Graphic Design Career Pathway
Plain and simple, graphic designers are the creative brains behind the design of social media ads, billboards, and apps—just to name a few examples. They create those eye-catching illustrations on the covers of books and the graphics on video games. If your student loves bringing ideas to life and has a knack for the visual arts, then a career in graphic design could be a great fit for them.
What does a graphic designer do?
Determine the requirements of the project
Become familiar with brand typeface, font, format, and style
Retrieve assets (such as logos and images) to be used
Develop concepts and layouts for illustrations
Present the deliverables and make necessary changes based on feedback
Deliver final assets for publication
Day in the Life
Prioritize work based on predetermined timelines
Communicate with stakeholders on the progress of projects
Work with writers to determine any copy needs
Collaborate with other designers to distribute work and make sure assets are consistent
Create illustrations using design software (such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator)
Request feedback from another designer to make sure creative aligns with project requirements
Submit projects for review to stakeholders within the company or clients
Where They Work
TV and broadcasting companies
In-house creative teams
Graphic Designer Salary and Market Projections
How long can it take to become a graphic designer?
Four years at a traditional university, or 5-6 years to complete a master’s program
Required Career Qualifications
Creativity, proficiency with design software, and knowledge of design elements as well as a basic understanding of HTML
While not always required, many graphic design jobs do ask for Adobe certifications in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign—plus it is recommended that you have a graphic designer online portfolio to showcase your work
How does Stride Career Prep help prepare your student for becoming a graphic designer? They will:
Learn about digital arts to become familiar with digital design elements.
Explore careers in game design to help make better use of electives in college.
Get familiar with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign before using them in the workplace.
Prepare for top industry certification exams such as the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA)—Visual Communication using Adobe Photoshop and the ACA—Print and Digital Media Publication using Adobe InDesign.
Gain experience presenting digital design work to others.
Are you an adult interested in a career change?
In addition to Stride Career Prep for K–12 students, Stride also offers learning options for adults who are looking for a career change or upgrade.
Learn more about course offerings in the IT career field.
Hear How Stride Career Prep Can Work for Your Teen
Think this might be a good fit for your student? Want to learn more about the program from current participants? Email your questions and hear what Stride Career Prep students have to say.
1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S.Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook. Website last modified date: Wednesday, September 1, 2020.
*Opportunities vary by school; please visit your school page or check with your school counselor.
**Stride Career Prep is a program for grades 9–12. At some schools, career exploration is offered in middle school.