Questions I have about which pathway I should take with schooling and life? Graphic designers feedback would be appreciated as well :)

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 19, 2012 10:25 AM GMT
    Okay, here's the story. I live in Australia. I'm 19. And left school in year 10 and have been working in fast food ever since and I have no qualifications. I'm now trying to change my life around... Thus I want to go back to school. However, should I

    (A Go do a diploma in Graphic design and forget about finishing school

    2 years

    (B Go finish school then go do the graphic diploma

    3 years

    I really hated school, and their was a lot of other problems as well. I've been delaying it but it's now time to make a choice but I'm afraid I won't stick with it.

    So going back to school is what I'm least hoping for, and what everyone keeps telling me is I should forget it and try get into the graphic design course, even though I may need to have finished school anyways.

    My other questions are, what will my employment prospects be? Will their be much work? I fear with graphic programs being so user friendly that many people can't be after graphic designers, but I don't know for sure. Also what do they usually make annually? And will I be able to branch out into photography and web design and even animation easily?

    And also, if I have a diploma in graphics, isn't that a higher qualification than finishing school? Thus not affecting that side of my employment prospects?

    I've been doing graphic design since I was like 10, I fully compatible with all programs and I have an exceptional taste for design, and have booked many people to make designs for online and all with pleasing results. I honestly probably don't need to do the course haha, but oh well.

    Thank you to all those willing to take the time to answer icon_smile.gif
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    Jan 19, 2012 1:49 PM GMT

    "Graphic design" is a fairly broad category, in my opinion. So the answer partially depends on what you want to do specifically. Generally a bachelor of arts degree would allow you to show you've had training in lots of techniques in addition to other liberal arts education. More importantly, it'll give you an opportunity to build a legit portfolio. And a strong, extensive portfolio is the key to finding success. The software programs are just a tool, like a paint brush, and you can either use them well or you can't. The portfolio is what will demonstrate your creativity — at your age generally it consists of classwork or professional freelance work, and either one is perfectly fine for showing whether you have talent or not. Portfolios these days are digital, so putting effort into a strong website that showcases your work is a must... and the website itself demonstrates your skills with web design — so do it well.

    No amount of schooling in the world will make you a talented, creative person... just like no amount of vocal training will ever make me able to carry a tune. But I do think it's a place to learn important things about color, typography, etc. that will polish your creativity. Corporate types will usually demand at least an undergraduate degree. But for many graphic design jobs, it's almost entirely about your portfolio.

    Dunno how much those thoughts help you, but it's what I have time to write before I head to the gym!

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    Jan 19, 2012 3:03 PM GMT
    No, you don't have to finish yr 11 or 12 to get into graphic design. As said above it's more about the quality of your portfolio than your high school education.
    IMO you would be wasting your time going back to high school for this. Especially if you are considering a Tafe course.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 19, 2012 3:05 PM GMT
    In the Us it pretty competitive. If you are good you an make good money. I hire graphic designers for my job. Most are not great.
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    Jan 19, 2012 3:39 PM GMT
    If you plan to work for yourself you don't need to go backmfrom
    To school for graphic design.
  • Import

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    Jan 19, 2012 4:09 PM GMT
    find a rich man to take care of that schweeet ass
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    Jan 19, 2012 9:07 PM GMT
    I was in the design industry for a painfully long time (Now I'm out and free.. so to speak haha)

    anyway most places will place more emphasis on the quality of your portfolio over how educated you are. If you have some stunning work that isn't just website or print mockups then you only need to compete with other people who are applying for the same job (most of them will be subpar, like really terrible)

    if you've been doing this since a young age the TAFE course probably wont provide much in the way of new information however you might learn how to observe things with a different view, so on that idea alone it would be worth while exploring the diploma.

    Why not create an amazing portfolio and start sending it to design places in the area you are looking to enter.
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    Jan 20, 2012 12:34 AM GMT
    Get the degree. It will allow you to build up a portfolio for your first jobs. When your just out of school, employers tend to look at schooling as much as the portfolio. They see the schooling as measure of being persistent and of commitment, particularly if you've no experience in the field. Additionally, the extra schooling can give you a broader outlook in problem solving that goes beyond the mere aesthetics of design.

    The other aspect of schooling formally in graphic design, is that it teaches you to deal with harsh feedback, which is an everyday occurrence in professional design. Even if you were the best designer in the entire hemisphere, you're going to come across harsh criticism and you will either learn from it or fail and quit.

    When I was in school, I constantly thought "When will I ever need to know Advanced Calculus. Well, years later, when others designers were unable to get this (or my last) job, I did, because what I learned was more than 'how to draw a straight line'. (Double entendre pun intended for those that get it.)

    You will never suffer as much from knowing too much as those that know too little.
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    Jan 20, 2012 12:38 AM GMT
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  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 20, 2012 12:39 AM GMT
    Is it possible you can finish school at TAFE and also do some units related to graphic design? I would speak to some course advisers at TAFE and at the graphic design school to see what pathways are available to you.
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    Jan 20, 2012 1:31 AM GMT
    I don't like the advice I'm getting here... Haha, it sounds as if I shouldn't even bother with school!
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    Jan 20, 2012 1:48 AM GMT
    If you just want to be a designer, then go to graphic design school. However, if you want to move up to, say, Creative Director later, not finishing school MIGHT hurt you.

    In the end though, its really about how good your portfolio is. If your good enough, you may not need any additional schooling.
  • sans_serif

    Posts: 30

    Jan 20, 2012 2:05 AM GMT
    The amount of emphasis placed on your portfolio in this thread is a joke...

    Your portfolio doesn't indicate how well you develop ideas, how well you work under demanding deadlines, or how well you work with clients, just to give you a few examples.

    The art is byproduct of the process.

    Find a competitive art school with a strong graphic design department and it will prepare you for what life is really like in the field.

    Studio classes at my school are six hours and they only meet once a week. If you miss three classes or more they can/will fail you in the course because you've essentially missed three weeks of school.

    What you will learn in your critiques from your peers and your professors will be priceless... not to mention humble you. If design is something your serious about, you should be willing to invest the time in doing it well.

    Your portfolio will develop on its own and a strong curriculum will open many doors for you in different areas of design. Try it all and don't be afraid of failure.

    Hope this helps.
  • metta

    Posts: 39134

    Jan 20, 2012 3:57 AM GMT
    I think you should go back and finish your school.

    Most people change careers at least a couple times during their life and having the basic foundation will help you to make the change easier. Having more options will give you a better chance of success. If you go into graphic design now (a very competitive industry which can sometimes be imported from countries with cheaper labor) and decide to change later, it will be more difficult without a basic foundation to start from. Getting older would just make it even more difficult to go back and get that foundation to build from.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 20, 2012 4:01 AM GMT
    Kristoff saidI don't like the advice I'm getting here... Haha, it sounds as if I shouldn't even bother with school!


    You keep hearing that because design/art is a craft and it really is based on you're current/potential skill level. I think you should go to art school though. A degree and a deeper understanding of the arts will never hurt. Just be sure you're always improving.
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    Jan 20, 2012 4:06 AM GMT
    ANIMATOR said
    Kristoff saidI don't like the advice I'm getting here... Haha, it sounds as if I shouldn't even bother with school!
    You keep hearing that because design/art is a craft and it really is based on you're current/potential skill level. I think you should go to art school though. A degree and a deeper understanding of the arts will never hurt. Just be sure you're always improving.
    dont-feed-the-trolls.jpg