Myths about the design world are rampant. Unfortunately, student designers end up getting the brunt of the assumptions due to the fact that most students are inexperienced, young and unprofessional. These myths are not always true and need to be addressed.
Myth #1: You’re Not a Real Designer Until You’ve Completed a Design Course
In today’s web design industry, many designers are completely self-taught with no prior formal education. There’s always been debate about whether college is necessary in a field such as web design, where there are a plethora of resources readily available for free. Just because someone holds a MBA, doesn’t mean they will be the CEO of a company. This can also be applicable to designers; just because a web designer holds a certificate doesn’t mean they are better than the next designer who doesn’t.
Being a good designer means having a mix of technical and practical skills, an ability to foster creative and original ideas, motivation, determination and passion. All of these attributes are not directly a result of a post-secondary education.
Just because someone holds a MBA, doesn’t mean they will be the CEO of a company
Myth #2: Student Designers Charge Less or Work For Free
Many clients who work with young designers often exploit their skills because they are willing to charge less or even work for free. Just because young designers and students usually don’t have much experience does not mean their skills are any less valuable. Students often have a hard time evaluating their prices because they don’t know how much they are worth, especially fresh out of school. Young designers should not settle for working for free just to gain some experience and a portfolio piece. There are many resources on the Internet on how to price your design services.
Myth #3: Young Designers Don’t Have Any Experience
College is often a great buffer of time for students to learn about how to deal with clients, meet deadlines, improve communication and critical thinking skills and work independently, as well as in groups. Many of these skills provide a great foundation for students as they graduate, giving them a head start about the ins and outs of the industry.
Assuming that all young designers don’t have experience is very dependent on the individual. Some students take their education very seriously and have the passion required to overcome their downfall of not having much experience.
Myth #4: Being a Design Student Is Easy
Design is not an easy job and anyone currently working in the field knows that. There is often a misconception that design work is easy because we sit in front of a computer all day. In reality, our job can be just as demanding as others and requires training, experience, knowledge and passion to be successful.
Being a design students often entails multitasking projects, finding freelancing work, working part-time jobs, juggling friends and a social life and participating in extra-curricular activities. Although young students may not have much experience yet, being a design student is not easy and requires a lot of blood, sweat and tears to become proficient at their craft.
Myth #5: Studying Stops After Graduation
If you don’t enjoy constantly learning new things or exploring new discplines, web design may not be the field for you. Young designers have a big challenge to keep pace with the industry because many college art programs are still outdated and irrelevant. This means that many young designers, to be successful, must seek knowledge outside the classroom even after graduation.
Learning never stops. Technology moves at such a fast rate that designers must learn to keep up with the latest software, as well as current techniques and applications. Expanding our skill set is part of our job and we must take it upon ourselves to overcome these learning curves – all while juggling a job, freelance projects and a social life. If you’re not willing to put in the effort to expand your skills, someone else will.