Starting to investigate a new job option will often be a laborious task,
fraught with bad and inconsistent advice...
Because of the current financial climate, many ordinary people are seeking to protect their futures through training into an alternative career.
If you're pondering what career to take - begin your journey with our breakdowns of many different career-paths.
It's simple - just click on the career option to get going...
If you have a good eye for visually pleasing material - for instance on the cover of a book or pasted on a billboard - then a training course in graphic design could give you professional skills. Most often graphic design students are good at drawing and took art at school. However, if you don't have much drawing experience to date that's not the end of the world - much of today's graphic design work is done sitting at the computer, not the drawing board!
Alternatively they might set up their own business and take on clients themselves. You can study to degree level at university or opt for vocational commercial training which many view as more useful, in reality it's usually the commercial design colleges that give students the edge in industry.
On the other hand, if you're set on gaining a university place, you'll find many short introductory design courses will equip you with demo material for interview.
It's easy to get overwhelmed with the number of training providers who offer courses in graphic design! Where should you start? Take time to search through any available information - not all courses with the same sounding names are in fact the same.
Be sure to dig into a good number of training colleges, like the ones featured alongside this report as good preparation will pay off down the road. You might like to add this page to your Favourites file if you want to come back and research more sites. Once you're familiar with a good number of the colleges out there, you'll be able to make your choice.
Do you want a course that you can do on your computer at home, or are you looking for training in a classroom with other people? What format does tutor support and assessment take? Should you expect to have to purchase any additional equipment to do the course? Seek out student statements - do they suggest value for money and satisfaction with the training?
Wherever you choose to take your training, you'll need to build a good portfolio of your work. When the time comes to apply for your first job, the standard of the work you've done so far will be the most relevant thing to an employer. Every college's coursework should focus heavily on building your own fabulous 'commercially viable' designs, so take a look through the student gallery pages to see what others have done there.
You'll need to have a decent level of computer literacy for graphic design work, as the use of software is coming more and more into play. Print-based training will still feature on most courses, but essentially you'll be working with the universally recognised Adobe CS4 applications, such as Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop. Whether you choose to work on a Mac or a PC is up to you - Adobe software can be used on both, though you'll probably find design colleges mostly use Macs.
As well as having good design skills, you'll also need to hone your sales and marketing skills in order to sell your ideas to clients.
Any visual message or art might be the work of a graphic designer, even if it's on a packet of cornflakes. Good design seeks to arouse and inspire others. It has to be aesthetically pleasing to the person it's attempting to relate to, through good use of pictures, shapes and lettering.
There are various tools available to the budding designer - for example contrast, shape and texture - that will set their work apart. Those who learn how best to utilise all these fundamentals can create strikingly different images and perspectives that can have a remarkable effect on a company's bottom line. Businesses everywhere are desperate to hang onto their existing clients, and attract many new ones. Great graphics can help them to do that.
A good design college will develop your skills and train you for work. Seek out training that over delivers on its promises, and make your new life better by design!