Should You Go to Art School or College for Graphic Design?



so you'll want to be a designer hey everybody it's Christine monji a design gal thank you so much for checking out my channel in this video today I want to talk about for you high school students or people coming back to school whether to go to a private art college to learn design or a more traditional four-year public College what is it gonna be I'm gonna go over kind of the pros and cons of each as well as what I did and my recommendations for you so keep watching all right so I haven't been in school for a little while but I remember the process of looking for a school specifically for graphic design now I lived in California my whole life at that time and so I was looking at private schools in California as well as any public school I could get into so because I had really good grades in high school I was accepted to a number of public colleges in California but I was actually really interested in this private art college called Art Institute down in Orange County and I remember touring the campus and touring a few other design schools like Otis and Academy of art and I was wowed it was like a whole new world in there and it was exciting so the private art college you're gonna get something a little bit different than a standard four-year college and what I mean by that is you are going to have a very specialized focused education that means that classes tend to be tailored toward an art student my sister actually went to California College of the Arts in Oakland and even the math classes were tailored for art students so it's great for people who aren't academically you know A+ 4.0 all the time they kind of understand that your skills and your passions lie really in your creative outlet so it's great about that is actually for those who need a little bit of an academic break and more want to focus on their art private art colleges seem to tailor their curriculum for that purpose so you do still have to take those general education classes that you need for any degree but they are a little bit toned down as far as I could make requirement so the plus I have that is that it's not as demanding in those classes where you might struggle and instead they give more emphasis to the actual major classes that you're gonna be taking another cool thing about art school is because they're so focused some of them offer two-year associate's degrees instead of bachelor degrees so if you are itching to get out there and you don't think you need a full four years go for a two-year program and come out of that in two years and be ready to start your career a lot sooner than going to a four-year university another great thing is that since everyone in that private art college is some kind of art student whether that's photography or studio art and graphic design you're gonna make a lot of connections of people who are going to be then going into the industry at the same time as you are and while it's easy to kind of fall into the trap of their my competition it's actually a good thing because what it means is that as you grow up in travel and move and switch jobs those people aren't gonna make connections that you might need one day and you're gonna make connections that they might call on you for so it's actually a really cool thing to be able to have friends in the creative community because you never know what's going to come out of that and you can collaborate in the future and just have a lot of friends that are similar to you in that regard it can be a really cool thing on the flip side a regular four-year college is not as specialized so while you are taking a major in my case it was graphic design you also have the general education requirements and they're not tailored to your major so you're expected to take these courses and pass them and if you are not academically inclined or if too much academic demand is going to be really hard for you then that may not be something to look forward to at a four-year college I was kind of lucky in that certain classes at my college were offered that were a little bit more liberal arts friendly for example instead of taking a regular physics class they actually offered one called a physics for poets that class was tailored toward a more liberal arts perspective where was more about the theories behind physics rather than actual science and math stuff that just totally beyond me so that did work out for me but I don't know if they offer those sorts of things at other four-year colleges so if you're not prepared to go to a four-year public college that has high academic standards maybe think about that now because a public college has all kinds of people coming together you're gonna be exposed to a lot of different kinds of people and a lot of different ways of thinking and a lot of different classes and you'll meet people from all kinds of different majors and one cool thing about that is that you'll get more of a well-rounded experience so instead of just interacting with people that are similar to you you are being exposed to all kinds of people from all walks of life but don't think that's gonna be a bad thing for you in the future just because they're not creative people everywhere all the time doesn't mean that those connections that you make at a four-year traditional college won't be useful for you in the future so rather than at an art college where your connections maybe you'll work together one day as collaborators at a public college someone you meet who's an engineer or an English major they'll end up in jobs that probably will need a designer and so those connections can also be really useful in the future because everybody needs a designer and they will know hey I had that friend in college who as a designer I'll hit them up trust me it happens all the time because design is needed everywhere your friends that are in different majors than you are going to recognize that one day I swear and call you up I ultimately chose to go to a traditional public college in California I went to Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo and I absolutely loved it but I almost didn't go there actually I was driving down to the Art Institute which was my top choice and I wanted to stop at Cal Poly just on the way I accepted I thought why not take a peek I've never been here check it out but I'm pretty sure I'm going to the Art Institute but when I got there and I met some people in the department I just loved it and I found that I really liked the idea of having other people around me who didn't think like me and who were in other majors and then when I went to check out the private art colleges I always kind of felt like this place is so cool and it's almost too cool for me at the time I was really insecure about myself and I didn't know if I would measure up or be able to make friends that intimidated me and I think made me feel like I wouldn't fit in as easily and that's kind of important you want to feel comfortable no matter where you go so if you feel most comfortable around other creative types and you love that kind of collaboration and back and forth and are into all those artsy things that's awesome but if you're like me and I really didn't know who I was at the time and I kind of needed to feel more comfortable having the opportunity to kind of find my way in this bigger public university was something that I think I needed another thing I loved about Cal Poly is that they had to learn by doing philosophy and not really appeal to me as a design student because I didn't want to just learn about design I wanted to actually be designing in school and that kind of practice throughout the whole school just really spoke to me and to this day I'm really thankful I went there and my last reason I chose the four-year college over in art school is that I wanted to take other classes that weren't all just in art and design I was able to take really random classes like modern dance and I was able to have a minor in something unrelated to my major which was Women's Studies and that's something I'm still very passionate about and I wouldn't really had the opportunity if I had gone to a more specialized school so for me because I think I was looking for something a little bigger with more opportunities to explore and grow and meet different kinds of people that's ultimately why I chose to go to a traditional four-year school but I know people that have gone to art school and loved it and they made amazing connections have had great experiences and a really focused intense education their portfolios come out amazing so there's there's pros and cons to both and I hope this helps you kind of know a little bit about what you can kind of expect going either way bottom line I would say as long as you're comfortable and you feel like the place is a place you can grow and really do well thinking about the environment thinking about the coursework thinking about the people that are gonna be around you the kind of philosophy the school has toward teaching all of those things should help you figure out what's right for you and making that decision so I hope this was helpful if you have any questions or comments please leave them below otherwise I would love it if you'd give this video a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel if you haven't already I'll be doing more videos about getting into school for design what you can expect classes to take things like that thanks again for watching peace

5 Replies to “Should You Go to Art School or College for Graphic Design?”

  1. A college degree can cost you as much as $12 per hour if you know how to calculate it. Never go to college for art or music. It's a waste of money.

  2. How well would you recommend San Francisco art institute for a graphic design program? Love you content by the way. TIA 🙂

  3. Hey! I left a comment on a previous video and your response was very helpful! What do you think of just a UX certificate then if you don't feel the need to go grab a degree? Having over 10 years of graphic and visual design experience I just kind of feel like school would be like beating a dead horse, but is there value to employers to a college cert?

  4. thank you for creating this channel 🙌💕 I wish there was this type of information out there when I was applying for college 8 years ago …. "learn by doing" yes, clap-clap-clap

    btw i love your glasses! 🙂

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