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Online Graphic Design Certificate Programs

Graphic Design Certificate Schools

Graphic design is a very lucrative career option for those who possess the willingness to learn from some of the top schools in the country. This industry offers a wide range of jobs so this is why it is so highly recommended by our staff. There are plenty of graphic design certificate schools that do a great job teaching students all they need to know about the industry and we have listed many of the top accredited schools on this site so take your time and fully research each one. Start by researching graphic design schools that offer certificate programs.

Online graphic design schools usually offer students many different programs depending on what you want to accomplish and what prior experience you have had. Many opt to earn a certificate in graphic design first which will allow you to get an entry level job in most marketing departments assisting with graphic design. The next level would be a full Associates or Bachelors degree in graphic design. These degrees are higher level and offer more advanced courses and program concepts that will really propel your career.

graphic design schools Most online graphic design schools also offer specialty certificate programs such as: web graphic design, internet applications, webmaster, graphic design development, multimedia, e-commerce design applications and visual communication information architecture programs for students. Graphic designing is one field that has always had a steady need in the industry, especially now that almost every company is online and has switch over its advertising from more traditional methods.

Many graphic design companies and marketing companies are looking to hire graphic designers, especially those who offer computer graphic skills. In order to get a job in the field of graphic designing you need to have the basic skills which are required for this work. It is therefore very essential to have some professional training under your belt and to go through the graphic design program or course as these companies want to hire the best.

You can acquire all these necessary skills form an online graphic design school. The best part about these online schools is the fact that the entire programs are designs to fit your needs and schedule.

Online education tuition is very reasonable as compared to full time courses at your local college or university. One of the biggest advantages of undergoing an online graphic designing course is the fact that you can work as a junior or as a learning faculty in one of the graphic designing offices and gain priceless work experience in this field while you are simultaneously nurturing the skills required in this field. One you find the perfect school research it by requesting information to see what graphic design certificate programs they offer either online or at a close campus location.

So do you have what it takes to succeed? Are you self motivated and would love to one day work out of your home as a graphic designer? All of this can be yours so start researching the schools today to find the best fit.


Graphic Designer Roles


Let’s face it, almost everything you see today all started at a design level. The advertising you see on TV, print, newspaper, billboards and of course not on the internet all came from the hard work of a graphic designer. The role of the graphic designer has changed over the years and something that was once done by pencil and sketches have simply been replaced by a digital stylus. The one thing however that hasn’t changed is the need for these types of positions in almost every company that is doing business today.

Graphic designers are prized by the companies they work for as they help showcase a particular product or the company itself. It is hard to find a company today that doesn’t use a graphic designer and that is why it is a very sought after career. Below we will go over how to find the perfect graphic design school for all of your training needs.

Typical Day as a Designer


Client Briefings – Working with clients can be challenging work but a necessity as a designer. You need to know what ideas the client has for their project, what things they would like or not like to see. Having clear and open communication with clients are a must to avoid any delays in the project.

Design Concepts – One of the great things about the digital age is the ability to make changes graphically within seconds. When you work for a company as a designer you can be expected to show several different concepts to your boss or client for approval. This allows you an opportunity to show a completely different look and feel in order to get the client or your boss to use your work.

Team Dynamics – In smaller companies you might be the only graphic designer but in larger ones you might work with a team or even manage that team. Your ability to work on a team is essential to your success. As a team graphic design leader you need to be able to manage the time of your staff as well as the talent.

Deadlines – Every designer has deadlines either from the client in order to make a publication date or from your boss who might be the one presenting the design to a client. Either way you need to be able to hit deadlines to be successful in your work.

Time Management – One of the hardest aspects of a designer is the ability to bid or estimate the number of hours/days needed to complete a project. Typically a client will have a drop dead deadline date which can’t be missed. They do however give several other due dates which will allow for changes and alterations to the design and still leave time to meet the deadline. As a designer you’ll need to know your own talents and the talent of your team in order to provide solid estimates on how long it will take to get the project completed.

New Clients – Every design house that works with clients spend a great amount of time finding those clients. As a graphic designer you might be asked to bid jobs, write proposals and even do rough sketches that will be included in the proposals. These RFP (request for proposals) are typically the job of a graphic designer or manager.


