Graphic designers have a hand in creating countless items, large and small, from posters to identity systems and much more. Research all the niche areas and then gain the tools and technological skills to succeed in that area.
Assemble an impressive portfolio of work samples.
Complete a related internship to gain relevant experience and to contribute to your portfolio.
Work on campus publications in design or layout or find a part-time position with a local publication.
Develop excellent communication skills and learn to work well on a team of professionals.
Volunteer to create brochures, newsletters or other publications for campus organizations.
Develop problem-solving skills, attention to detail and the ability to meet deadlines.
Join professional associations as a student member.
Become knowledgeable in production and printing processes.
Develop broad software application skills in MAC and PC based programs but not at the cost of developing a solid background in design.
Participate in local or campus design contests.
Research (art history)
K-12 schools, public and private
Universities and colleges
Adult and community programs
Develop strong communication skills and teaching ability through coursework and campus activities.
Acquire a teaching certificate for public school teaching. Learn about requirements by state.
Gain experience working with children through volunteer or part-time work.
Participate in art clubs, juried shows, and exhibitions.
Maintain an updated physical and digital portfolio of your work.
To teach studio and fine arts in higher education, earn a graduate degree in a specific area of art.
Study, memorize, and analyze art movements around the world.
A bachelor’s degree is valuable for entry-level positions, but an advanced degree is usually necessary to attain competitive, upper-level positions.
A degree can and should be tailored to areas of specialization.
Save work for a strong portfolio – too much is better than too little.
Be prepared to relocate to the larger markets of metropolitan areas where more opportunities exist.
Join art-related professional and student organizations.
Volunteer with fundraising efforts for the arts.
Gain valuable experience through volunteering, internships, part-time and summer jobs, and apprenticeships.
Seek exposure to art by visiting museums around the country and world.
Conduct informational interviews with professionals in areas of interest to learn more about opportunities and strategies for these areas. Learn to network.
Pair an art degree with other career interests to increase opportunities and provide supplemental income.
According to the Department of Labor, many Artists are self-employed.
Develop skills in business management, computers, marketing, and other related areas to increase marketability.
A career in the arts takes dedication, patience, flexibility, talent, and some luck.