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How Long Does It Take To Become A Graphic Designer?

May 5, 2022
Ferdie L. Eusebio
5 minute read

Graphic Design is considered to be a fast-growing profession in the business industry. As such, it is no surprise how the current generation of young professionals strive to get into the business as it brings promise both in a professional setting and income. After all, the world now heavily relies on media and imagery both in physical aspects and online platforms.

But with all this fuss regarding graphic design, exactly how long does it take to become a graphic designer, and what are the options when it comes to learning graphic design?

Today we're going to discuss the ups and downs of graphic design, how long it takes, and what tools you need to do to succeed in the industry.

Acquiring Graphic Designing Skills

First things first, on average, learning graphic design from a formal university will take about four years of studying and education—doing this will earn you a Bachelor's Degree in graphic design. This is the ideal way to learn for most people, as not everyone is well-suited for the entire online course thing.

Studying at a university comes with its advantages, such as access to university computers, free programs, and the guidance of a professional in the field. This is one of the best paths to take if you have the desire to be a full-time graphic designer.

You can also further your education in graphic design by aiming for a Master's degree after you've obtained your bachelor's. This would undeniably add more sparkle to your resume but this path is completely optional and can be foregone since taking up a Master's degree would put you in school for more than 4 years, though admittedly, the extra time with formal learning comes as an advantage.

Online Courses and Certifications

Next up would be taking online courses to obtain a few certifications. This takes around 6 to 10 weeks of studying, depending on the nature of the course you're taking and how much time you put into learning.

Online courses and certifications will normally teach you the basics of graphic design with a little bit of art history, creative conceptualization, and even some typography if the course offers it. Online courses and certifications are somewhat formal in nature as there is still guidance and a teacher, but it is indeed shorter in time consumption compared to going to a university.

You can hold your own time, and any tasks wouldn't have as many restrictions compared to being in a university. If you don't like the restraints of a schedule, dedicated classes, and formal schoolwork, online courses and certifications would be your best bet as it is more fluid when it comes to learning.

Graphic Design Tools and Resources for Self-Learning

You can decide to forego the traditional way of learning in a university or even taking up online courses for certifications and instead go down the path of self-learning.

The internet holds a myriad of resources and information which are easily accessible to most people with the right keywords. Simply typing "Graphic Design Courses" on YouTube or Google would yield thousands of results one can choose to learn from. You can even narrow down the results based on what niche of graphic design you want to know.

Even programs for basic graphic design are free such as GIMP or Canva, making them even more accessible for people to use. Plus, concepts for graphic design can be seen everywhere, be it online or in person. Once you've learned the basics of making a great design, your next task would be to look for tools that will make your graphic design career a breeze.

One essential tool for graphic designers is Instacap. It is a design collaboration and annotation tool that allows team members to easily discuss changes and improvements needed for a specific design. It can be used for providing feedback on web design, banner ads, marketing materials, applications, presentations, PDF files, and more.

Instacap makes it easy to leave comments and suggestions directly on the design itself, so everyone can see the proposed changes in context. This can be a huge time-saver compared to traditional methods of providing feedback (such as email threads), and it helps to ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page.

Plus, with Instacap's real-time collaboration features, team members, particularly graphic designers, can work together in real-time to make changes and iterations to the design—perfect for those last-minute projects!

The best part about this tool is that you can learn to use it in as little as a few minutes! That practically won't add to the length of time you need to become a professional graphic designer, even though it is an essential tool for your career. Click here to get started with Instacap.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, it can take as short as six weeks to as long as 6 years, depending on the course of action you want to take and how you want to learn—self-taught or formal. Since Graphic Design is a relatively easy profession to enter but deathly hard to maintain, there are a thousand ways on how one can improve in the industry and stay on top of the game.

It is completely up to the person on how they want to learn and what steps they're willing to take; what's important is how you put your heart and mind to it, as graphic design is very reliant on creative juices.

There will be days wherein you just can't get into it, and on other days you'll be brimming with concepts and creativity, which is completely normal. As long as you don't give up and pursue your goals of being a graphic designer, any method would surely work for those young and aspiring professionals in the field of graphic design.

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