Thinking About Becoming A Graphic Designer? This Is A Step In The Right Education
The decision to go to school for design (or anything for that matter) is a big deal, and making sure you go to the right school can be the most critical part of that decision. Knowing reputation, programs, and methods can mean the difference between success and the frustration of withdrawing or switching schools. Since we’re located in the Seattle area, we’ll give you our top school choices (in no particular order) for schools with design programs in our area.
If you’re looking to get a four year degree and are driven to get your degree in visual communications, we would suggest The Art Institute of Seattle. Not only does this school offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, but also has the option of an Associate of Applied Arts degree, which can be obtained in half the time of a BFA. The Art Institute has a great reputation for developing driven, successful designers and has many campuses across the country to choose from.
A dedicated art school is great if you are 100% sure that art is the field for you, but in many cases, people need room to explore a bit in order to decide what to major in. If you’re in this frame of mind, you may want to choose a university like Western Washington University, which has hundreds of programs to choose from, among them a strong design program. If you choose to obtain a degree in design, Western offers several concentrations: Graphic Design, New Media, and Production. These concentrations give each student the tools they need to be successful and innovative in their field, and just like The Art Institute of Seattle, comes highly recommended by employers in the design field. Another plus to attending Western is the price breaks and number of scholarships possible for state universities such as this.
For those of us who have already attended school or have been working in the design field already, Seattle’s School of Visual Concepts may be the place for you. While they don’t offer any degrees, they offer what they refer to as a “weed-whacker for your career path,” a series of classes that help the creative professional keep up with new programs, techniques, and teach a few extra tricks to get you back on the horse. It’s perfect for both people who are working in the field and simply want to keep up to date with new programs, or if you’ve taken a break and want to brush up on your skills.
Finally, if you’re really not sure you want to pursue design or lack the resources you need to go to design school, a community college may be your best bet. While they don’t usually offer many programs or classes in design, you may be able to get some prerequisites out of the way for a future Bachelors degree, but a few schools, such as Seattle Central Community College, do offer Associates of Applied Arts degrees that have a concentration in graphic design and print production. We recently interviewed a designer from Seattle Central Community College with an extensive, impressive portfolio. This school is really stepping it up and giving students a great portfolio opportunity and education when they graduate.
Whichever school you decide to go to, make sure you take full advantage of scholarships and financial aid. Most schools offer scholarships for incoming freshman, and there’s a host of websites that make it easy to find and apply for scholarships you qualify for. Additionally, your financial and living situation may qualify you for substantial financial aid from the state, as well as other financial options such as low-interest loans. With so much financial help available to students, it would be silly not to take advantage of them, so check them out! Below, you’ll find links to our favorite school’s websites and some links to scholarship-finder websites.
Links to some of our favorite schools:
Other helpful links:
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