You absolutely do not need to go to college to be a designer

Let’s State the facts

Property of Matthew Butler (@butler on giphy.com)

College was always thought to be the right and necessary thing to do after you graduated high school. Having a degree would have almost always guarantee you a job. However, in today’s society, that is no longer the case. Washington.edu states “The fact is that approximately 53% of college graduates are unemployed or working in a job that doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree. “ To go along with students not being able to find a job, the student debt amount for the U.S. is outrageous and ridiculous. Forbes.com has written an article calling it a crisis. The website states “There are more than 44 million borrowers who collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt in the U.S. alone. Student loan debt is now the second highest consumer debt category – behind only mortgage debt – and higher than both credit cards and auto loans. Borrowers in the Class of 2017, on average, owe $28,650, according to the Institute for College Access and Success. ” Now, that is a broad range of major types, so let’s narrow it down to design related majors. There are approximately 5,300 colleges in the U.S.A. If you divide 5,300 by 1.5 trillion, you will get roughly around 283,000,000. The $283,000,000 is the amount of debt that students owe to each college in the U.S. right now. Of course it’s more or less, that is the average based off of general statistics that I have found. There are about 2,500 colleges that are design related, which means they have at least one major that has to deal with design. If you multiply 2,500 by $283,000,000 you will get a number close to 700,000,000. This $700,000,000 is the amount of debt that design schools have owed to them. So with all these numbers, we can figure that about 47% of the national student debt is due to design schools. The average tuition for students going to design school is between $11,000-$60,000 more or less.

Now that we have went over the true facts and statistics, I hope I haven’t scared you away. Now let’s get right into why you really don’t need to go to college for design, and reasons why you might actually need to go.

The internet is your best friend

Yes, it’s true. You can find just about anything on the internet. Including free classes, cheap classes, tutorials, mentors, clients, advertising, and just about anything else you need to start your design career. A simple search in google or bing is all it takes. However, to use the internet as an effective tool you need to know what you are looking for. If you are looking to learn, you should start of with a specific subject first, like color theory. Study and learn that, then move on to the next topic you want or need to learn. If you are just confused on what you need to be learning, then pick a college and do a major schedule search. I have provided an example here. All I did to find this schedule is type in google SCAD class schedule search, then I proceeded to pick a major and a semester to see what type of classes they were offering. This is great because it gives you an actual description/overview of what they do in the class. The internet can be your best friend when you are trying to learn anything. Like I said before, there are free classes, and cheap classes that you can use online that gives you a good familiarity with the subject you are trying to learn. There are also a lot of free tutorials online to help you practice your design skills. My favorite one that I have been using for the last five plus years is tutsplus.com. I was introduced to this website in my graphic design class that I took in high school. It has really helped me perfect my skills in graphic design.

Save time

Not going to a design school will definitely save you 3-5 years of your time. Especially, if you already have a basic knowledge of design. I will use myself as an example. I took a graphic design class in high school for 3 years more or less, and it was the best class I have ever taken, so far. My teacher was very thorough in the information she gave us. We were able to do a lot of hands on design work, which included photography, photo editing, typography, color theory and a lot more. After I graduated high school I continued to practice the skills that I were taught, and perfected them. I didn’t feel like I needed to go to a design school, even though I wanted to go. I decided not to go and went to school for business, so that I could learn about business and it could help me in the future if I decide to open my own design firm. I know of course everyone’s story and life is not like mine, but I feel like if you already know design why waste time with relearning what you already know.

Reasons why you need to go to college

Now after all this talk about why you don’t need college and how it’s a waste of time, let me tell you why you actually should go.

Networking and Connections

Property of @polyvinylrecords

Your college is a gateway to a plethora of networks, connections, and opportunities. These things you may not find if you choose not to go to college. It is not impossible to network yourself by yourself, but it requires a great deal of effort on your part. On the other side when you go to college, networking and connections are bascially put in your hand and opportunity is always knocking on your door. You ultimately have a whole university of people who are there to help you in your college and career journey. I know that colleges have events, activities, and groups related to specific majors that are there to bring notice not only to the school but also to the students and their work.

Experience

The college experience is deemed to be one of the best and sometimes worst things you will experience in your life. I personally like going to school and being in a class with other like-minded students learning about something that I am passionate about. Not only the educational part of college, but the fun and recreations too. Football games, homecoming, concerts, are a small list of some of the activities that colleges have to offer for its students.

To college, or not to college

So, my final conclusion on this matter is, you honestly don’t need to go to college, but if you can it is a great opportunity in more ways than one.

Property of Chuber Channel (@chuber on giphy.com)

I hope you guys enjoyed today’s post. If you would like a part two of Why You don’t Need to go to Design College” let me know in the comments below. Again thank you, and make sure to like, comment, and follow to stay alerted on all new posts.

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