Is your heart set on a career in graphic design? If so, it pays to get a degree, especially if that degree is from one of the best graphic design schools in the world. The median salary for graphic designers at Apple is almost $100,000 per year, so getting a design degree from a top school can be a solid investment in your professional and financial future. Here are five graphic design programs thought to be the best in the world. With a degree from one of these schools, you will have an excellent chance of landing an epic job right after graduation.
Rhode Island School of Design
Providence, Rhode Island
In 2012, Business Insider came up with the World’s 25 Best Design Schools by asking 633 graphic designers to rate their schools according to how helpful those schools had been in preparing them for a career in graphic design. According to the survey, the graphic design program offered by the Rhode Island School of Design came up as the winner. Almost 80 percent of respondents said that the skills and knowledge they had acquired there as students were the most important things they had learned in school. Ninety percent of the respondents also rated the Rhode Island Graphic Design Program as ‘Valuable.”
Royal College of Art
London, United Kingdom
According to the QS World University Rankings for 2015 in Art and Design, the Royal College of Art in London was the best and most influential graphic design graduate program in the world. The course of study, focused on teaching and research, is known for turning out highly creative graphic designers who can strongly impact popular culture in everything from fashion and films to furniture. The program is centered on project-based education, developing a professional attitude and face-to-face learning. The Business Insider study that ranked the Rhode Island School of Design as number one rated the Royal College Graphic Design Program as seventh, while the QS World University Ranking discussed here rated the Rhode Island School of Design as number three.
Florence Design School
In 2016, the Design Schools Hub ranked the Florence Graphic Design Program as the best in the world. The school has diploma, undergraduate and graduate degree programs that last one, two or three years. All three programs are strong on portfolio building, and they combine traditional art education like drawing and art history with modern digital design education relevant to popular culture and graphic design. Courses are taught in English and Italian, and the coursework includes subjects like graphic art, graphic design, 3D graphics and comic art. Their software applications are cutting edge, and their instructors are professionals who combine university teaching with work in the field.
Academy of Art University
San Francisco, CA, USA
In 2014, Graphic Design Degree Hub listed 20 of the best and most affordable graphic design programs in the world. What makes these schools so attractive is that they all offer reasonably-priced out-of-state tuition. Design Degree Hub rated the Academy of Art University in San Francisco as the best and the most affordable graphic design program. The school offers undergraduate, graduate and online graphic design programs where students will learn about marketing strategies, critical issues in graphic design and how to bring about cultural change. The programs focus on inquiry, theory and practice. Students learn about conceptual problem solving and are encouraged to develop critical thinking skills and visual literacy.
Media Design School
Auckland, New Zealand
According to the CG Student Awards (now known as The Rookies), Media Design School is the highest ranked design school in Asia. Based in Auckland, New Zealand, MDS has an enviable reputation in the motion graphics and VFX space in particular, no doubt in part to their proximity and relationship with New Zealand’s burgeoning film industry. They offer a full range of Diploma, Bachelor and Masters level courses in all the creative technologies including Graphic and Interactive Design, 3D Animation, Game Art and Programming. If you are considering a study abroad program, MDS would be a great choice as it is all in english, the New Zealand dollar is relatively weak against the USD so your money goes further, and it’s New Zealand!
Although it wasn’t true a few years back, more than 90 percent of employers now want graphic designers with a degree and a portfolio. They want well-trained people, and they’ll pay to get them. Many graphic design instructors combine teaching with working in the field. When you work with these instructors, you can sharpen your design skills and keep current about new developments in the design industry. You’ll also have a portfolio that you created with the direction, feedback and help of instructors who are experienced professionals. When you receive a graphic design degree from a top university, you’ll walk away with much more than just a piece of paper. Instead, you’ll have a degree that will open doors and put you in demand.