Hi I am interested in starting a graphic design program at a community college. I currently have a bachelor in environmental science that has been useless sadly. Is it possible to find work if my education is from community college? How difficult is it to get any type of work after graduation? Are there any online programs that could be just as good that i can take virtually? I would love any and all advice on breaking into the field. Thank you so much!
There is a community college in my area that has an excellent design program, but that doesn’t mean the same is true for your community college. When I’m considering sending work to a designer, I’m far more interested in the quality of work than if the designer has a 2-year or 4-year degree.
That said, do your homework. Many markets in the U.S. are saturated with designers. Make sure there is demand in your area or the degree – whether it’s from a community college or a 4-year school – could be as useless as your environmental science degree.
Thank you for taking the time to reply. I live in the metro detroit area. There are postings for junior and other graphic design positions but I’m sure it fluctuates like anything else.
The best thing to do is see if you know anyone in your area who hires designers and ask them if they consider a community college education enough. Whatever you decide, make sure to get some work experience while you are a student. It’s much harder to get an internship or experience once you have graduated.
I’m curious why an environmental science major can’t find work. I might be thinking in the wrong direction but the jobs are out there if you don’t mind field work. The field is similar to graphic design in a way. Pay scale is commensurate with experience. When I did field work, I wanted to be inside doing the report work, when I finally got inside, I wanted to be outdoors.
Isn’t a Master’s degree the norm for that field? It’s getting to the point where nearly any science-related field requires at least an MS.
Could be i never thought about I worked as a chemist and engineer after college in the automotive industry. Wasn’t aware a Master was the norm for all environmental science majors
I have applied to over 300 jobs since graduation and have never had an interview. I have worked in all field science but none in my area is study. I would love field work don’t mind it at all. I didn’t have an internship so i think that’s what screwed me
One of my primary clients for years, up until just last year, was a big state government natural resources agency. It was an arrangement where I regularly worked with and made friends with the employees there. Aside from the support staff, they were all biologists, geologists, foresters, hydrologist and environmental scientists of one sort or another.
It’s a guess since I never did a survey, but at least half of them had MS degrees. Most of the remainder had PhDs. Very few had ended their education with only a BS, so my assumption was always this being the norm, at least there.
I don’t want to dash your hopes with graphic design, but the field is hugely oversaturated. Most graduates in graphic design end up finding work in other fields — both because it’s difficult to find a job and because the beginning wages are so terribly low. I don’t see that changing in the foreseeable future. With only a two-year Associates degree from a community college, you’d be unlikely to find work. Some can, but the odds would be against you.
If you’re considering another two years of school, if it were me, I’d go the MS route rather than backtracking to an Associate degree in a completely different field with fewer employment opportunities and lower wages than the one you’re currently in.
I have a good friend who has a BA in journalism and an MS in environmental science. This combination makes him very employable as a public information officer for government environmental agencies. He’s switched jobs three times across three different states in the last three years after having been recruited. Then again, he’s very good at what he does. Maybe leveraging your current degree and work experience with an Associate degree in design could pave the way to a in-house designer position at a science- or engineering-related company. I’d be doing some research into that before hanging my hopes on it, though.
That’s the funny thing about government jobs. I found the same thing to be true with the National Park Service, there is always a jockeying for position and higher education plays a huge role in that. You have to be on a phd trajectory to move up to the next pay level. Everyone I’d met in the NPS was doing that. I’m not sure it’s true everywhere but the engineering level is where the money is. Wetland flagging and soil sampling, not so much.
Thank you so much that was so much amazing information. I like the points you made and it’s definitely and good perspective to have mashing different areas of study to create a hybrid career. I don’t want to waste any time as i feel i have already done that. I have enjoyed art since I was 3 and have a need for creativity and working with my hands . Thank you again for the great perspective