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Old Mar 15, 2012, 12:10 PM   #26
kevinfulton.ca
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Originally Posted by Apple OC View Post
Why not just say all your comments in one post? ... I never implied people people can just open Illustrator and produce amazing work the first time. Everyone needs practice to be better. I have worked in Graphic Arts and Printing for over 25 years and have seen my share of good and bad.

Many designers think their standards are high ... when really that are just average ... maybe you are setting your standards higher than they really are.

On the other hand I have worked with many talented Artists without any formal training and they are just plain gifted.

What I am saying is, just because you get formal training does not make you an Artist. I found in school a lot of students were just not going to cut it in the real world because they don't have what it takes creatively.
An artist and a designer are two very different things. Good art is interpreted. Good design is understood. I agree that formal training is not as important in art (motivation, creativity, and networking are key), but design is something completely different. You can have all the artistic skill in the world, but if you can't communicate the right message using your designs then all that skill just went to waste. Design is about a lot more then JUST artistic ability. It's a very different thought process.
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Old Mar 15, 2012, 07:51 PM   #27
citizenzen
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Portfolio (of real work) > degree
Experience + portfolio > degree
Contacts + experience + portfolio > degree
Versatility + experience + contacts + portfolio > degree

Good communication skills, relationship-building, adaptability and versatility: all just as important.
What she said.

That and showing up on time.

And playing well with others.

Waaay more important than any degree.
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Old Mar 16, 2012, 04:35 PM   #28
Davesc36
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I will weigh in on this one from my personal experience. I have an Associates Degree and 13 years experience as an art director. I've done contract work for Adidas, Nike, Russell Athletic and Varsity. In 2008 the company I worked for closed and I began job hunting. Every job interview I went to went great until it got to the question of where I got my BA degree. I didn't have one and every place I went to had a policy of requiring a BA degree for the graphic design positions I was interviewing for. After running into this problem 5 times I gave up and began working on my BA degree. I'll be finished with that next year and hopefully have all my bases covered. I'm sure this isn't everyone's experience, but that's what I was faced with.
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Old Mar 16, 2012, 06:15 PM   #29
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What she said.

That and showing up on time.

And playing well with others.

Waaay more important than any degree.
+1

Degrees are a tricky lot too. Most employers just want one. Some picky types may judge the school you went to (which is silly since unless they went there themselves, they have no idea what its like).

Work experience is super useful too. I have a degree from a school that isn't well thought of. I was once asked about why I chose that school during a phone interview. When I explained that I needed to go to an online school because I took a job as a department of defense contractor doing IT work for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week* in a war zone and needed a way to continue my education while working, it suddenly put me in an entire new light. The degree was no longer important and it became questions of "Well, did you ever think of applying for an IT job with us instead of software development?" and "What kind of IT work did you do?"

I would say pick the best school you can afford, and get as much experience as you can. Your experience will outshine everything, and if it doesn't you most likely don't want to work for the person who values a piece of paper over your real skills.

EDIT: Ack! Necro thread.

*Yes, you read that right, no days off.
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Old Jun 14, 2012, 05:38 AM   #30
LeslieEFrank
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A bit of both, I suppose. Talent is important, but a degree can hone the necessary skills required to be successful in a particular field. Iíd like to pursue graphic design and so Iím currently reading up on reviews and complaints about CollegeAmerica. I like to be thorough with my research and I think that if a program fits your individual needs and you think you could benefit from it, then thatís the program thatís right for you.
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Old Jun 14, 2012, 11:49 AM   #31
Macky-Mac
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when you're fresh out of school and just getting started, and obviously don't have experience or a portfolio based on real world work, that's when a Bachelors degree will give you an advantage over an Associates degree when competing for jobs.

As you gain more work experience, the advantage will fade
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Old Mar 13, 2013, 11:19 PM   #32
12dylan34
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IF your portfolio is good, an employer in the design world will give your resume a look. You could have a degree from the best design school in the world, but if you suck, then they have no use for you.

Focus on going above the curriculum, though, if you want to be employed full-time. Having done an internship at a place and proven yourself carries infinitely much more weight than sending a resume out hoping that someone will call you back for an interview.
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