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Is university preparing design students for the industry properly?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by pushdotplay, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. #1
    As a designer with over five years industry experience and someone who Co-owns a studio with a fellow designer, and also as designers who have been to university, this question is something that we have recently been asking ourselves.

    We have been inundated with undergrads approaching us for internships, or just for simply giving them a review of their portfolio's and general feedback on how they can improve to make it into the industry after university. We have come across a lot of nice looking work, but it is work that really has no meaning to it.

    For example, today I saw a piece of 3rd university work that was to such a poor standard, I sat for about an hour afterwards wondering how this person had managed to make it through the first two years of their course, and still be presenting this poor quality work to the world for feedback.

    Surely somewhere along the line one of this student's tutors should have sat them down, and explained that you can't just bash out work with out meaning, and expect it to get recognised as good work you could present to potential employers in hope of getting a job - whether it be for an agency, or trying to obtain clients by being a freelance designer.

    Your work should be something you are proud of and something you know in your heart of hearts you did everything you could to get the best results for your client as possible.

    Any job is a good job if you utilise your time and research well. Try several ideas, and never settle for your first, because usually it is by far your worst. Never rush your work, always make sure you leave plenty of time so you can go back to it after a break. Make sure you get other peoples opinions before you deliver it to your client, and always present them with more than one option so they can see how much thought you have put in to your process.

    I started to think back to my time at university, and thought about how I was taught by my tutors. The only good thing I could remember about my time at university was the sheer amount of time I had spare to spend on learning new software, and crafting my knowledge of the programmes I would need in order to survive in this business, as well has spending many hours working closely with clients I had obtained from doing freelance work to gain experience in my field.

    I can say one thing about university, and that is if you have a desire and determination to make it in the design industry, then go to uni and take all the spare time you have to learn as much bout the industry as you can. Spend a lot of time doing freelance work, and have what can only be described as the best three years of your life, meeting fantastic people and doing fantastic things that will all stand you in good stead later down the line when you are working.

    Just remember one thing - not everything told to you about design in university is exactly how it is in reality. Keep an open mind, and remember design is simple. Just come up with great ideas and keep things fresh, study your clients target audience, and what your client stands for, then try to incorporate all that into a great concept.
    pushdotplay, Apr 15, 2012 IP
  2. Kerosene

    Kerosene Alpha & Omega™ Staff

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    I've worked for several universities in Australia, and from my experience, they're at least 5 years behind the real world.
    I can't imagine how the graduates that come out the other end could be much use to anyone in a commercial environment.
    I'm currently working with a "fresh out of uni" graphic designer - she's "bright", has a great CV, has a degree - but she doesn't know what a PNG is, and still doesn't really understand what vector graphics are.
    I dunno what they're teaching kids in school these days, but it's pretty much useless as far as I'm concerned.
    Kerosene, Apr 15, 2012 IP
    pushdotplay likes this.
  3. pushdotplay

    pushdotplay Peon

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    hahaha she does not know what a png is? how the hell did that person get a degree? I use png and vector files almost every single day, it is standard practice for a graphic designer to work using vector. I have recently taken on a intern who is a 2nd year student and he has more knowledge of the industry at his young age than 90% of the grads I have interviewed. I am amazed at how far behind the university is still teaching and how they don't seem to even care about preparing these young designers to an industry standard.
    pushdotplay, Apr 17, 2012 IP
  4. Dwaipayan

    Dwaipayan Greenhorn

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    go on.................................
    Dwaipayan, Apr 17, 2012 IP
  5. Achiever

    Achiever Active Member

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    no, its totally different........
    Achiever, Apr 17, 2012 IP