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Choose The Best Graphic Design School To Launch Your Career

Aug 17, 2007
No matter how talented an artist is that talent can only carry a person so far. More and more these days, employers are turning to those artists who not only display talent, but who also hold degrees in their chosen field. If a career in commercial art is desired, the only smart choice is to pursue a solid education in an accredited graphic design school.

While it seems jobs should only go to those who display the right talents and a piece of paper shouldn't be key, considering how high-tech this industry has become, it makes sense that degreed candidates are preferred. Whether its newspaper layout and design, advertising, sign making or even computer game art work that's in order, the field of commercial art no longer revolves only around pens, pencils and drafting boards.

Graphic design school can teach talented artists to use their abilities and add to them with a number of new "tools of the trade." So specialized have graphic arts computer programs become that oftentimes only serious study results in a mastery. From photo manipulation programs to layout and design tools, graphic design is now serious business. In addition to computer skills, graphic artists have to be adept at pre-press technique and sometimes even marketing, printing and more.

With all the skills that go into working in the graphics industry, it should come as no surprise that a solid education is now almost always required for the better paying jobs. Finding just the right graphic design school, however, isn't always easy.

There are some things to look for in a school, however, to help find the perfect fit:

Accreditation: Does the school offer associate's degrees? Bachelor's? Find out.

Well-rounded courses: Landing a job in the graphic arts field can be a little tough. Even if you intend to major in computer art, it's a good idea to know a little about advertising and even newspaper design.

Specialty courses: Should the end result of a degree be a desire to land a job at a big advertising agency, make sure the school chosen has solid courses in ad design, but keep the previous point in mind, too. It doesn't hurt to do a little branching out during study.

Computer program training: Be certain the school chosen has and teaches the latest computer arts techniques. Some of the common programs used in the field include Illustrator, Quark, Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver and more.

Job placement services: Check the institution's track record for placing graduates in solid entry- level jobs. Getting started in the field is often the hardest part of entering a graphics career, so any help on the front end can make a big difference down the road.

No matter what type of graphic arts career is desired, solid, well-rounded training can make the difference between a pay check and a bread line. The field is competitive and the edge a degree gives (not to mention the practical training) can make all the difference in the world.
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