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5 Questions To Ask Yourself When Considering Online Graphic Arts Colleges

Interested in a career in graphic arts? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most graphic design jobs require a bachelor’s degree. So if you’re already busy with family commitments, a full-time job, or a long commute that makes attending traditional classes impractical, then look through the following questions to figure out whether a graphic arts school online could be right for you.

Five Questions to Ask Yourself About Online Graphic Arts Schools

1. Can you work well independently? Those who are interested in online graphic arts schools should be self-motivated and disciplined. The freedom and flexibility of online graphic arts schools means that there will be no one checking to make sure you completed your homework, listened to the lecture, or are even progressing toward the end of your coursework. If you don’t think you’ll handle the freedom well, online graphic art schools may not be for you.

2. Do you thrive on community? If you are the type of person who enjoys face-to-face interactions, you might do better in a traditional graphic arts classroom. If you enjoy working with others but are still interested in online graphic arts courses, then look for an online school that offers plenty of opportunities for discussion and feedback, which could include online discussion boards, peer reviews, and plenty of correspondence with the instructor.

3. Do you know where to find scholarships? According to the New York Times, most online schools charge tuition similar to that of traditional schools. So even if you’re saving money on commuting gas, room and board, or by working at the same time that you’re studying, finding scholarships can save you even more money. Look at the College Board Web site and http://Fastweb.com; these are two free Web sites that can help you get started.

4. Is your online graphic arts school accredited? Buyer beware: there are online schools out there that offer diplomas at a price, but aren’t actually accredited. If you want to make sure your degree actually means something, check the accreditation status of your online graphic arts school at the U.S. Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

5. Does your school’s graphic arts program mesh with your career goals? If you’re just looking for basic training in graphic design, you may not need to be as picky about what graphic arts school you attend. If, however, you are interested specifically in graphic design with an emphasis in advertising, magazine layout, or art direction, make sure the online graphic arts school you enroll in offers courses, if not an emphasis, in your secondary field.

If you have done the research, know your career goals, and know your learning style, then you are probably ready to attend an online school for graphic arts. Keep working hard and don’t let yourself get sidetracked, and you should be well on your way to a career in graphic arts.

Kelli Smith writes about colleges and universities. Find online graphic art schools at www.CollegesandUniversities.org.

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