FAQ: Why Do You Need To Earn a Graphic Design Certificate?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published September 29, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Getting certified can increase your knowledge of a subject, qualify you for new opportunities and improve your earning potential. Earning a certificate in graphic design is often a useful way to show employers you care about your professional development and possess the skills they're looking for in a job candidate. If you're considering a graphic design certification, reading about course offerings and benefits can help you decide if a certification is right for you and your career goals.

In this article, we answer frequently asked questions about graphic design certifications, including the reasons you might want to pursue one and the topics typical of certification courses, plus we list jobs you can pursue once you’re certified.

What is a graphic design certificate?

A graphic design certificate is a credential that shows you have skills and knowledge of graphic design concepts. There are many certifications you can pursue and they can differ in difficulty and legitimacy. Some certificates might tell an employer you completed a graphic design course or received a passing grade on an exam.

The certificate you choose can depend on your career goals, current skill level and desired course offerings. Reading reviews, discussing it with employers and looking at certificate requirements on job postings can help you choose the right certificate program for you.

Related: 8 Graphic Design Certifications To Advance Your Career

Why do you need to earn a graphic design certificate?

While getting a graphic design certificate isn't a requirement for most positions, getting one can offer you many exciting benefits in your career. Here are some reasons to pursue a certificate in graphic design:

Certification helps you build your skill set

One of the primary reasons to pursue a graphic design certificate is because it's an official document that shows you possess design skills and competencies. Most certifications require credential holders to complete a course or exam before they can earn their certificate. Meeting these requirements can teach you valuable skills and help you show others you're a certified designer.

Related: 10 Steps To Learn New Skills (With Tips)

Certification can boost your earning potential

Another reason to consider pursuing a certificate is that it can increase your earning potential. Many employers look for candidates who possess specific knowledge and skills. Proving you have the skills they're looking for can qualify you for more advanced opportunities and make it easier for you to earn a salary that matches your worth and abilities.

Related: How To Increase Your Income in 15 Ways (With Benefits)

Certification can be powerful resume builders

Many employers like to see certifications on candidate resumes because it shows they're committed to professional development and it also proves they possess strengths in their area. Some jobs might require certification, so having your certificate visible on your resume can show hiring managers you're qualified. Consider putting your credential information somewhere employers can easily find it on your resume.

Related: 10 Resume Writing Tips To Help You Land a Position

Certification can qualify you for advancement

If you're already working as a graphic designer, a certification can help you grow in your career and qualify for more opportunities. Consider asking your employer about worthwhile certifications that could make you a more valuable designer and employee. Some employers might even sponsor professional development courses to help you build your resume and discover new opportunities.

Related: A Guide To Getting a Job in Graphic Design

Certification can increase your credibility

Having a credential is important for communicating to others you understand graphic design concepts and can execute the functions of your position well. While it's possible to teach yourself many of the skills in graphic design, certifications can boost others' confidence in your abilities. It can also help assure clients you're professional and knowledgeable in your area.

Related: Qualifications vs. Skills: Definition, Differences and Examples

What topics does a graphic design certificate course cover?

The topics a graphic design certificate course covers can depend on the certificate you choose to pursue. Most certification courses cover foundational concepts and skills. They might focus on specific software offerings that employers like candidates to have experience using. By developing your skills with these software offerings and technologies, you can differentiate yourself from other graphic design candidates when applying for opportunities.

Many certificate courses cover topics like:

  • Visual communication

  • Branding and brand communication

  • Graphic design history

  • Graphic design software

  • Design theory

  • Graphics creation

  • Typography

  • Design theory

Related: What are the Qualifications for Graphic Designers?

What careers can you pursue with a graphic design certificate?

Here's a closer look at some jobs you can pursue with a graphic design certificate:

1. Graphic artist

National average salary: $53,268 per year

Primary duties: Graphic artists are design professionals who use images to create stories and facilitate ideas. Their work is like that of a graphic designer, but often they're focused more on images than on content.

Many graphic artists use digital mediums, photo editing software and creative software to design and create images that influence how viewers feel or perceive something. They might have more flexibility in their work than designers and work to promote their own art rather than that of a company or brand.

2. Graphic designer

National average salary: $58,317 per year

Primary duties: Graphic designers are professionals who create designs for digital and print content. They're often responsible for creating designs for logos, selecting fonts and page layouts for websites and developing promotional materials for brands. By using visual elements, graphic designers can help create exciting content that attracts viewers' attention and represents brands effectively.

Read more: What Does a Graphic Designer Do?

3. Web developer

National average salary: $66,593 per year

Primary duties: Web developers use coding skills to design websites and create both back-end and front-end website elements. Graphic design skills are important for web developers because they're often responsible for creating website layouts and designs.

Front-end design is what users see when they access a site, so layout, images and branding can be important elements that communicate the web page's purpose and inform users about what to expect from specific pages. When incorporating visual elements like type and layout, web developers can use graphic design skills to create effective pages that convey ideas and brand elements successfully.

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