How to Get an Online Graphic Design Degree

Graphic design is vital for just about any business.

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Why Become a Graphic Designer?

First of all, it’s a fantastic job.

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The Advantages of an Online Graphic Design Degree

Now that you’ve settled on a plan of action, why would you take an online course instead of heading off to a traditional design school?

  • Interaction. This one may seem backwards. Your first instinct may be to say that you’re no longer in a classroom with other people, how can there be MORE interaction. Classrooms don’t have the tools available to communicate with other students while working. This limits you to the people directly around you. Online courses can give you all kinds of communication tools as required to access all classmates and experienced professionals.
  • Discipline. This one again may seem backward. Wouldn’t there be more discipline in the classroom? The opposite is true. People in groups tend to get off track more. You and you alone are responsible for your actions in an online course. Self-discipline works extremely well in these cases. This may be due to the fact that only those serious about learning are going to take an online course.
  • Review Lessons. The best part is that online courses are built to be consumed online. This means you can go back and revisit lessons and notes easier than the classroom. If the teacher in the class is talking, there’s no way to revisit it without asking them or recording them. Of course, you should be taking notes, but are your notes as accurate as the teacher’s words?
  • Technology. Online courses implement the latest in technology much quicker than traditional counterparts. Things can be quickly adjusted, reviewed and inserted into the lesson plan. When in school, the limitations of the computer lab or IT team may limit how quickly changes can be implemented into the learning process.
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The Best Online Graphic Design Programs

The bad news about online learning is that anyone can put up a course of any type and charge money for it.

  • International Academy of Design and Technology — Detroit. This school makes the list because it actually specialises in the visual design and the arts. When you dedicate an entire school to one field, you know you’re getting the best the industry has to offer.
  • DeVry University — Various Locations. This is one of the more common household names in online education. This school is unique in the fact it maintains 95 campuses across the US. If you’re located in the United States, you can actually visit a physical location as needed.
  • The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Pittsburgh. The main draw for this program is the accelerated classes they offer. If you have the time to burn, getting your degree at a quicker pace can jumpstart your new career sooner than later. They offer a variety of programs to help you specialise in the skills you need.
  • Full Sail University — Winter Park, Florida. This is the most affordable option on the list. If you’re looking for a quality education on a budget, this is the way to go. With both bachelor’s and master’s programs, you can take the next step in your education with this online course.

Free Online Graphic Design Courses

If you don’t need the fancy piece of paper at the end, or the complete in-depth experience, online courses will help jump-start your graphic design knowledge.

  • Alison — Many free courses in graphic design are available here. Some are slightly more advanced, and there are usually thousands signed up for each course. It’s a great resource for beginners and is updated all the time as new courses become available.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology — That’s right, MIT offers most of its courses online for free. There is a catch: you can have the lectures and the assignments, but you don’t get the answers. You’ll still learn a lot — there just won’t be anyone to look it over at the end. This is good if you have a mentor willing to help.
  • — Lastly, this site offers many beginner-level options to help you get the hang of the basics. The goal of the site is to help empower future designers today without the expense of a degree.

Written by

Inkbot Design a Creative Graphic Design Agency in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Experts in Logo Design and Branding.

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