What Next After
Studying Graphic Design?

Completing your studies in graphic design can feel both exhilarating and somewhat daunting. With a newfound set of skills and creative prowess at your disposal, determining your next steps in the professional world is crucial. Whether you're a recent graduate or someone who has just completed a certification course, here are several paths you might consider pursuing after your studies in graphic design.

Pursue a Specialisation

Graphic design is a broad field, encompassing various specialties such as web design, UX/UI design, motion graphics, branding and more. You might find it beneficial to specialise in one area to refine your skills further and increase your marketability. For instance, learning the intricacies of user experience design could open up opportunities in the booming tech industry.

Build a Strong Portfolio

A compelling portfolio is essential for any graphic designer. Post-study, focus on curating a portfolio that showcases your best work, reflects your unique style and highlights your problem-solving abilities. This portfolio will be critical when applying for jobs or pitching to freelance clients.

Gain Professional Experience

Consider internships or entry-level positions that provide real-world experience. Working within a company can teach you about industry standards, client relations and the business side of design, which are difficult to grasp in a classroom setting.

Go Freelance

If traditional employment isn't appealing, freelancing can be a viable alternative. As a freelance designer, you have the freedom to choose your projects and clients, set your schedule and work from anywhere. Starting small, building a client base and networking effectively are key steps to becoming a successful freelance graphic designer.

Continue Education

Graphic design is a rapidly evolving field, with new tools, technologies and methodologies emerging regularly. Continuing education through workshops, online courses and advanced degrees can help you stay competitive and up-to-date with industry trends.

person using macbook pro on table
turned-on monitor displaying digital products
a colorful drawing of a person
turned on MacBook on table beside iMac

Join Professional Organisations

Becoming a member of professional organisations can provide networking opportunities, resources and professional development that can be incredibly beneficial as you begin your career.

Start a Business

If you have entrepreneurial ambitions, starting a design agency might be the right path for you. This could involve anything from a full-service design firm to a more niche agency focusing on specific aspects of graphic design like logos, digital marketing materials or even typography.

Explore Teaching Opportunities

With your expertise in graphic design, teaching can be a rewarding career option. Whether it’s teaching at a high school, community college or university, sharing your knowledge and inspiring others can be fulfilling and intellectually stimulating.

Venture into Related Fields

Your skills in graphic design can be applicable in related fields such as advertising, marketing and media production. Exploring these areas can broaden your career prospects and allow you to apply your design skills in different contexts.

Stay Inspired and Creative

Keeping your creative juices flowing is essential for a successful career in graphic design. Engage with the community, participate in design competitions, attend industry conferences and collaborate on projects to stay inspired and connected.

Graphic design is a dynamic and versatile field with endless opportunities. After completing your studies, the paths available can vary widely depending on your interests, career goals and lifestyle preferences. Whether you choose to specialise further, step into the freelance world or start your own business, the future is bright for those with a passion for design and a readiness to adapt to the ever-changing demands of this creative profession.