to teach, college teaching is a real kick. You get to deal with students who want to be in class, rather than those who feel compelled to do so. You’re free to engage students in projects and in thinking that are challenging and relate to real life.

And we have to admit it: the schedule for teaching college cannot be beat. If you have a typical 15-hour schedule, that means 15 contact hours in the classroom (that is, you teach 15 hours a week!). True, you have prep time and office hours and committee commitments, but as a local college professor (who wishes to remain anonymous), said, “It’s the best full-salary part-time job I ever had!”

Higher Level Thinking

Doing a graduate degree means that you go beyond the design skills and methods you learned during your BA.

As the highly-regarded Art Center College of Design at Pasadena points out on its website, “Our students challenge boundaries and take risks, preparing them to realize success and fulfillment in the world of art and design—and beyond.”

You Can Change the World!

You are always more competitive with a graduate degree, which puts you in line to be hired by big-name companies that can make a difference. Typically, graduate programs engage you in working on real-world projects. These projects are meant to to mirror what you would design for an actual client.  These are given as assignments or class projects that are funded by business or not for profit organizations such as Disney, Nike, NASA, and even BMW.

Computer Animation and Special Effects

Everybody wants to make movies! And today’s flicks are moving more and more toward animation and special-effects techniques. You can learn a lot on your own, but to compete in today’s market, a degree will give you the edge—and a graduate degree even more so. There are many wonderful animation programs throughout the US (some of them online), and lots of new programs opening up all over the world, such as in Spain, and England and many more. Going international to study might give you with a broader background and a taste and approach you might not find in the U.S.

Areas of Study

Each college offers its own mix of graduate work in graphic design. As an example, here are current offerings from The Academy of Art University in San Francisco:

  • Typography
  • Manual Typography
  • Type Typography
  • Web typography
  • Typography History
  • Poster Typography
  • Typography Design
  • Digital Typography
  • Experimental Typography
  • Typography Art
  • Information design
  • Print and editorial design
  • Packaging
  • Package Design
  • Logo Design
  • Cosmetic Package Design
  • Food Package Design
  • Product Package Design
  • Branding
  • Corporate Branding
  • Identity
  • Green Strategies (Sustainability Issues: considered in almost every course)
  • And more!

What Kinds of Jobs?

Again, from the The Academy of Art University in San Francisco:

  • Typographic Designer
  • Print Designer
  • Package Designer
  • Publication Designer
  • Branding and Identity Designer
  • Corporate Communications Designer
  • Environmental and Retail Designer
  • In House Graphic Designer
  • Communications Director
  • Music Industry / Entertainment Designer
  • And more!

Find Your Way

Today’s world is a world of graphic design–everything has been designed these days! It’s a super undergraduate degree for a wide world of work. Getting your graduate degree gives you this: the chance to inspire up-and-coming graphic design students and to influence the shape of design in the years of to come.

You can go to school online and earn your graduate degree from your own pc. Earn your graphic design degree. Get started today!

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