Choosing a Graphic Design School


Finding a good graphic design schoo that offers certificate programsl, one which you can get your career training started on the right foot has never been easier. You’ll find plenty of colleges, universities and even trade schools listed on the site where you can start your training. Some of the training programs are campus based and some fully online.
Campus Graphic Design Schools: As the industry grows so does the need for more graphic designers. The advantage of attending a graphic design school where you are at a physical campus location is you’ll get the hands-on experience needed to be successful and you can ask questions as they come up in class. You also have the ability to partner up with other classmates to complete projects and learn from them.

Online Graphic Design Certificate Programs: The advantage of schools that offer training online is you can do it in the comfort of your own home and typically around your work schedule. By no means is either a campus or online program better than the other as we have been hearing great things from the schools listed in regards to both the online or campus learner.

School Accreditation & Certifications


When looking at any of the graphic design schools shown be sure to look into what accreditation or online certifications they offer. In terms of accreditation most schools are either nationally or regionally accredited. For you this is important in the event you ever want to transfer your credit to or from another school. For certifications many offer some sort of graphic design certifications upon successfully completing the class. If you are going to school for your degree in graphic design then you’ll receive that degree upon completion but it could also include different certifications you earned during your studies.

Program Tuition Costs


When it comes to how much a graphic design school costs the tuition rates and fees they charge will vary. The degree granting schools will be more expensive but they also will teach you more than a quicker 6 or 1 year program. Also many of the schools now require that you subscribe to web-based graphic design software. This is really affordable as you can now have full access to packages that individually would cost $1000’s of dollars to buy for only $30-50 per month. As a graphic designer we recommend subscribing to these services by Adobe long after you graduate as you’ll continue to get the latest version and full support but the added benefit of the software residing on the Adobe Cloud. This also includes storage space for your projects.


Graphic Design Career Paths


Graphic designers can choose where they want to work. Some depends on their experience and skill level. Below are the most popular places in which you’ll find work.

Ad Agencies: Ad agencies hire graphic designers as they work with lots of different clients. The disadvantage working for an agency is you always have work coming in from clients and the survival of the agency depends on having clients. The challenging part of working for an agency is you do work for different clients which all have different tastes in how they want their designs created. You might work on a food packaging ad one day and be designing a print ad for a trucking company the next.

Freelance Work: If you decided to become a graphic designer because you wanted the freedom of not working for another company and want to work out of your home then becoming a freelance graphic artists might be the best career path for you to take. Typically freelancers find work online on sites such as or Here you’ll bid on work needed by others. Still don’t rule out working for a company as a freelance designer. Often companies hire only outside designers that might come into the office a few times a week to meet with clients and the rest of the time you can do your designs at home and FTP the files into work.

Corporate: As mentioned earlier almost every company uses graphic designers. They are needed for their own products and services they offer. Often graphic designers not only product things like print pieces but they often handle things used at corporate meetings including presentations, hands-outs and more.


Graphic Design Software


These days almost all of your work will be done digitally. Over the last 10 years the software used by graphic designers has become easier to use yet but the training needed is more advanced. The type of software you’ll use really depends on the type of project. Below are some examples

Print Design: If you mainly are creating designs for use in print such as a magazine or newspaper then you’ll be using software such as Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. These are what they call layout design software which allows you to add in pictures and text and arrange them in a layout form. Once completed you can format the file for print.

Photographs: Some design work might be photography based where you’ll need to alter a picture to be used. It is still might be necessary to use other software or filters to complete the job but software packages like Adobe Photoshop is one of the more popular packages to use. Many of the design schools listed on this page will have training modules on Photoshop.

Web: Web based design of course is different than print but still many of the same design concepts apply. For web based designers you’ll use software such as Adobe Dreamweaver and even Microsoft Frontpage. These are only programs used for the web and can’t be used in for print.


Find the best online graphic design certificate programs and reqeust information to learn more.


Graphic Design Resources:
BLS Graphic Designers - Last visited August 3, 2018
AIGA – The Professional Association for Design - Updated content October 5, 2018
Just Creative Design - Last visited January 1, 2019
Graphic Artists Guild - Updated resource November 25, 2018
Adobe FrameMaker Training - Updated January 1, 2019