Online course

Looking for some suggestions on a school or type of graphic design program I should take , preferrably an online course , if anyone has taken and online course or enrolled in some type of program , can you give me some suggestions?

Maybe see if your local community college offers some stand alone course. It will get you started, plus earn you some credits should you choose to continue.

I wouldn’t really recommend (or trust) any online course you find solely on the internet. It should be backed by an accredited university of some kind.


This!! Earn your GenEd credits at a community college, as university pricing for even GenEd is typically much higher!

Unfortunately people will not take you seriously if you took a “12 Week Design Course” online or something similar.

I went to the Art Institute (accredited, people say it’s shit but that’s because they have no drive to actually put forth effort, and expensive. No one will hold your hand no matter how much it costs), and I learned a lot of priceless information that had me excel in my career before I even graduated.

They had some online courses, of which I opted out because there is a lot to design that you just can’t get without asking tons of questions and having teachers with tons of experience.

I ranted a bit but hopefully you get it!


Online classes certainly have their place. But I’m constantly baffled by those who think there are online shortcuts into this field.

Learning to think and see like a graphic designer requires being around other graphic designers. It also requires getting a diversity of in-person critiques and feedback from fellow students and from those with more experience (and insight).

Sitting around in the vacuum one’s bedroom and staring at a computer screen while taking an online Photoshop class just doesn’t cut it. It might be a good way to learn a computer application, but learning design (which is far more difficult) requires much more — actual participation in a real-life setting where actual physical and intellectual interaction with other like-minded students becomes a primary part of the education.

This is an incredibly difficult field to break into, and few actually make an enduring career out of it. Breaking into this field with only an online education would seem to me to quadruple the chances of ultimately failing.

I can understand those not having the financial resources thinking they can better afford online coursework. But for others who intentionally avoid the whole 4-year college education thinking there’s a quick and easy way into this field, they’re not only badly mistaken, they’re squandering the opportunity for the best and most productive four years of their entire lives.


Beware of schools like Full Sail, The Art Institute, or any for-profit, fully online university. Yeah, they may be accredited but I would stay away.

Like @Sprainkles I too attended the Art Institute. However, it sounds like they did not go fully online, which in my case I did. Four years, all online and spent about 80k USD getting a Bachelor’s in Graphic Design. Each class is 5 1/2 weeks long and the classes are spread out in an obscure way. Try learning something like logo design in a 5 1/2 week course and then take a bunch of psych and art history classes for the next 8 months before you take your logo design II course. Honestly I learned more from online tutorials then I did from my professors because the professors just repost old lecture material and then provide comments on your work.

I’ve heard that the Art Institute is now not for profit, which may reduce their prices, but I would still stay away if you plan on going only online. Also, many of these schools are just waiting to pounce on someone like you in your position, that’s why most of their budget goes towards advertising instead of hiring qualified staff.

Others have stated going to a community college initially and I think that is the best idea if you are able to. Community College will be the cheapest option and you will gain credits that, hopefully, most of which can be transferred to a university later on.

Bottom line, if you want a career in Graphic Design you are going to need a four-year degree. But you don’t have to break the bank getting it from an “art school”.

This was the route that I went, and I absolutely loved the whole two-year community college thing.

There’s a possible gotcha, though, that needs to be considered. Many university design programs really are four-year programs where the required design classes are sequentially taken over a four-year period.

In these sorts of situations, having already completed one’s general ed requirements might not shorten the four years it will still take to get through the university design program. It’s really best to think these sorts of things through and check to make sure.

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Yes I did not take any online courses-it wasn’t even a thing until my 3rd year. And I was fortunate enough to have teachers that do actually care, and were willing to “mentor” the ones they knew truly cared. Worth every dime to me, but it’s not for everyone and it’s a lot of self-driven effort 24/7, ha.

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