Graphic Design Career Paths for the College Degree Holder

You finally figured out what kind of college degree you want to earn and you even figured out where to go to college. It must have been a big step to decide that your hobby and interest in art can actually translate into a college degree and that you are actually going to pursue a career in graphic design. Many people don’t realize that this is possible and you should be commended for taking the first step towards becoming a graphic designer. You probably asked around how to find a college for this type of degree thinking that was going to be your biggest research, but mid-way through college you realize how many career options you have at this point and have no idea how to determine which one is best for you. Here we will list a few career paths for the graphic design degree holder.

The Corporate Graphic Designer: The Brand Identity Designer

You have always heard that a company’s brand needs to be protected, but what exactly does that mean and who is actually in charge of that? Let’s take a step back and come up with where the brand identity of a company comes from in the first place. That would be your brand identity designer. A company’s brand identity means that it is how the company wants the public to see it. This is usually represented by an individual logo unique to that company. And the brand identity designer, typically someone who holds a graphic design degree, possibly with a team of junior designers, is responsible for the design of this logo. The brand identity designer might be an employee of the company, or work for an agency hired by the company. A company’s brand identity is a company’s visible identity and helps consumers and the public identify a company immediately without asking questions. This type of career in graphic design is sought after by many graphic design degree holders. If you think you’d enjoy working with a company to establish and design their logo and identity then you would probably enjoy a career as a brand identity designer

Fully Employed or Freelancer: The Web Designer

One of the most popular graphic design careers in this day and age is the web designer. If you think about how much time people spend on their computer, and more so on the internet, then you’ll understand how important the web designer is in this society. If choosing a career as a web designer, you may have the option to start off as working full-time or part-time for a marketing agency, a design agency, or as an in-house web designer for a company. As your career advances, you may find that you have the will, discipline and motivation to find your own clients and work as a freelance web designer. If you have ever wanted to own your own business, becoming a freelance web designer is a great start to this graphic design career. Web designers usually have a lot of freedom when designing, depending on the clients’ wishes. If you enjoy working side by side with web developers to put life into your designs and showing off your designs to the world, then a career as a web developer may be in your stars.

The Head Honcho: The Art Director

If you’ve always dreamed of being the boss, but you’re not quite ambitious enough to run your own business or become a freelance designer, the art director or creative director at an agency or in-house at a corporation is quite a goal for someone with a graphic design degree. If you choose the dream of a career as an art director, then you will most likely be managing an entire creative team. The creative team might consist of junior artists, other graphic designers, copywriters, production people and even photographers. You have to make sure that everyone works as a team, stays on task, stays on deadline and satisfies the clients. To many graphic design degree holders, this is the ultimate career goal while others may enjoy doing the actual graphic design work. If you enjoy delegating, seeing a project all the way through and managing people an art director might be the graphic design career for you.

Careers in Graphic Design are Endless

Only three careers in graphic design have been discussed here, and there are quite a few more than you might be interested in. These three are some of the most popular and sought after careers in graphic design and can establish some realistic goals for yourself. Other careers in graphic design include layout artists, illustrators, Flash designers, multimedia designers, Photoshop artists/photo editors, or you can even translate a degree in graphic design into a career as a photographer. With this many options, you should be well on your way to a great career in graphic design.

Sierra Martinez is a Marine Corps wife, mother of one and a writer. She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelors in Journalism and Mass Communications and a focus in Public Relations.