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  • Do graphic design job without degree

    Hello everyone,
    I have been a Business student with a bachelor in International Business. However, lately I have found out that my true passion is design and I would die to work as a graphic designer (specially app design).
    So could anyone tell me if I can do this job without going to school (and just only having hands-on experience and certificates of Illustrator, Indesign,..)
    Thank you,

  • #2
    Hi Linhpt and welcome to GDF.

    You can become a professional designer without a degree, but it's not likely. The field is over-saturated, hundreds of people applying for the same job openings. You would be competing with those people, most of which will have a degree.

    We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.
    Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

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    • #3
      As KitchWitch said, you can, but it's not likely you'll get too far.

      At the time I got in it was less competitive and I fell into a niche section that is fairly invisible to the rest of the design world (newspapers).

      I do have an AA degree in Graphic Design, but most of what I know I picked up because I had to on the job. Most people wouldn't consider an AA degree as counting either so there's that.

      There's lots of little things to pick up when getting hands on experience. The problem is that you will miss them if you have no formal training.

      It's the training that lets you recognize these things.
      Erik Youngren Pueblo Publishers, Composing Manager
      2.8Ghz Quad Core Intel Xeon Mac Pro | InDesign CS4 | Suitcase Fusion 5

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      • #4
        Your thread title says "do graphic design job" (without a degree), which may be entirely possible, depending on the employer's or client's objectives, however, without a degree, the much bigger issue is "get a graphic design job."

        After being shoved into graphic design work (without a degree) almost 30 years ago, I self-taught and worked my way, over about 12 years, into a fairly high-power Director position. Eventually, due to economic downturns in the US, the operation was downsized out of existence by the parent company and I was out of work for the first time in my life. I tried everything possible for 3+ years to get a graphic design job without a degree, but despite my vast experience, proven skills, and even some elite-level career coaching, I was barely able to land an interview. I did get one or two offers, mostly because the potential employer saw an opportunity to shave down the salary by hiring someone without a formal education in the discipline.

        I work for myself now, doing mostly contract (graphic design) work that most "creatives" would find nightmarish. Fortunately, I enjoy pain.

        So yeah, you could.
        I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.

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        • #5
          I'd like to give you a hard "No" on this one. With 12 years in the graphics industry, I can tell you firmly that you will need formal training. App design will require even further knowledge of code and technology. Most employers are looking for experienced and educated graphics professionals. I remember looking for entry level design jobs (even with degree-in-hand) being extremely tough. My first 4 years in the field i worked for less than peanuts.

          ...'Takes me back..

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          • #6
            Skill is important but skill with formal training is very important.if you go to a company and say you are skilled graphic designer and they want to look your degree and you couldn't give them then they'll not believe that you are a good graphic designer . certificate doesn't matter to your skills but which man don't even know you and you want them to believe you then you must show them the certificate.So a formal training will be very helpful for you.

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