Graphic Design: Degree Or No Degree?

Through my design career I have come across many job adverts for a graphic designer 'with a degree'. It always made me feel a little frustrated – "If I do not have a degree do you automatically assume I will not be good enough to join your company?". Surely a designer's portfolio and / or experience should say more than a piece of paper with a qualification on it.

I studied for a higher national diploma in graphic design at college and when the course finished I had the chance of pursuing a degree in graphic design or go for an advanced diploma in art and design. One of my lecturers told me that the degree contained more theory work where the advanced diploma was more practical. I opted for the practical work … after all that's what graphic design is.

The advanced diploma was only a year of study but most of the work was project based even if the deadlines were a bit too generous at times. However, since leaving college (armed with my qualifications) I admit that I learn more during my first design role and by teaching myself. That kind of education never stops with the design world and technology continuously changing.

This led me to question the importance of a degree as a designer and I know that I'm not the only one to ask this. In my honest opinion a degree does not automatically make someone more creative and successful than a designer who is self taught or who has learnt on the job. Their portfolio should be the strongest reflection of their skills and abilities especially when it comes to finding employment. Do companies advertising for a designer 'with a degree' honestly think that they are going to employ a better designer or is it a status thing?

Now I know that things have changed since I was at college so I thought I had a look at what degree courses my local college offers and found that they offer a BA in Art and Design. Here are the modules:

Year 1: Visual arts; applied crafts; digital arts; site specific design; graphic design; performance related design; web design; animation; self-employment; video production; community art; textile design; teacher or lecturer.

Year 2 : Creative skills and concepts; integrated project; visual literacy; digital applications; specialist options: skills development; contextual studies; personal development planning.

Year 3: Creative practice; contextual practice; specialist options: skills application practice; research skills; critical and contextual studies; pathways and concepts; professional and studio practice; professional and contextual studies; creative futures.

I did not study most of this stuff and I've spent 9 years in design studios working on a wide variety of projects of all sizes and with good feedback. I'm now working full-time as a freelancer trying to grow my own business. I like to think that I turned out okay without a degree.

So I guess my question is … does a degree make a better designer or is it all down to natural creative flair, experience and keeping up-to-date with the latest trends?

Credit Repair Companies – Find Credit Experts and Certified FICO Professionals – Improve Your Score

Late payment of credit bills or defaulting from payment can seriously affect one's credit scores. It affects a person's credit in securing a loan or a credit card in the future. This can cause dangerous repercussions and leave the person dependent on others for money. It is always advisable to keep your credit score clean.

But sometimes even the most organized person may end up with a bad credit score. Luckily, the law provides a chance to help the person out the situation. This is where the credit repair companies come into picture.

ROLE OF CREDIT REPAIR COMPANIES

Credit repair companies have a primary goal to 'improve the client's credit score'. They offer legal credit solutions to help improve their client's credit score. They study the report of the client to look for any inconsistencies. Once having identified disputable items on the report, they take it up with the creditor to challenge the report. If the inconsistencies can not be verified, then the company helps you file for damages. Some companies also offer credit management services to teach the client how to maintain a good credit score.

BEWARE OF SCAM COMPANIES

A person must always be aware of the service they choose. There are companies that scam desperate people, who are badly in need of help. There are other companies that use illegal means like identity theft to make it look like there is an improvement in the credit score. It is illegal and felony to do so and if discovered, the person may face jail time.

INDICATORS OF A GOOD COMPANY

It is very easy to tell a good company from a bad one. Here are a few indicators that it is a scam.

  • The company requests for payment upfront. Any citizen is legally entitled to pay the credit repair company only after the case is settled.
  • If the company promises to erase the credit record, it is clearly a scam. It is impossible to delete it. One can only improve the credit score.
  • When the company requests the client to create a new credit identity using Employer Identification Number (EIN) instead of the social security number, it is undocumentedly a scam company.
  • If the company requests a person to file all the items in the record as false irreparable of the validity, then it is a scam.

FIND THE BEST CREDIT REPAIR COMPANY

Self acclaimed Credit pros, may not be professionals after all, although as an industry they are one of the topought after services in the country. Understandably, without money or credit life's dreams are halted in a hurry. Be sure to look for a team of certified FICO professionals, who offer professional and legal credit solutions and help can anyone with a bad credit score. Check reviews and see if the company has a record of being successful and customer friendly in all their cases. The clients' testimonials are a proof for the good work they can do.

