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A Graphic Designer is a creative professional that works within the graphic design or graphic arts industry. These professionals use visual elements to convey messages via print or electronic media. Graphic Designers are also commonly called Graphic Artists or Communication Designers.
Graphic designers use visual elements to convey ideas. They use images, text, graphics and other elements, created via software or by hand, to communicate messages to consumers. Their designs may be used in advertisements, magazines, newspapers, brochures, products packaging, reports and presentations, among many other mediums. Common job duties that these creative professionals may include:
Graphic Designers typically work in studios equipped with the computers and software they need to create designs and layouts. Many work independently, while others work as part of a design team. As of the year 2016, Graphic Designers held about 266,300 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Around 18 percent of those jobs were held by self-employed Graphic Designers. Approximately 11 percent of Graphic Designers worked for specialized design services, and another 8 percent worked for firms that provide advertising, public relations and related services. About 7 percent of these creative professionals worked for companies that provide printing and related services, and around 6 percent worked for newspaper, magazine, book and directory publishers.
Employment of Graphic Designers is expected to rise between 2016 and 2026, according to BLS projections. Overall, job growth for this occupation is expected to rise by 5 percent, a rate that is about the same as the average job growth rate for all occupations. The agency attributes this projected growth to factors that include the continued importance of graphic design in product marketing, as well as a continuing demand for increased digital presence via visually appealing websites.
However, job growth for Graphic Design positions will vary greatly according to industry. For example, BLS predicts a job growth rate of 20 percent for graphic designers who work in computer systems design and related fields. However, the outlook for Graphic Designers who work for newspaper, periodical, book and directory publishers is not as rosy – with employment expected to fall by 22 percent.
For readers who are exploring career prospects, it is important to note that job market data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook is only intended to provide insight on occupational opportunities. It is not to be construed as a guarantee of salary or job title. Neither BLS nor Bryant & Stratton College can guarantee employment in Graphic Design or any other occupational field.
Building a career as a Graphic designer generally means earning a college degree in Graphic Design. An Associate Degree in Graphic Design from Bryant & Stratton College is a great option for getting started on your career path. It offers a comprehensive foundation of the knowledge and skills needed for success.
In addition to a college education in Graphic Design, BLS suggests that people interested in building a career in this field consider taking courses in writing, marketing and business to ensure their ability to work with design and project teams effectively. Many employers in this field prefer that candidates for Graphic Designer positions have some work experience, either via previous employment or through a solid internship program. Most employers expect candidates to show a professional portfolio when seeking employment. Some employers prefer to hire Graphic Designers who hold certifications in graphic design software outside of their education. These certifications are typically available through software vendors, and even when they are not required, earning them can provide Graphic Designers with a competitive advantage over other job seekers in the field. Before enrolling in a program, potential students are encouraged to research any relevant positions with which the student may wish to seek employment for a complete list of position requirements and pre- requisites.
Finally, once Graphic Designers enter the field, they must keep up with new technologies, software and techniques. Many Graphic Designers work independently to remain up to date with industry changes, while others take advantage of continuing education courses to keep current. These courses are typically offered by professional associations that represent Graphic Designers, and are intended to help designers maintain their edge in this very competitive field.
The Bryant & Stratton College Graphic Design Associate Degree program focuses on the creative and conceptual processes students need to communicate messages through various forms of media. This prepares them to pursue careers with advertising and marketing firms, publishers and in many other employment settings within the Graphic Design field. This degree program also includes an internship program, which is an important advantage for graduates striving to enter the field. Additionally, students will compile a diverse professional portfolio during their studies, giving them a leg up during post-graduation job searches.
For more insights into the Graphic Design field, please visit the Technology & Design Degrees section of the Bryant & Stratton College blog. Exploring the blog and our website can give you access to a great deal of information and insights to help you decide whether a career path in Graphic Design is right for you. If you are unsure of your direction, you will also find plenty of helpful information on other potential career paths in many other fields of employment.