The field of design is broad and encompasses skills as varied as graphic, packaging, interior, fashion, industrial, and building design. Anyone who is interested in a design training program will first need to determine which type of design he is interested in. He can then research education and certification requirements for the field, as well as various training programs’ reputations to choose the best design training program for him.
Once the student has settled on a specific design field, he will need to research whether he must receive training in design from an accredited educational facility to gain employment. The need for training or certification may be a national or regional requirement. It might not be required in some cases, but employers may wish to hire only those who have received formal training or certification.
After the student understands his field’s training and certification requirements, he can begin to evaluate other factors including his finances, geographic location, time limitations, and other commitments. When the student considers finances, he should consider not just tuition but also books, room and board, and other fees. The design program may offer financial aid, such as scholarship, grants, loans, and payment plans, that can make attending the program more affordable.
Some students will be able to move to attend the school of their choice, and others will not. If unable to move, the student will need to consider schools in his location or if online educational opportunities are available that enable the student to develop design skills. When choosing an online programs, the student’s learning style should be understood. Some students do well in very self-directed programs, whereas others will need more structure and mentoring by an instructor.
For certain students, the time allowed to complete the design training program may be a concern. Whether the training programs are offered in classrooms or online, some schools may require students to complete requirements in a set amount of time. If a student has other obligations, such as work or family, he may need to attend a school that allows him sufficient time for completing the program.
In many design careers, employers will want to review a portfolio of work. A training program with specific design courses that helps the student develop a portfolio will be important. Reviewing the design program’s syllabus may help the student determine if the program is likely to help him build a portfolio.
Students may wish to evaluate graduation rates, job search services, and employment rates of the design training program being considered. The employers and positions for which a program’s graduates are placed may be indicative of the quality and reputation of the program. If a program places its graduates with top employers in actual design positions, it is likely the program is effective and reputable.