Do you need college to be a Creative Designer and why so (Explained)

Do you need college to be a Creative Designer and why so (Explained)

 Min Read

You don't need to go to college to be a creative designer, but you do need an innovative mindset and enough time on your hands! Designing can be anything from designing a boutique store or logo for a business to designing clothes or accessories for the runway. The only way to know if this profession would suit you is by exploring it more and seeing what makes the most sense for your individual personality!

So, you want to be a designer. Do you have what it takes?

If you think that creativity is your strong suit and an innovative mindset is second nature, then congratulations! You might just be like me. Yay!

But before jumping on board, there are some things to consider:

  • Do you need to go to college for this career choice or can you learn all the tricks online?
  • How much time will it take each day for design work?
  • What type of creative personality do you have - trendy and current or classic and timeless?

These are questions only YOU can answer when considering this profession because no two designers are alike! Fortunately, if being a designer is your dream, there are plenty of ways to gain experience and market yourself!

Creative design is a broad field capable of having an expansive range. A creative designer may be in charge of developing sketches and drafts for a fashion line or designing the layout of commercial spaces. Designers have come to take on all sorts of roles over the years as this profession has evolved.

They're typically well-versed in graphic design, infographics, web design, print media, and video production. Creative designers are best working with clients who want to come up with professional-looking ideas that suit their desired target audience without any help (or hand holding) from them!  

Reasons why you don't need to go to college:

1.) Education is not a compulsory

There is no formal education required for one so inclined to head into creative careers such as graphic design, web design, and video production. This is also true for interior designers and product designers.

2.) You can develop a lot of your own skills

Developing your own skills with online tutorials and programs designed by others to make it easier for anyone! It's much faster than ever to get started on this path in life and learn what you need to know for self-sufficiency.

3.) Lessen the time

The time commitment would be lessened significantly as well considering that the amount of schooling was greatly reduced when compared to other careers. Some people might see this as a drawback; however, you'd have more time at the end of the day or week to pursue other hobbies if you so desired. In fact, some students choose their major based on this very thing.

4.) Learning more

You could actually learn a lot more doing things on your own versus school. A lot of what you're taught in college can be learned quickly online and for free.

The only difference is that it will take longer to do so when compared to the time spent at a university gaining credit towards your degree!

5.) Not as physically demanding and stressful

Most creative jobs are not as physically demanding and stressful as other careers, therefore making it easier and less time-consuming to get a head start on your dream job! It may seem easy right off the bat, but there's lots of work involved!

Ultimately, design requires focusing on details and getting them right before moving forward with a final product. That takes equal parts effort and patience – two traits that mesh well with a creative personality and the practice of design itself.

Some people didn't do well in that type of environment and didn't want to go back. Many other things are important besides what you learn in school! It's also called life experience which is priceless when it comes to working on YOUR career, not someone else's dream.

Employer's Expectations

Yes, there really is no formal degree program required for some design careers. However, most employers would like to see at least some sort of certification such as an associate or bachelor's degree before hiring new employees; especially if they're looking for talented designers that can fit with their current staff or work independently without much supervision.

There are a lot more jobs out there that don't require a degree when compared to those who do!

Mark Cuban said it best,

A college education won't make you happier but it will make you a little bit smarter.

Plus most people forget that just because they're hired at these top companies does not mean they stay there past their first year. It's simply an opportunity to learn more about what else is out there if you so desire; nothing more!

New experience

How exciting (and scary) will it be to have no idea what you're doing? No one ever achieved success by just sitting on the sidelines and hoping it would come to them. Some people simply don't want to risk it and would rather go with the flow.

For those that do, you'll be tasked with creating your portfolio which will help you land your first job! It's definitely a lot better to build one than have to worry about where all the money is going after using up college loans! Take this chance to get real-life hands-on experience in design and learn from your mistakes or even better, success!

Curious on how to create your portfolio? Here is guide for you: Portfolio Guide


There are plenty of opportunities out there for designers who've never gone to college. The most important thing is what you make of them and how far you're willing to go to reach that end goal.

Students can find great success by pursuing internships while in school and during their free time after college. You can also take advantage of networking events, volunteer opportunities, and various design contests to gain experience for your future in the field.

One company, MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses), offers free learning courses online for individuals looking to learn more about their chosen major or career path without having to worry about the room or board fees!

These are some free design bootcamps

Here is curated list from Masoative : 18 Free UI UX Courses and Resources

Youtube is the best free learning platform that a lot of people overlook. You can learn just about anything from someone else's experiences for free!

There are also many books/websites that have all the information you need to learn on your own, such as design blogs, portfolio guides, and other resources.  


In conclusion...

Do you need to go to college? No, not usually but not attending can hurt your chances later down the road. It may be less expensive if you do choose to attend; however, will your money and time spent at university be worth it in the end? Only you can make that decision! It's always smart to keep your options open and broaden your views.

If you enjoyed this article, please take a moment to share it with others who may be interested in becoming a designer but are unsure of how to start!

I hope that this piece was helpful for potential designers looking for answers and those who simply enjoy the design as well. Please check out my other articles online by following the social media links below or visiting my personal webpage linked above.


Be first in the queue. Subscribe and receive new issues twice a month.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
We’re reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission
Privacy Policy

Do you need college to be a Creative Designer and why so (Explained)

by Ashwin Mason
in Software Review
Ashwin's image
Article by
Ashwin Mason
I review the best software for freelance designers, photographers, and developers to run their businesses and hire the most appropriate freelancers for your project.
Useful Links