Today, there is an endless number of career options for those who embark on a degree in graphic design. As more and more companies increase their needs for digital experts, the available positions for those with technical design skills are only increasing.
If you are a creative individual with strong communication skills and attention to detail – this field might be the one for you. Completing a degree in design will help you establish a foundational understanding of the industry and create connections that could lead to future opportunities. When looking at design courses, it is important to select one that will give you a sure footing and allow you to develop your technical skills, creative imagination, and understanding of how the industry works.
We spoke with Alyas Latif, Course Director at LCCA London, to gain some insight into what it means to study design today and what students can do to stand out when starting off their careers. Alyas is a Senior Designer with a background in progressive design practice. He has 20 years of proven leadership skills working across multidisciplinary firms and some great tips to share.
A prosperous moment for design
This is an extremely exciting time for graduates to enter the design industry. There is a lot of room for flexibility in terms of the many fields to choose from, the huge number of exciting start-ups that are available for recent graduates to get involved with, and the work you will end up creating. However, there are many challenges that may arise and it is important that design students are trained both physically and emotionally.
Studying design is not just about technical skills, students must be confident in their ability to follow briefs, develop their own projects and clearly discuss their ideas. LCCA trainers offer students professional advice. This includes making sure they understand how to present their portfolios, how to present themselves to potential clients and agencies, how to write a CV and cover letter, how to dress for an interview, and how to get an internship. The goal is to make sure graduates are completely prepared for leaving the university environment and entering the workforce.
Tutors also help students explore their interests and focus on a specific area that they want to develop their career in. University provides the time for students to experiment and their tutors can expose them to practitioners from different industries to get a taste for a variety of fields. Speaking about student internships, Alyas said:
“We also may be able to help students get an internship. But that really relies on the student’s energy, effort, confidence, and project. It’s not simply handed on a silver platter. It’s not, ‘Come study with us and we will give you a mentor.’ You must have a work ethic within the university to be employable in the real world. They come hand in hand.”
Studying for a degree in design, means you get first-hand assistance and guidance from practitioners who have years of experience in the industry and specific insight into what it takes to nurture a successful career in the field. At LCCA, keynote speakers are invited and the faculty collaborate with agencies to ensure students are adequately prepared for what the industry is looking for.
Speaking of how his relationships with students go beyond their time with LCCA Alyas said:
“I think this is the great thing, the current generation of academics are also on digital platforms and we are much more exposed. Part of the reason we're having this conversation is that we have a platform to talk to students and vice versa. So yes, after my students leave professionally, I'm in touch with them on LinkedIn. So, I get to see their career development, get to see them grow, have children, become CEOs, and earn a lot of money."
Students keep in touch and return to her for advice even after they are set up in their professional careers. These continued connections mean that when opportunities present themselves at the university, she can invite graduates, so they pass on their knowledge to the current students and give something back to the university.
The importance of a ‘purpose’
An important aspect of having a successful career, regardless of what industry, is making sure you are on the right path for yourself and enjoying what you do. Speaking on this subject, Alyas said:
“I know the money is important, but when you're young, it's important to enjoy the element of working in different environments, working with different people, working with people internationally and locally. And learn. It’s a learning process because you get to learn from each individual person that you meet.
So, from our cultural differences we become better human beings, we become much more. We can tolerate much more tough situations or awkward situations. That's how you learn. The university may be a safe environment, but outside the environment is unpredictable, so unpredictable. Which is the exciting bit about it. Today is unpredictable. If, if it is predictable, then you should be worried.”
So, take this advice and seek out your personal path in graphic design. The industry is constantly changing and if you want to succeed as a graphic designer, it is vital you put yourself amid the action. LCCA’s team of trained experts with relevant industry experience can expand your viewpoint on what is possible and give you the right education to kickstart your career.