Is Majoring in Graphic Design Worth It? [How to Decide]

If you’re thinking about a career in graphic design, you might be wondering if getting a degree is worth the investment. After all, the traditional education route is definitely not the only way to a successful career. 

Graphic Design Degrees are usually graduate and postgraduate degrees that are given by schools that specialize in visual media, visual communication, design theory, and typography. If graphic design is your passion, getting a Graphic Design Degree is definitely worth it because there is plenty of money to be made in the industry, and a degree may be required for higher salary jobs.

Graphic design is a diverse discipline that can suit a variety of personalities and skill levels. While schooling may be helpful for some, this isn’t always the case. Good news! We’ve got all of the information below, that you’ll need to make an informed decision about majoring in graphic design.

What Does a Graphic Designer Do?

Graphic design is a wide field that includes things like visual media, visual communication, design theory, and typography. It has been around for a long time, though today, we often think of graphic design as something that happens with new media, like websites, mobile apps, and interactive animation and motion graphics.

Students who study graphic design have a lot of different job options. In general, graphic designers do the following:

  • Meet with clients or the marketing team to determine the scope of a project
  • Create visual elements like logos and illustrations that can be used to help people understand the brand message
  • Communicate ideas through images and the layout of websites and printed pages
  • Stay up to date with software and computer technology so that you can stay competitive

Graphic design is essential for marketing and selling items, and it is a key of component branding. As a result, graphic designers often collaborate with those in advertising and promotion, public relations, and marketing.

Job Outlook for Graphic Design

From 2020 to 2030, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the number of graphic designers will grow by 3%.  Even though that number doesn’t seem very high, as more and more businesses go online, they may need graphic designers to help them make their websites look good and work well.

There also are expected to be about 23,900 jobs for graphic designers each year over the next decade. Most of the job openings are expected to come from people who change jobs or leave the labor force, like when they retire.

Do You Need a Degree to Be A Graphic Designer?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Graphic designers usually need a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field. Not only will majoring in graphic design sets you up with an extensive portfolio, but you’ll learn from professors that are usually still active in the industry.

For some areas of graphic design, getting a degree is the best way to get into the field. Many programs focus on things like motion graphics, animation, design theory, project management, portfolio development, and so on. These things could be learned on your own, but it’s much easier and much more effective to get them from someone who knows what they’re talking about.

Still, graphic design is a broad field with many different skillsets, and it isn’t necessarily essential to have a college degree to begin a successful career in graphic design.

Because of the ease of today’s technology, many can get started in graphic design without any formal education at all. High-quality branding and marketing tools let anyone from a small business to a large corporation make amazing visual assets for their brand, even if they don’t have any technical or artistic skills. As long as you have the skills and experience, you can look into a lot of different jobs in graphic design without having to spend a lot of time in school.

Is Majoring in Graphic Design Worth It?

Though technology and design software make it possible for anyone to jump into design without any experience, if you are serious about a career as a graphic designer, then a degree in graphic design is a solid investment. Here are some of the key reasons why you may want to consider majoring in graphic design.

A Degree Could Be the Deciding Factor in Landing a Job

One advantage of majoring in graphic design is that it helps you stand out among the competition. Many businesses state that if they had to select between two talented designers, they would choose the degree holder over someone who is self-taught.  This is because employers feel that candidates who have a college degree are more job-ready than those who do not.

While anybody can learn the fundamentals of design software, a degree demonstrates to an employer that you’re serious enough about your personal growth to invest in it. Having a degree on your resume displays your self-worth and dedication to growing as a professional.

It Helps to Build Your Portfolio

Landing a job in graphic design is all about the portfolio. Employers and clients want to know your skills and style, and they want to see proof that you can do what you say you can.  

As a graphic design student, you get the chance to create portfolio pieces with an experienced industry professional. It is possible to build a portfolio on your own. However, many companies will not even look at your portfolio if you do not have a degree indicated on your resume.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are several compelling reasons to get a degree in graphic design, with the most important being that it gives you credibility and experience in the design world. While a degree isn’t always required, you should absolutely take your time and thoroughly weigh all of the advantages and drawbacks of a graphic designer job so that you can make an informed choice about your education.

If you want to try your hand at graphic design before committing to a lengthy program, provides high-quality branding and marketing tools that allow anybody, regardless of technical or creative abilities, to create professional level designs.