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    The world of commerce depends more and more on visual media as we continue to enter the age of information. Industries of all types rely on brochures, marketing materials and other graphic design products to help communicate with customers and clients. This means that there is a continuing demand for creative professionals and graphic designers who may work for ad agencies, design firms or in the marketing department of large corporations.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for graphic designers is anticipated to grow by about 13% over the next decade. This presents considerable opportunities for an entire new generation of creative professionals.

    If you are considering a career in graphic design, you should know about the different training options available. While many graphic designers obtain a four-year degree from a University, some are able to secure employment after a short period of self-directed learning. Keep in mind that the specific requirements for a graphic design job will depend on the company you are interviewing with.

    Degrees – Graphic Designer Training

    Most graphic designers will obtain a bachelor’s degree in fine arts or graphic design. If your job requires a degree, there are a number of design schools available in every major metropolitan area of the United States. In some cases, you can take your courses online without having to ever step foot in a physical classroom.

    The curriculum for a graphic design degree will include classes on art history, computer design and even web development. You may also have specific classes for page layout, drawing, topography and advertising.

    Some technical colleges offer certification programs in graphic design. These are usually two-year programs that focus on practical applications of modern graphic design concepts. Many of these courses are available in the evening for individuals with day jobs and other obligations.

    Technical Skills

    The technical skills required for a graphic design position will depend on the firm that you are working for and its core business. For example, a civil engineering firm or architectural firm may require you to have extensive experience with AutoCAD. On the other hand, if you’re interested in a job with a web design firm, then you will need more experience with software like Photoshop and InDesign. You may also be required to have a working knowledge of HTML and CSS, which are both web markup languages. In some rare cases, a working knowledge of JavaScript may be required.

    The graphic design software that you choose to specialize in during your classes should be based on the types of design you prefer. If you enjoy creating exciting images for corporate marketing campaigns, then you will likely need to have advanced Photoshop classes.

    Self-Taught Graphic Designers

    There are a number of free resources available online for graphic designers. http://psd.tutsplus.com/ is an excellent resource and you may also find free university level courses in graphic design from prestigious universities like MIT and Berkeley. Many private companies also offer accelerated learning programs that are specifically designed to help graphic designers hit the ground with their feet running.

    If you are creative individual and want a career where you can work on exciting visual projects then a graphic design job may be exactly what you’re looking for.

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