If you have a deep interest in the visual arts or are artistically inclined, you might want to consider starting a career in graphics and web design. In this line of work, you will get to build websites and create visual concepts that not only communicate specific messages to the target audience but also inspire, captivate, and influence them using your creativity and wit.
To start a career in this industry, you need to get formal training in Adobe Photoshop and other graphics and web design software. Aside from offering innovative design ideas, having excellent training and a solid educational background in web or graphic design can help you stand out in this competitive market.
Because of this, it is vital that you select the best school to learn graphic and web design. To help you get started, here are four factors you should consider in doing just that:
1. Curriculum Focus on Technology and the Arts
In web and graphic design, there are two main components you should learn about: fine arts and technology. Since this career path entails using 21st-century technology to create artworks, it is important that you choose a school or course that will allow you to grow in both areas.
Check out programs with a curriculum that can teach you techniques on how to conceptualize and deliver a message via a visual medium. You should also pick a program teaching the latest graphics and web design software available today, which should include layout programs and photo editing tools.
2. Program-Appropriate Tools and Facilities
After checking out the curriculum, the next thing you should factor in when picking a graphic or web design course is the tools and facilities they offer. Since you will be using the latest technology, it is imperative that schools offering such programs have the matching equipment, else you cannot practice what you’re being taught.
Make sure to visit the school and its website or ask former students to see whether they can provide you equipment with the appropriate specs for the job. This means that there should be one computer available capable of running graphic design software and photo editing programs simultaneously and smoothly.
Other facilities they should have include:
A fully functioning library
A design studio
Of course, this may not be applicable if you’re looking to learn the course online as you would need to provide your own equipment.
3. Hands-On Learning Opportunities
Learning about the theories is only one half of what you need to start a career in web and graphic design successfully. A good graphics and web design course should incorporate a balance between conceptual aspects of the study and its application.
When you choose a program, make sure to check whether there are practical applications of the theories taught in the curriculum. You should also determine whether you can gain field exposure through on-the-job training, mentorship, and other real-life immersion in various mediums in the program. Not only will this give you a chance to get a good feel of the industry you are about to enter but also build up your resume even before you finish the course.
4. Verifiable Track Record and Proof of Expertise
If you’re going to choose a web or graphic design program, you might as well pick a school with the best track record there is. You can determine this based on the quality of the faculty and graduates the school has been able to produce. You can also get recommendations from people you know and trust.
On top of that, you should also make sure that the school you pick has proof of their expertise. Although not all areas have the same governing body in web and graphic design, there will always be at least one accrediting body that you can reach out to in order to verify the expertise of a particular school. This will ensure that the institution only offers the best quality instruction based on national standards.
A Final Word
Learning web and graphic design can either be straightforward or complicated, depending on the quality of guidance you get.
In choosing one of these many programs, it is important that you get systematic and professional education at the outset. To make sure you do so, use this article as a guide in selecting the best graphics or web design school for you.
About the Author
Jerrin Samuel is the Executive Director at Regional Educational Institute (REI) in Abu Dhabi. Since 1995, REI has been at the forefront of education by delivering quality corporate training courses in the UAE, helping many businesses and organizations achieve greater productivity and higher customer satisfaction levels.