WHAT SETS A CREDIT PROFESSIONAL APART FROM THE REST?

  • Payment is accepted only after the client's requirements are met and payment plans are also available.
  • The client can cancel their service at any time they see fit.
  • They offer life-time support for the cases they handle.
  • Team of FICO certified professional experts guarantee success and do not oversell.

If ever you have a credit record problem, you should be able to seek a free consultation from the credit experts. With upfront information and a proven track record, you can have confidence that you have found the right credit repair company to help you.

What Does the Word Website Designer Stand For?

Today anyone seems to call themselves web designer just because the learned to create a web site.

Is it traditional graphic design involved or is it just experts on programs like Flash, Dreamweaver, etc. who call themselves designers?

One guy looking for work told me he had a web design education and when I looked at his work it was like 5 pages crap made in FrontPage!

For me as an art director and graphic designer it all seems a bit strange. I have spent years in art- and advertising classes, over 30 years in the advertising business in Sweden and Spain and I’m still not sure I can use that title. Even if I have designed hundreds of websites last 10 years.

So be aware when you looking for help, with internet anyone seems to be whatever they like and advertise their services, trust them or not. You will never know for sure.

Today I saw the following ad in a local magazine: “We design web sites for 130EUR”. That guy must be something of a superman. Or is the education these days so fantastic that you can learn it all in a few years?

The “Graphic design” education is just a small part in building your web site.

The natural way was (back in the 80:s in Stockholm) that your advertising agency produced your website and designed it so it fit your company’s profile. A few years later a lot of digital production companies started, but still with people educated in the advertising business.

Short after that anyone with money could buy a computer, copy machines and some colour printers and start a Copy shop without any education in advertising. Unfortunately they after a while also offered help in layout and design.

That’s where we are today. Anyone with a computer can offer you anything online.

It’s up to you to find out who they are.

Work and Study

The relationship between work and study should not be underestimated.

It is important that youngsters in general, and teenagers in particular, get real life experience of what it takes to succeed in the ‘real world’, what it takes to make money, and how hard dad or mum have to work to earn those extra few cents.

Recently a dad talked about the problems of getting his son to study; the family is wealthy and the son saw little need to make any effort to revise, do well in his forthcoming exams, and move onto a university and undergraduate subject with prospects of a rewarding career.

He saw his parents, particularly mum, as a ‘soft touch’.

The harder the concerned parents tried, the more obstinate the son became; the inverse law of proportionality seemed to be at work, or perhaps the law of diminishing returns. Necessity was definitely not the mother of invention!

‘Man he is a Lazy B…!’ complained the father.

At school, the youngster seemed to have learnt a lot about his ‘rights’ – but little about responsibility.

He didn’t realise that ‘rights’ and ‘responsibilities’ are the same bedfellows – they both start with the letter ‘r’!

The current situation was inevitable…

Things changed, however, after our recommendation that the son spend time working in the kitchens of one his father’s famous restaurants over the summer holidays (well, what else did he expect given his parents’ gentler efforts?).

Washing plates to earn his pocket-money was no fun; it didn’t take long before the grades started to improve.

Study was clearly a better option than washing plates in the kitchen.

Take Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world.

Warren has a wise head on his shoulders and drives the same old car and lives in the same old house as he did at the start of his career; his common sense has to be respected since his actions reflect his words.

He can afford to live in mansions, drive better cars but through his example has made clear that he intends to give most of his wealth to charity.

Warren believes that his children must learn to earn a living, make their own way in the real world.

The last thing he wants is to ‘handicap’ his progeny by handing over his billions.

Some of the smartest students at The University of Oxford in The Business Management School often spent their summer holidays waiting at tables before they got First Class Honours.

They are now CEOs of major companies, earning a very healthy living.

Consider another example from the world of tennis, the William sisters where Venus and Serena dominated the women’s game for many years.

Their early history is one of being introduced to the ‘Bronx’ by their dad where gang bullets were not uncommon whilst they trained.

The William sisters soon realized that working for success in tennis was a better option than living in ghettos.

Where cajoling fails, direct experience often succeeds.

If you want your children to study more effectively, let them work for it!