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7 Best Online Colleges for Graphic Design in 2016

Graphic design is one of the largest and most prosperous design disciplines in the world. This highly skilled field is made up of more than 250,000 designers who use art and technology to communicate ideas. From advertising and newspapers to computer systems design and public relations, graphic designers’ skills are used in nearly every industry. It’s this growing importance and increasing demand that makes graphic design such an attractive field to study. Those who have strong artistic abilities, a keen eye for detail, and good computer skills may be well suited to study graphic design.

Most students that graduate with a degree in graphic design go on to become graphic designers, working in various industries. They are highly sought after in many fields, especially in the sales and marketing of products. In addition to possessing strong creativity and artistic abilities, graphic designers also need to be in tune with consumers’ needs and desires. Most graphic designers have a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field. Those who decide to pursue graphic design after earning a bachelor’s degree in another subject can receive training at a vocational or technical school. Working professionals and those who need flexibility in their education may find distance learning to be their best option. The best online colleges’ graphic design programs offer convenience and flexibility to all students.

Graphic designers have many exciting career options to choose from. They can be self-employed and work from home or work full time for a wide variety of employers. According to the, the majority of graphic designers work in specialized design services or for newspaper, book, periodical, and directory publishers. Online graphic design programs will prepare you to work in a variety of industries and rise to the challenges that each job presents.

Graphic designers are not required to be licensed or to pass an examination to work in the field, but there are certification options for those who want to expand their knowledge and skills. Certificates are offered through various organizations, including product vendors and software firms. Graphic design graduates and those currently working in the field could benefit from becoming Adobe Certified and mastering the design software, including Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. A certification is a nice addition to your resume and will give you a competitive edge in the job market.

A degree in graphic design will provide you with the technical skills and knowledge needed to succeed as a graphic designer. Graduates will walk away with a solid understanding of the art and business of design and be well versed in the software and hardware used by industry professionals. The best online colleges’ graphic design degree programs will prepare students to solve problems on their own and collaborate effectively as a member of a team. When graphic design students complete their final coursework, they will have the tools and knowledge to do their job well, regardless of the industry.

There is a lot to think about before enrolling. One of the most important factors is your institution and program’s accreditation status. Accreditation is a seal of approval given to colleges and programs that meet an accrediting agency’s academic standards. If you attend a non-accredited university you run the risk of your credits not transferring to other institutions and your degree not being recognized by potential employers. Protect yourself from such a scenario by checking out the National Association of Schools of Art and Design for a list of 309 accredited institutions and undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Graphic design is a competitive industry and those who are entering the field or currently working as a graphic designer must stay abreast of the latest trends and techniques used by industry professionals. The BLS advises graphic designers to keep up with new and updated computer graphics and design software. To do so, they may have to enroll in formal software training programs or teach themselves these skills. Graduates should also build a professional portfolio of their designs to submit for internships, job applications, or graduate school.

Rankings

Rank School Name Average Rating
1 Stevens-Henager College 11.58
2 Full Sail University 16.81
3 Hodges University 23.28
4 ITT Technical Institute 23.61
5 Bellevue University 26.16
6 Herzing University 26.51
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