The graphic design industry has experienced some dramatic changes over the years. While creativity is still one of the top requirements for entry into this field, other skills such as animation and web design are quickly climbing their way to the top of the list. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that “jobseekers in this field are expected to face keen competition,” so “graphic designers with both web design and animation experience will have the best opportunities.” In addition, employment in the graphic design field is expected to increase by 13 percent between now and 2018, so opportunities will be plentiful.
To meet the demand, many schools have created comprehensive graphic design programs that incorporate animation, web design, social media, and more. Others, such as technical schools, art and design schools, and many traditional colleges have expanded and updated existing programs to meet the current needs of this ever-changing industry. Some of these schools are among the best.
What makes a graphic design school program “the best” depends on a variety of factors. College ranking organizations such as Princeton Review and Forbes assess schools based on program offerings, faculty resources, graduation and retention rates, financial resources, student selectivity, and peer assessment. In the state of Iowa, a number of the state’s 60+ accredited colleges and universities made the list of best schools. However, one Iowa school is considered one of the best schools for aspiring graphic designers.
Drake University is located in the state’s largest city—Des Moines. This school offers a B.A. in Graphic Design, a B. F. A. in Graphic Design, a B.A. in Studio Art, and a B. F. A. in Studio Art.
Other area schools that offer programs for aspiring graphic designers include University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls), Ashford University in Clinton (Computer Graphic Design), and Loras College in Dubuque (Integrated Visual Arts). Eastern Iowa Community College (Davenport) and Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville also offer graphic design programs.
More Programs to Consider: